Feeling stressed and anxious lately? You know the signs, your jaw is often clenched, you grind your teeth, your palms sweat, your heart pounds and your stomach churns.
Of course, stress and anxiety often present themselves differently depending on the person, but the symptoms are usually similar. In our modern world, many of us are suffering from chronic stress and anxiety, and sometimes we go on, and on, like robots, without even realizing we’re being affected by it.
Perhaps it’s been going on for so long, we’ve learned to live with it, but doing nothing at all often leads to a wide range of illness and disease – and, it could eventually kill us. That’s because whether we go through a minor inconvenience, a life threatening experience or something in between, those things all have the same result: adrenaline and cortisol is released into the bloodstream. Adrenaline raises blood pressure and boosts energy supplies, while cortisol releases a surge of glucose, limiting some functions that wouldn’t be productive in a dangerous situation, as well as altering the immune system. All of that can happen from something as simple as thinking about running late or an upcoming test. When you’re chronically stressed, it means your body is reacting like this on a continual basis, and that can lead to serious health risks such as depression and anxiety, insomnia, high blood pressure or a hormonal imbalance.
There are several ways to treat anxiety, from forms of therapy to medication. However, these approaches in the long-term aren’t necessarily sustainable solutions and many find toxic medications more harmful than helpful. As you’re probably aware, pharmaceutical drugs typically come with a very long list of side effects that can sometimes be even worse than the original problem.
Essential oils are a natural, proven way to help reduce the symptoms of anxiety and restore a healthy balance, without any side effects, making them a much better long-term solution for those who suffer from chronic stress and anxiety. There are a number of essential oils that offer calming effects on the nervous system to help you relax, and halt that “fight or flight” response. One of the easiest ways to take advantage of them is to make your own DIY anti-anxiety roll on.
There are an extensive array of recipes and blends available that can help calm you from those overwhelming feelings of stress. While it may sound difficult, it’s actually rather simple to put together. In fact, the hardest part is gathering all the ingredients.
What You’ll Need
For any DIY essential oil roll on, you’ll need some type of roller ball applicator, or roll on bottle, but don’t worry, they’re cheap and easy to come by. Amazon currently sells a set of six generic glass aromatherapy roll on bottles here. You’ll only need one for this tutorial (unless you want to gift some) but we will be publishing further recipes in the future for headache blends, sore muscle blends and more so better to stock up now. You’ll also need a carrier oil – fractionated coconut oil (such as this one) would work best, but sweet almond oil and jojoba oil are also good options.
The key ingredients in your anti-anxiety roll on are the essential oils. There is a reason behind each one of the oils in this particular recipe – and they all come together to offer the ultimate anxiety and stress-fighting personal care product.
Assuming you use these 10 ml essential oil roll on bottles, here are the measurements.
- 5 drops patchouli essential oil
- 5 drops Roman chamomile essential oil
- 10 drops lavender essential oil
- 7 drops ylang-ylang essential oil
- 3 drops cedarwood essential oil
- 3 drops bergamot essential oil
- 3 drops frankincense essential oil
This will fill your roller bottle to about 2 ml, meaning you can top it up with a carrier oil of your choice.
The Health Benefits Of These Essential Oils
Just so that you understand the whys and hows when it comes to each of the oils, we’ll take a look at what these oils are as well as their specific benefits.
Patchouli essential oil
Patchouli oil comes from a large evergreen perennial. It’s a close relative of sage, mint and lavender. It’s extracted from the lightly fragrant leaves and the white, violet-marked flowers of the plant, and is a thick, light yellow or brown liquid that has a strong, musky-earthy and slightly sweet aroma that some say is similar to wet soil. This essential oil, like many others, has been used for thousands of years, and was considered so valuable at one point that early European traders exchanged a pound of it for a pound of gold. It’s even been reported that King Tut arranged to have 10 gallons of patchouli oil buried with him in his tomb.
In 2002, some of its effects were proven in a scientific study that was reported in the Japanese Journal of Pharmacology. Researchers found that the simple inhalation of patchouli and rose oil was able to reduce sympathetic nervous activity by 40%.
In aromatherapy, the oil is said to help relieve stress, anxiety, and depression, with its calming effects known to be quite effective for relaxation and meditation. It can produce a more positive state of mind, uplifting one’s mood, driving away thoughts of despair and anxiety as well as mental fatigue. It’s known to precipitate a mild sedation, helpful for taking the edge off of deep sorrow. It may also help to stimulate the production of that “feel-good hormone,” serotonin, as well as dopamine, which is associated with happy feelings.
Roman Chamomile essential oil
Chamomile oil comes from the flowers of the Camomile plant. There are two types of Chamomile, Roman Camomile, which is scientifically known as Anthemis Nobilis and the German Camomile, whose scientific name is Matricaria Chamomilla. Although the essential oils extracted from both varieties are quite similar in some medicinal properties, their composition is different and they do possess certain specific qualities – the Roman Chamomile is considered to be the most calming, which is why the recipe calls for this type.
Chamomile is well known for its ability to calm, promoting peace and inner harmony to reduce anxiety, over-thinking, worrying and irritability. In fact, it’s considered one of the best medicinal herbs there is for promoting relaxation and battling stress, according to scientific studies, including research conducted by the Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine and Pharmacognosy Review. It’s often recommended as an alternative to prescription drugs for treating both depression and anxiety, frequently used as a mild sedative to reduce anxiety and calm the nerves, as it has the ability to get directly to the olfactory area of the brain, lessening the body’s stress response as well as tension.
A study published by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health showed that chamomile has the ability to relieve anxiety symptoms. Although it’s considered to be safe for just about everyone, those who have an allergy to ragweed may also be allergic to chamomile and should proceed with caution.
