Natural stress support: essential oils that can help to relieve stress, induce relaxation and reduce anxiety. #essentialoils #stress #youngliving

A 2020 meta-analysis of 32 randomised controlled trials around essential oil use found that aromatherapy with different essential oils could alleviate anxiety significantly no matter the reason of anxiety (PubMed 32663929).

Alleviate anxiety significantly.

Regardless of the reason of the anxiety.

If the end of year and Christmas rush has got you feeling more than your usual levels of stress, reaching for essential oils might be just the thing you need.

Here are my top picks for essential oils that can help to relieve stress, induce relaxation and reduce anxiety.


Lavender has been shown to have a profound effect on the central nervous system in humans, including its capacity to help improve quality of sleep, reduce discomfort and ease tension (PubMedCentral 3612440).

Lavender has also been found to reduce anxiety in pre-operative (PubMed 31505191) and dental patients (PubMed 19968674).

Traditionally, it’s been used in aromatherapy to reduce the symptoms of stress and to reduce the symptoms and occurrence of mild anxiety.

This is the first oil I reach for in times of stress. It can be used aromatically and topically. If you’re heading out for the day, try a few drops between your hands and then rubbed through your hair. You’ll take this calming scent with you and it’s got the added bonus of incredible hair health benefits.


Citrus oils are truly unsung heroes. Because citrus essential oils are extracted from the rind of the fruit, we can get a lot more oil from one piece of fruit than we can from, say, one rose. This makes citrus oils some of the most affordable oils available and their benefits for our emotional and mental health are well-documented.

Orange essential oil has traditionally been used in aromatherapy to reduce the symptoms and occurrence of mild anxiety, to aid in mind relaxation, to increase body relaxation, and as a nervous system relaxant.

Inhalation of bergamot has been shown to help improve positive feelings for people in the waiting room of a mental health treatment centre and can be used as an effective adjunct treatment to improve individuals’ mental health and well-being (PubMed 28337799).

Lemon oil has been shown to reliably enhance positive mood (PubMed 18178322) and has traditionally been used in aromatherapy to support healthy emotional balance.


Forest bathing, or shinrinyoku, is a Japanese preventative health practice of ancient origins, but brought into popular use for stressed corporate workers in the 1980s.

Perhaps it’s a poor reflection on our time and place in history that spending time in nature has become something that has to be prescribed and studied fiercely so as to drive home the benefits. But there are plenty to be had.

A study released this year has found that inhalation of fir essential oil has physiologically and psychologically relaxing effects (PubMed 35564457).

Cedarwood has traditionally used in aromatherapy to decrease symptoms of stress, to aids the body to cope with environmental stress and to support a healthy stress response in the body. A 2003 study analysed cardiovascular and respiratory functions while subjects were inhaling fumes of pure compound (Cedrol) which was extracted from cedarwood oil. The study found that cedrol significantly decreased heart rate, respiratory rate and blood pressure (PubMed 14614968).

A 2015 study found that inhalation of hinoki cypress leaf oil induces physiological relaxation (PubMed 26694076).

Harnessing the power of essential oils for stress relief:

1) Diffuse 3-5 drops in the room you’ll be spending the most time.

2) Add a couple of drops of lavender or a tree oil to some epsom salts and soak in a hot bath.

3) Craft a perfume blend that you can apply topically or use on diffuser jewellery so that you can take these calming scents with you.

Other oils that can help:

We’ve had great success with the Valor blend as a calming oil for kids, and Peace & Calming is my all-time favourite perfume blend that instantly calms me. Frankincense also has some incredible benefits and as a tree oil, can definitely help you relax. If you’re after a quick done-for-you collection of stress-relieving oils, Young Living’s premium starter bundle has these 3, plus some of those mentioned above – lemon, orange and lavender. At 50% off RRP and with a diffuser and some beautiful sample products, it’s well worth the investment in your health and well-being.

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