5 Essential Oil Blends For Anxiety & Depression
Chronic stress is a common modern-day ailment and it can have a profound effect on your mental and physical health. According to Carnegie Mellon University, under chronic stress, the body loses its ability to regulate inflammation which in turn promotes the development and progression of many diseases. Over-hectic lifestyles, the death of a loved one, loss of a job, a toxic workplace, emotional problems, financial pressure are some of the causes of stress. Our body is designed to respond to stress as a defense mechanism with physical, mental, and emotional responses. However, stress becomes negative (chronic) when the stress response becomes prolonged, causing both physical and emotional damage.
Anxiety and depression are both a reaction to prolonged stress. For some people, stressful life events can contribute to symptoms of depression. Also when you are feeling anxious, whether it is mild or severe, it's a reaction to the stress you're experiencing in your life. You may also experience insomnia which will aggravate your depression and anxiety disorder. And when your feelings of anxiety and depression become constant, it's good to talk to a doctor.
Using essential oils such as calming essential oil blends can help alleviate the symptoms of anxiety and depression by creating a soothing, reassuring and happy environment or even prepare you for a good night's sleep.
Here are 5 essential oil blends to relieve your symptoms of anxiety and depression caused by stress. When using these blends with an essential oil diffuser, simply add a few drops to the water (I recommend you start with 5 drops and increase the number of drops to match your need). You can also add the same amount of essential oils in a wax burner. Alternatively, you can use my ready-made essential oil blends to combat the symptoms of stress.
Important - I am not a medical or psychiatric practitioner. These essential oil recipes for anxiety and depression do not offer medical suggestions but may help to alleviate the symptoms but are not a replacement for proper medical care.
1. Essential oil recipe for anxiety
Everyone experiences at some point in their life feelings of anxiety. This soothing and earthy scent will soothe your mind and ground you. Cedarwood is grounding and calming and is believed to fight negativity. Sweet Orange has a cheerful aroma is very uplifting. With its soothing effect on the mind, Ylang Ylang is well-known for dealing with stress and anxiety.
- 2 drops of Cedarwood
- 2 drops of Sweet Orange
- 1 drop of Patchouli
- 1 drop of Ylang Ylang Extra
2. Essential oil recipe for panic attacks
The more serious form of anxiety is panic. According to the NHS, a panic attack is when your body experiences a rush of intense mental and physical symptoms. It can come on very quickly and for no apparent reason. Patchouli is earthy, calming and grounding and ideal when you're feeling overwhelmed. Clary Sage combats mental and physical exhaustion. Geranium is calming and balancing. I tend to go with Rose Geranium because it has a slightly more rosy fragrance. Ylang Ylang Extra has the most intense scent of the Ylang Ylang oils and as well as combating anxiety, I find it very soothing (I use it in my home fragrance scents to relieve anxiety and stress).
- 2 drops of Rose Geranium
- 2 drops of Clary Sage
- 1 drop of Patchouli
- 1 drop of Ylang Ylang Extra
3. Essential oil recipe for grief & shock
Grieving for the loss of a loved one or the end of a marriage or important relationship can be really tough at times. It's a process that we have to through but sometimes we go through emotions such as helplessness, deep sadness and sometimes anger. Neroli is considered to relieve feelings of sadness, combating grief, supporting peace and encouraging happiness. ts benefits are enhanced by the uplifting Bergamot and calming Petitgrain.
- 5 drops of Neroli
- 3 drops of Petitgrain
- 2 drops of Bergamot
4. Essential oil recipe for depression
If feelings of sadness persist, they can develop into depression. Sometimes depression comes with no obvious reason but the symptoms include not getting any enjoyment in life, feeling tired, not being able to concentrate, sleeping more than usual or not being able to sleep or worse having suicidal thoughts. Always talk to your doctor if you've been experiencing these symptoms over a prolonged period of time. This diffuser blend contains essential oils for depression that may be soothing and comforting when spirits are low. Jasmine is uplifting and is used to combat depression (and it smells amazing). Emotionally Frankincense is grounding, calming and relaxing (I also love the smell of Frankincense). Chamomile is also good for anyone going through a period of depression, loneliness, or post-traumatic shock.
- 2 drops of Frankincense
- 1 drop f Roman Chamomile
- 2 drops of Jasmine
5. Essential oil recipe for sleep
If anxiety and depression keep you awake at night, this will exacerbate your symptoms so addressing lack of sleep is vital towards your road to recovery. With its sedative properties, Lavender is the top essential oils to promote sleep. It's supported by the calming effect of Petitgrain and Marjoram which helps relieve stress and anxiety.
- 5 drops of French Lavender
- 5 drops of Petitgrain
- 5 drops of Marjoram
Ready-Made Anxiety Relief Essential Oil Blend
Photo credits: Kelly Sikkema
- Carnegie Mellon University. "How stress influences disease: Study reveals inflammation as the culprit." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 April 2012.
- Hammen C (2005) Stress and Depression . Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 1, 293-319
- NHS, Panic Disorder
- AromaWeb Essential Oils Directory: Essential Oil Properties, Uses and Benefits
- Julia Lawless, Aromatherapy and the Mind
Nathalie Allard is an Artisan Perfumer and the founder of Petits Rituels. She’s known for creating beautiful room-transforming 100% natural fragrances with real therapeutic benefits.