Essential oils for Stress and Anxiety

Essential oils for Stress and Anxiety

Shamila Moodley

We lead such busy lives and there is nothing more powerful to help us deal with our stress than to spend time relaxing and gathering ourselves in a state of calm.

Essential oils have been used for many thousands of years to bring about emotional, spiritual, and physical well-being. When used correctly, inhaling or applying essential oils to the skin can bring about a sense of calmness and improve emotional well-being.

It is beneficial to breathe in certain essential oils known for their relaxing, therapeutic effects when we feel stressed.

Each oil has a unique chemical composition that supports a different system of the body. When we inhale a scent through our nose, receptor cells in the olfactory organ receive the aroma and send a message to the limbic system, which is commonly referred to as the “emotional brain.”

When using essential oils always dilute with a carrier oil before it’s applied to the skin. This reduces your risk of irritation. Some popular carrier oils are almond, grapefruit, coconut, and jojoba.

Essential oils should never be ingested, there’s not enough research on anyone essential oil to prove it’s safe to swallow. Each essential oil is very different, and some are toxic.

I personally find the essential oils that I have listed below effective at relieving stress and associated side effects, such as depression, insomnia, tension, and anxiety.


Basil – This warming oil is beneficial in relieving intellectual fatigue and nervous exhaustion, bringing strength and clarity to the mind. It works quickly to bring relaxation in the moment and assists with digestive issues due to stress.

Chamomile, Roman – Chamomile is a wonderfully sweet and soothing oil to smell. It has a noticeable effect on the nervous system by calming and easing depression. It is very effective for stress, anxiety and insomnia.

Clary Sage – This beautiful plant and flower has a noticeable euphoric action on the body. It can be used to help with anxiety, stress, nervous tension and depression. It works as a tonic for nervous fatigue and mental exhaustion. The scent is loved by most but some may find it too strong.

Grapefruit – This cooling and uplifting oil is a must go-to for stress, burnout and depression. It is like sunshine in a bottle. Very useful for those who are affected by ‘winter depression’ due to the decrease of light in the winter.

Jasmine – Handpicked in the early light of the morning, jasmine is one of the most effective oils for the nervous system. Supportive for anxiety, depression and emotional dilemmas. It works quickly to change our mood towards optimism.

Lavender –  My favorite essential oil Otherwise known as ‘true lavender’, this is one of those oils that does it all. Lavender is very calming and relaxing and has a harmonizing effect on the nervous system without being sedative. Wonderful for insomnia, mental stress and anxiety. It is also helpful for migraines and headaches.

Lemon – One smell of lemon essential oil and you can’t help but feel better. Lemon oil can lift the spirits and helps one to overcome mental fatigue and burnout. It can be used to help the brain with decision making in a calming matter.

Sweet Marjoram – Calming and nutritive to the nervous system, Sweet Marjoram can be used to help with stress, anxiety and insomnia.  It stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system and lowers the sympathetic function. Wonderful for sleep issues caused by stress.

Neroli – is a powerful sedative and antidepressant. Useful for insomnia, anxiety and depression. This oil is one of the most beautiful oils that you can smell. Distilled from the flowers of the blooming orange, Neroli makes you feel better within minutes of smelling it.

Sweet Orange – Sweet Orange is a cheerful oil that helps to life one’s spirits. It is also wonderful for sleep and immune system blends for children. Mildly sedative and antidepressant. Wonderful for anxiety, insomnia and nervousness.

Rose – Uplifting to the spirit and mind, rose is a wonderful essential oil for stress, anxiety and depression.

Sandalwood – Sandalwood is a calming and grounding oil. It has a wonderful smell that brings about a special moment when it is smelled.

Have regular massages designed to stimulate the lymphatic system, this gentle massage, with essential oils, does wonders all through the power of touch and smell. Some of the plant oils used at La Vita, like Lavender and Jasmine have been proven to help with a number of stress-related conditions, like anxiety and insomnia. Massages can create balance within the body.