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Guide to Essential Oils for Anxiety, Stress Relief, and Sleep

With life's daily stresses, achieving a state of calm and serenity can sometimes feel elusive. In this blog post, we will explore the world of essential oils, their calming smells, and the profound effect they can have on our mental health, stress levels, and quality of sleep.

What is the most calming scent?

When considering the most calming scent, lavender is often the first essential oil that comes to mind. Lavender oil is widely recognised for its calming and relaxing properties. However, other essential oils like chamomile essential oil, bergamot essential oil, and clary sage essential oil also have proven calming effects.

Essential Oils: More than Just Aromas

Essential oils are not just about pleasing fragrances; they provide a host of health benefits. In the context of anxiety and stress, their impact can be genuinely transformative. The right scent can help reduce anxiety, promote relaxation, and even encourage a good night's sleep. When chosen carefully and used correctly, essential oils can serve as an excellent supplement to other anxiety and stress relief techniques.

Lemon essential oil to help relieve blood pressure with lemon oil.Lemon essential oil to help relieve blood pressure with lemon oil.

The Best Essential Oils for Anxiety and Sleep

When it comes to selecting the best essential oils for anxiety and sleep, a few standout choices deserve consideration:

Lavender Essential Oil:

Among essential oils for anxiety, lavender is probably the most well-known. Its calming properties are perfect for inducing sleep and managing anxiety symptoms. Besides, it's also used to lower blood pressure.

Ylang Ylang Essential Oil:

This essential oil is known for its ability to relieve anxiety and promote a sense of calm. Its exotic, sweet fragrance can create a relaxing atmosphere in any space.

Chamomile Essential Oil:

Known for its calming properties, chamomile oil helps reduce anxiety symptoms and encourage sleep. It's also a great choice if you're looking for calming sensory smells.

Bergamot Essential Oil:

This oil is unique among citrus oils due to its ability to be both uplifting and calming. It's known to reduce anxiety and improve mood.

Clary Sage Essential Oil:

Clary sage is often used in aromatherapy for its relaxing, soothing properties. It's an excellent choice for anyone struggling with anxiety or insomnia.

Lemon Essential Oil:

Lemon oil is known for its ability to help alleviate anxiety and depression symptoms. It's bright, uplifting aroma helps promote positivity and well-being.

Relieve anxiety with diluted essential oils while you sleep with lemon diffuser.Relieve anxiety with diluted essential oils while you sleep with lemon diffuser.

How Essential Oils Work

Essential oils work by being absorbed through our skin or inhaled into our lungs. Our skin readily absorbs essential oils, allowing them to permeate our bodies and exert their beneficial effects. When inhaled, the scent molecules in essential oils travel from the olfactory nerves directly to the brain and especially impact the amygdala, the emotional centre of the brain.

The Correct Use of Essential Oils

While essential oils can bring about numerous health benefits, it's crucial to remember that they are potent and should be used with care. Most essential oils should be mixed with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil or sweet almond oil, before applying them to the skin. This is because highly concentrated oils can cause a reaction on the skin or increase sun sensitivity.

When using essential oils for inhalation, a few drops can be added to a diffuser, or onto a cotton ball, or even in a warm foot bath. Ensure the environment is well-ventilated, and avoid using for extended periods to prevent any adverse reactions.

Applying Essential Oils Safely

Before applying essential oils to the skin, it is always advisable to conduct a patch test. This involves applying a small amount of the diluted oil to an inconspicuous area and waiting 24 hours to check for an allergic reaction. If you are new to essential oils, it's a good idea to start with a single oil to ensure that it does not cause any adverse reactions.

Coping with Anxiety and Stress

Integrating essential oils into your daily routine can significantly impact your life and stress levels. However, dealing with anxiety disorders and elevated stress levels usually requires a multifaceted approach. In addition to using essential oils, strategies such as maintaining a healthy lifestyle, incorporating regular physical activity, adopting a balanced diet, ensuring adequate sleep, and seeking support from a mental health professional can help manage anxiety and stress levels.

Essential Oils: Part of a Healthy Lifestyle

In conclusion, essential oils can be a potent tool in managing anxiety and promoting good sleep. However, they are not a cure-all. Using essential oils should be part of a comprehensive plan to manage anxiety and stress, which includes good lifestyle habits, a healthy diet, and regular exercise. Remember, if you're dealing with persistent or debilitating anxiety, it's important to seek professional help. Essential oils can provide a complementary approach to promote a sense of calm, reduce anxiety, and encourage a good night's sleep.

Lastly, always remember to check the product's safety details and instructions. Certain essential oils may not be suitable for infants, children, pregnant women, or those with certain health conditions. It's always best to consult with a health professional before beginning any new essential oil regimen.

Can smells reduce anxiety?