Lavender essential oil
The most commonly used essential oil, lavender is renowned for its relaxing, calming effects. It’s been used for both religious and medicinal purposes for more than 2,500 years. In Egypt, it was used as a perfume and for mummifications, while Romans used it for cooking, bathing, and for its wonderful scent.
There are a host of studies that have proven the effectiveness of lavender on stress, depression and anxiety. One study showed that it was able to reduce cortisol levels, a hormone that has a key role in a healthy cardiovascular system as well as how the body responds to stress. At the conclusion of the study researchers noted: “These findings suggest that lavender aromatherapy has relaxation effects and may have beneficial acute effects on coronary circulation.”
Lavender essential oil is considered to be a nervous system restorative, helping one to enjoy a better night’s sleep, eliminate or reduce the instance of panic attacks, reduce restlessness and general nervous tension. Research on patients using oral lavender essential oil taken in capsules found that heart rate variation significantly increased compared to the placebo while participants watched an anxiety-provoking film, suggesting that lavender had anxiolytic effects. Other research has demonstrated that the oil has the ability to reduce anxiety in patients who are visiting the dentist, and even those undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery.
Ylang ylang essential oil
Ylang ylang is another popular essential oil known to relieve anxiety thanks to its uplifting, calming effects. The oil is derived from the fresh flowers of the ylang-ylang tree, which is commonly found in the rainforests of some Asian and South Pacific Islands like Indonesia, Polynesia and the Philippines. It helps promote a more optimistic outlook and a more joyful attitude while soothing fears. It may even help to calm nervous palpitations due to its fairly strong sedative effects.
Due to its ability to act directly on the brain’s olfactory system, it often has immediate, positive effects that can release negative emotions, including low self-esteem, jealousy and anger. Thanks to its mild sedative effects, it’s also known to help fight insomnia and chronic fatigue, as well as reducing stress responses like high blood pressure or a rapid heartbeat.
Research conducted in 2006 out of Korea’s Geochang Provincial College in Korea, found that when combined with lavender and bergamot essential oils and used daily for four weeks, patients’ cortisol levels and psychological stress responses were reduced.
Cedarwood essential oil
Cedarwood essential oil is extracted through the process of steam distillation from wood pieces of the cedar wood tree. It acts as an excellent sedative, offering significant calming and soothing effects on the mind to relieve anxiety, stress and tension. It’s especially popular for promoting healthier sleep patterns, which means it’s frequently used by those who suffer from insomnia. Used in aromatherapy applications such as a roll on, the aroma can help induce the release of serotonin which is converted into melatonin in the brain. Melatonin is the hormone that’s essential for sleep – it induces fatigue, calm and more restorative sleep, which also has positive effects for chronic stress and anxiety sufferers.
Bergamot essential oil
Bergamot is a citrus fruit – its rind is used for extracting the essential oil. Though it’s a tropical plant whose roots can be traced back to Southeast Asia, it thrives in Europe as well and was widely cultivated in Italy’s southern region. It was named after the city of Bergamo, Italy, where it was first sold.
Bergamot essential oil is known for its calming properties and has frequently been used to treat depression by boosting energy, but remarkably, it can also help to cure insomnia by promoting relaxation and reducing agitation. In a 2011 study conducted out of Srinakharinwirot University in Bangkok, Thailand, it was found to have the ability to treat anxiety, and it’s also been proven to reduce the corticosterone response to stress in rats.
Frankincense essential oil
Frankincense comes from the resin of the Boswellia sacara or Boswellia carterii tree that’s commonly grown in Somalia. The word “frankincense” comes from the old French term “franc encens,” which means “quality incense.”
Frankincense essential oil is excellent for relieving symptoms of anxiety as it offers spiritual grounding along with calming, tranquil energy. It’s commonly used to help quiet the mind and deepen meditation practice. In fact, it’s been associated with a number of different religions, including the Christian religion, as one of the first gifts given to Jesus by the wise men.
How To Make Your Anti-Anxiety Roll On
To make your anti-anxiety roll on with these powerful essential oils, simply remove the roller ball from the top of the bottle and add the appropriate number of drops of each essential oil. Fill the rest of the bottle with the carrier oil and then reattach roller ball at the top. Shake well.
To use, you’ll roll the bottle between your hands each time in order to ensure that the essential oils are well-mixed. Then you’ll apply it to various pressure points on the body, like the temples, behind the ears, bottoms of the feet, or insides of the wrist. It can be applied anywhere you feel it works best.
Storing Your Anti-Anxiety Roll On
It’s always best to store essential oils in a dark glass bottle to protect it from light, such as amber or dark blue. Always keep your roll on and any other essential oils away from direct sunlight and away from heat. A glass bottle is preferred as essential oils can degrade plastic over time, particularly citrus.
Don’t Fancy A DIY?
Instead, simply purchase this Plant Therapy Stress Free Pre-Diluted Essential Oil Roll On. It is a similar blend of essential oils diluted in fractionated coconut oil. It works just as well but is much more affordable for those of you who don’t have a ready supply of essential oils.
Plus, if you’d like to try more pre-diluted roll-ons, consider this set of six, including Headache Relief, Immune-Aid, Germ Fighter and more.
Using Essential Oils Safely
Always use essential oils safely. Most essential oils should not be applied neat to skin, but instead should be diluted in a carrier oil. If irritation occurs, discontinue use immediately. Some essential oils (listed here) are phototoxic and should not be used two hours prior to sun exposure. Essential oils should not be taken internally. Some essential oils are unsuitable for pregnant or nursing women or the elderly and some essential oils interfere with medications and health conditions. Please refer to our Essential Oil Safety Guide for full safety guidance.