The Top 5 Essential Oils I Use to Help Alleviate my Anxiety and Depression
Disclaimer: the ideas here are not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease. Make sure to do your own research, and take into account your skin sensitivity before ever using essential oils full strength.
A Brief History
Even though I have been using essential oils for over twenty years, I have more recently been utilizing them to help decrease my anxiety and depression.
When I first began to use essential oils, it was to make things like cleaning products, air fresheners, or bug spray. They worked wonderfully for everything I used them for, but I wasn’t using them specifically to help me with my mental well-being.
When I’m in a funk, I struggle with doing things that deep down I know will help me feel at least a little bit better.
A few weeks ago, I came crashing down into a deep depression after a few months of being in an exhilarating mania. During my manic episode, I was in denial, and at the time, I thought I would always have unlimited energy. At the climax of my mania, I seemed to become everything I thought I ever wanted to be, but then when the crash came, all of my hopes and dreams crashed down along with it.
I ended up quitting my job and dropping out of school before it even started. Suddenly I became paralyzed once again with anxiety and depression.
I knew I needed to try to feel better somehow, so along with prayer, and my daily devotions, I began to be more proactive with my mental health. I turned once again to essential oils. Though I have many oils that I love, I decided to focus on my top five favorites during this article.
My number one ultimate favorite essential oil is patchouli oil. I know that when some people think of patchouli, they think, “hippy,” when they hear it, and maybe I do have a little of that in me, but I just can’t help but love this oil!
A few things I love about patchouli oil, aside from helping with my anxiety and depression are that it blends well with almost any oil I mix it with. It also works as a natural deodorant or perfume, so it is very versatile.
I love the idea of using natural products rather than products filled with toxins. The most beneficial aspect of patchouli oil for me though is that when I use it, it significantly lifts my mood. In fact, studies have shown that patchouli oil helps release serotonin and dopamine, which can help relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression (https://draxe.com/essential-oils/patchouli-oil/).
Something I take into consideration when using patchouli oil is that for others, it can be overbearing if you’re drenched in it, so I always mix it with another oil. This leads to my next choice of oil for lifting my mood and lessening my overall anxiety.
My second favorite essential oil for helping my mental wellbeing is the age-old lavender oil. It might sound overplayed to give praise to this, almost common essential oil, but the results I get from using it are anything but common- they’re awesome!
Lavender oil can help calm me even during a full-blown panic attack. I am not saying that my panic or anxiety suddenly disappear, but if I take the time to inhale the oil or bathe in it, I always feel somewhat better. It’s also a good combination to blend with patchouli oil, so it’s a win-win for me!
Studies have shown that using lavender oil topically, or through inhalation can really help combat anxiety and depression. It can be beneficial for reducing nervousness, feelings of restlessness, and even can help with insomnia (https://www.redstormscientific.com/lavender-essential-oil-for-anxiety-depression/).
The third oil on my list is orange oil, which according to studies has been shown to help lower cortisol levels, which in turn, can help reduce feelings of anxiety and depression (https://www.healthline.com/health/orange-essential-oil-uses#benefits).
Adding any other citrus oils to this also seems to improve my mood as well. I like to add orange oil to my baths, and it always lifts my spirits and gives me a boost of energy. Using orange oil in the diffuser, or as a homemade air freshener also helps brighten my mood.
Moving on, the fourth oil I will mention that helps with my anxiety and depression is none other than the truly sensual, sandalwood oil. It’s earthy, musky smell feels like heaven when added to my bath. I go the extra mile and buy sandalwood soap, and the outcome brings a sense of overall calmness and tranquillity. Also, mixing it with the oils I mentioned previously makes me feel like some kind of Egyptian princess because it smells so good!
Another thing I like about Sandalwood is that it can also be used full-strength (Always test, because if you have sensitive skin, it may cause irritation). This makes using it for deodorant or perfume ideal. Something else I’ve found helpful during this Covid-19 crisis is that dabbing some Sandalwood oil on the inside of my mask makes the act of wearing a mask less unpleasant.
Since sandalwood oil has been shown to have a sedative effect, it can help relieve anxiety (https://naturallivingfamily.com/sandalwood-essential-oil-benefits/). Once anxiety is diminished, this can help reduce depression as well.
Last but not least, my go-to essential oil for anxiety and depression is the all-time famous, peppermint oil. When added to my bath, or diluted in a spray (make sure you dilute this stuff!) combined with the other oils I spoke about, peppermint reigns supreme, because it makes me feel more alive.
During a depressive period, feeling more alive is what I long for since I am more likely to experience suicidal ideations or thoughts. I also tend to feel more groggy during these times. When depressing thoughts cry out to me, I now reach for a remedy. Diligently using peppermint oil along with the other essential oils mentioned here helps take the edge off.
Peppermint has been shown to be helpful because it has an overall calming effect. For depression, it can help energize and enhance one’s mood (https://www.leaf.tv/6416360/peppermint-oil-for-anxiety-depression/). It’s a superstar in my book!
There are so many essential oils I could praise during this article, that can help with a variety of different things. At any given moment, I have at least twenty to thirty bottles of different oils. Between using them in a diffuser, in my bath, or to make a spray or cleaning product, I never run out of ideas on what to do with them or how to use them. Knowing that they can also help with my anxiety and depression is also a huge bonus.
By no means am I “cured” from my chronic mental illnesses. They will be with me for life, but essential oils are truly helping my mental well-being. I hope that they will do the same for you and that if you have never tried them to improve your mood, you will begin to look into this idea so you can decide for yourself.
I’ll leave you with a little silly poem about essential oils-
~It makes good sense to have good scents when otherwise life may be feeling dim. Why not reach for what heaven sent- embrace essential oils as your trusted friends~
Thanks for reading! :)