Scientific studies have indeed found that certain smells can reduce anxiety. A fascinating aspect of using essential oils for anxiety is that inhaling essential oils can elicit powerful emotional responses. The olfactory system is closely linked to the brain's limbic system, where feelings and emotions are processed. Hence, when we inhale essential oils, their calming smells can directly influence our emotions, reducing anxiety and promoting relaxation.

What scent is good for stress?

While many essential oils have stress-relieving properties, some of the most potent include lavender, clary sage, lemon, and chamomile. Moreover, research suggests that ylang ylang essential oil can be beneficial for reducing stress due to its soothing and uplifting effects.

What essential oils help with sleep and anxiety?

If you're struggling with sleep problems or anxiety, certain essential oils can be incredibly beneficial. Lavender essential oil is known for its calming effect and is often used to encourage sleep and reduce anxiety levels. Chamomile essential oil, with its gentle, calming aroma, can also support peaceful sleep and decrease anxiety.

In addition, vetiver oil, known for its grounding effects, can be helpful for those who have trouble falling asleep due to anxiety. Lemon oil aromatherapy can also provide a calming environment conducive to sleep.

Neroli essential oil only needs a few drops with flowers laying across bed.Neroli essential oil only needs a few drops with flowers laying across bed.

What scent calms the mind?

The scent of lavender is renowned for calming the mind and encouraging relaxation. Other essential oils that can have a similar effect include chamomile, ylang ylang, and geranium oil. These oils can be used individually or combined for a more potent effect.

What scent has been shown to reduce anxiety?

Scientific studies suggest that lavender oil is one of the most effective scents at reducing anxiety. Other oils such as rose oil, frankincense oil, and chamomile oil have also been shown to help reduce anxiety levels.

What scent is the most calming?

While different people may find different scents calming, the scent of lavender oil is commonly recognised as one of the most soothing. Its soft, floral aroma helps calm the mind, reduce anxiety, and promote a restful night's sleep.

What scents are considered calming?

Several scents are generally considered calming. These include lavender, chamomile, bergamot, clary sage, and lemon. These essential oils are often used in aromatherapy for their stress-relieving properties.

What makes a scent soothing?

A scent can be considered soothing if it has a calming effect on the mind and body. Essential oils such as lavender, chamomile, and ylang ylang are known for their soothing properties. These oils have unique chemical compositions that interact with the body’s nervous system, causing a decrease in heart rate and blood pressure, leading to relaxation.

Is jasmine or lavender better for sleep?

Both jasmine and lavender essential oils have been found to improve sleep quality. However, the choice between the two may come down to personal preference. Some people may prefer the sweet, exotic aroma of jasmine, while others may find the floral, slightly woody scent of lavender more appealing.

What is the best calming smell?

While the best calming smell can vary based on personal preference, lavender oil is frequently cited as having one of the most relaxing aromas. Other calming smells include ylang ylang, chamomile, and clary sage.

Which fragrance reduces stress?

Bergamot essential oil, with its unique citrusy fragrance, is known for its ability to reduce stress. Additionally, scents like lavender, clary sage, and lemon are also effective at relieving stress.

Is peppermint or lavender better for anxiety?

While both peppermint and lavender can help with anxiety, they have different properties. Lavender is typically known for its calming properties, making it suitable for reducing anxiety and promoting sleep. On the other hand, peppermint is more energising and can help with concentration and mental fatigue.

How can I stop anxiety before bed?

If anxiety is keeping you up at night, using essential oils can be a great strategy. Applying a few drops of lavender or chamomile oil to your pillow, using an essential oil diffuser in your bedroom, or adding oils to a warm bath before bed can help create a soothing environment. Other strategies can include establishing a regular sleep schedule, practicing relaxation techniques, and avoiding caffeine and electronic screens before bed.

Why is my anxiety so bad before bed?

Anxiety before bed, also known as nocturnal anxiety, can occur for various reasons, including stress, hormonal changes, or an overactive mind. Using essential oils like lavender, chamomile, or bergamot can help create a calm, relaxing environment conducive to sleep.

What are THREE coping strategies for anxiety?


Essential oils like lavender, chamomile, and lemon can help reduce anxiety levels. They can be inhaled, applied to the skin (when diluted in a carrier oil), or added to a warm bath.

Regular Exercise:

Physical activity is known to decrease tension, improve mood, and boost self-esteem. Research has found that regular exercise can help reduce anxiety.

Mindfulness and Meditation:

These practices can help you learn to focus your attention on the present moment, which can reduce anxiety and promote relaxation.

Remember, it's essential to reach out to a mental health professional if you're struggling with anxiety. They can provide you with appropriate treatments and strategies, including the use of essential oils, to manage your symptoms effectively.

Jasmine essential oil and lavender aromatherapy only needs a few drops with THREE duvets logo.Jasmine essential oil and lavender aromatherapy only needs a few drops with THREE duvets logo.