If you’ve been around the wide blogosphere, you’ve likely seen bloggers writing about essential oils. I won’t try to sell you on them in this post, but I will share how I use essential oils to calm my own anxiety. It’s actually one of the best remedies I’ve found for my anxiety, specifically at night.
I need to start by saying that I’m not a doctor, I can’t and won’t diagnose any illnesses, and essential oils are not intended as treatment for disease. You should always talk to a doctor about any medical problems you’re having and your plans to use any alternative medical treatment for medical issues.
On to the fun stuff!
I suffer from postpartum anxiety as a result of all the crazy things that happened after Emmeric was born. The anxiety sometimes causes me to experience panic attacks, like when my son was younger and had screaming fits I couldn’t fix. Sometimes I lose sleep just because I’m too afraid to sleep and miss something dangerous.
Most of the time I just can’t relax.
Anxiety keeps me hyped up and unable to calm down when I need rest. My chiropractor told me on several occasions my body was stuck in fight or flight mode. It’s the feeling of intense panic and extreme exhaustion that makes it impossible to react appropriately to different situations.
I once found myself on the floor of the nursery as far in the closet as I could get. I curled into the fetal position and rocked back and forth, unable to handle Emmeric’s crying in the other room. My breathing quickened until I was panting, and I experienced my first full-blown panic attack.
Needless to say, I now turn to different strategies to ease my anxiety.
I’ll talk about this in another post, but I do see a doctor and therapist to help with both the depression and anxiety. It’s been hugely beneficial to me to get on medication for my depression, and I definitely advocate talking to a health professional if you experience postpartum depression or anxiety. They know how to help you through the feelings you’re experiencing, and you do not have to go it alone.
My medicine for depression does not cover anxiety. My doctor and I agreed that I would try other methods for managing my anxiety with the assistance of my therapist, and that’s how I discovered the calming benefits of essential oils.
I’ve enjoyed using essential oils for a while now and use Young Living essential oils on a regular basis. I won’t tell you what oils to use if you already have a brand you use or are interested in. If you want more information about Young Living, feel free to check out this page and see what I think of them.
How to use essential oils to calm anxiety
I’m going to share a few of my favorite ways to use essential oils to calm anxiety. You might find some great tips here that you can try for yourself.
- Diffuse calming oils at night. I keep a small diffuser like this one on our dresser in the bedroom. I like to diffuse a combination of lavender, cedarwood, and clary sage essential oils before I go to bed. I’ll leave the diffuser on to run intermittently throughout the night. The scents soothe and relax me as I sleep.
- Rub lavender essential oil on your pulse points. The first night we left Emmeric in his crib made me tense and anxious for hours. I checked on him at one point and then went to the bathroom. I rubbed some lavender on my wrists and throat and was able to relax enough to sleep. Since then, I’ve rubbed lavender on my pulse points nightly in preparation for bed.
- Use Progessence Plus oil regularly. Progessence Plus is a proprietary Young Living oil that incorporates progesterone found in wild yams. It includes a mix of other oils as well, and I recommend you discuss its use with a doctor before adding it to your essential oils regimen. That said, I rub this oil on my chest and the creases inside my elbows before bedtime along with the lavender. The scent is relaxing and pleasant, and it calms me down for sleep.
- Diffuse citrus essential oils during the day. Anxiety triggers more at night than during the day for me, but the exhaustion from anxiety makes it difficult to get moving. I like to mix citrus scented oils like lemon, orange, lemongrass, and tangerine in my diffuser. These help me to focus and feel energized when I need a pick me up.
- Use just one oil during a panic attack. I think two problems I had during panic attacks was my thoughts running amok and my inability to calm my breathing. Picking out just one oil to grab, like Young Living’s peace and calming oil, means I simplify my focus. I think taking deep breaths of just one essential oil and actively forcing myself to focus on the scent and how it makes me feel is one great technique for quieting the crazy in my brain. It helps me regulate my breathing and allows me to relax tense muscles.
These five techniques can help you to calm your anxiety. Essential oils have been used for thousands of years in alternative medicine, and they do have uses outside simple fragrance.
Again, I caution you to research before using any essential oil, especially if you plan to apply it to your skin. Very few oils can safely be applied alone to your skin, and some are not recommended for breastfeeding moms or infants. If you suffer from severe anxiety or depression, talk to your doctor about medical treatment and any essential oils you want to try.
I hope these ideas will help you with your own anxiety. I truly believe using these oils has assisted me in managing my anxiety. I’ll share more about managing anxiety in future posts, but I hope you’ve enjoyed my how to about essential oils and anxiety.
Do you use essential oils for anxiety or depression? If so, please tell me how in the comments. Do you have a favorite oil for use when you’re stressed? What is it? I’d love to hear from others who use oils and how you use them.
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