Calming Essential Oils for Stress and Anxiety
Reviewed by Lisa Blohm, PhD, MSN, RN
Are you familiar with feelings of anxiety and stress? You’re far from alone! Emotional concerns affect the majority of Americans, and although the symptoms can’t be seen like a broken ankle, they can definitely make a difference to your overall health. And not a positive one! But a little-known trick with aromatherapy can help you out — it’s time to try calming essential oils for stress and anxiety relief!
You can’t always control your job situation, commitments, schedule, or even relationships, but you can control how you respond to each situation that shows up in your life. If inhaling or applying a mood-enhancing essential oil brings you some much-needed peace, why wouldn’t you go for that?!
In this article, we’ll be talking about the best calming essential oils for stress and anxiety and how aromatherapy can shift your life toward less tension and more balance!
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Our Top 10 — The Best Essential Oils for Stress and Anxiety
Aromatherapy with essential oils is one of the easiest and safest ways to treat mild stress and occasional anxiety.* Whether your anxiety has been relentlessly nagging at you for months on end, or you want to find something to get you through those occasional slumps, essential oils may be exactly the boost you need.* These concentrated plant-based compounds offer calming balance in a world that may seem out of control — and they’ve been a tried and true remedy for thousands of years.
Frankincense Carterii Essential Oil
With a smooth, grounding, and relaxing aroma, Frankincense is a sensational essential oil that’s been adored by cultures for over 5,000 years. It promotes a feeling of mental wellbeing and offers peaceful, relaxing, and spiritual benefits. Frankincense is often featured in essential oil blends for meditation because of its active properties that promote relaxation and deepen breathing. It’s naturally uplifting and great at warding off anxiety!
In addition to balancing emotions, you’ll often find Frankincense in calming perfumes, skin-enhancing treatments, and immune and memory boosters. Frankincense blends really well with cedarwood or sandalwood essential oils.
Frankincense Carterii Essential Oil for Mood:
- Helps the body manage (cope with) stress*1
- Decreases oxidative stress*
- Activates relaxation*
Clary Sage Essential Oil
Clary Sage is a sensational herb that’s bound to become one of your favorite go-to oils — if it’s not already. It is a must-have for creating a peaceful, relaxing atmosphere. Commonly used for women’s health, Clary Sage essential oil carries an earthy, fruity, and nutty scent that both women and men find calming and enjoyable.
Are you a creative who feels held back by stress and anxiety? The active plant properties in Clary Sage provide a grounding and calming environment that will help your creative spirit soar! When diffused, it helps relieve feelings of sadness, worry, and stress.
Clary Sage Essential Oil for Anxiety:
- Creates a relaxing, grounding atmosphere*
- Comforts, calms, and soothes*
- Elevates mood*
Vetiver Essential Oil
Vetiver displays a strong, woody, and pleasing aroma that creates balance. You’ll often see it in immune-boosting blends, but it does so much more! Its relaxing properties help melt away tension in the body and clear the mind of busy to-dos. Vetiver is linked to feelings of safety and groundedness.
It’s no wonder this amazing oil is often found in bedtime blends! It helps calm overwhelmed emotions during the day and can gently lull a racing mind to sleep.*
Vetiver Essential Oil for Stress:
- Provides a gentle boost to your mood*
- Helps clear the mind of restless ‘chatter’*2
- Supports calm breathing*
Bergamot Essential Oil
You may recognize the word bergamot if you’re familiar with Earl Grey tea. It was introduced to the tea-drinking world a couple of hundred years ago and is enjoyed to this day for its dark citrus flavor and added health benefits.
One of its main benefits? Cardiovascular support! Since a healthy heart and healthy stress levels go hand-in-hand, it’s no surprise then that bergamot helps with stress. It reduces your worries and helps you keep a cheery, positive outlook on life.
A combo of bergamot, neroli, and vanilla is exceptionally wonderful for moments of stress or overwhelming emotions.
Bergamot Essential Oil for Worry:
- Helps destress*
- Eases worry*
- Supports stress-related discomfort*
Geranium Essential Oil
Geranium has a fresh, herbaceous scent that is gently uplifting and harmonizing to the body. It’s great at helping you feel in control of your emotions and achieve a more peaceful, tranquil outlook on life.
Are you a woman going through perimenopause or menopause? Then this essential oil is especially for you! That’s because geranium has a calming, grounding effect on the infamous emotional turbulence of menopause. Whether you’re looking for general women’s health support or a sweetly-scented mood booster, geranium is a great calming essential oil to have in your anti-stress kit.
Geranium blends really well with scents like bergamot, patchouli, and sandalwood.
Geranium Essential Oil for Stress:
- Promotes relaxation*
- Uplifts mood*
- Supports breathing*
- Excellent for anxiety or mood swings caused by menopause*
Sandalwood Essential Oil
Australian Sandalwood is revered in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for its ability to support mental and emotional health. Its therapeutic compounds work gently to eliminate the anxiety, fear, and stress that’s holding you back from living a fulfilled life.
You’ll often see sandalwood in meditation blends because it’s able to quiet ‘mind chatter’ and soothe a troubled mind. Are you someone who struggles with nervous tension? Sandalwood nurtures tense nerves while boosting mental clarity and focus.
Sandalwood has a soft, rich, woody aroma that blends well with citrus, floral, or warm and spicy oils such bergamot, jasmine, or frankincense.
Sandalwood Essential Oil for Brain Health:
- Relieves anxiety by clearing nervous tension*
- Whisks away worry*
- Boosts mental clarity*
Chamomile Essential Oil
Are you looking for a gentle solution to lull yourself (or child) into a state of rest and relaxation? Chamomile is it. This ultra-soothing herb has a decades-long record as one of the best-selling herbal teas. It’s one of nature’s best gifts for calming the mind and body!
Using chamomile essential oil can help ease worry, diffuse feelings of anger, and offer a lending hand during times of grief or over-sensitivity. It soothes the turmoil of a restless mind, and when applied topically, can add cooling, calming relief to aching muscles or joints.
Add a touch of lavender or geranium essential oils to chillax and unwind. This trio is especially calming in the bath before bed!
Chamomile Essential Oil for Tension:
- Eases frazzled nerves*
- Promotes relaxation*
- Promotes better sleep*
Lavender Essential Oil
What would a stress-relieving essential oils list without this calming herb?! Lavender became popular in 19th century England, but its history goes back some 2500 years — and the world is so much better for it! As an essential oil, lavender is uplifting, soothing, and is a tremendous tool for reducing stress, anxiety, and depression.*
But its stress-relieving benefits don’t stop there. Lavender also helps relieve nausea and tension headaches brought on by stress or poor sleep. In fact, one of lavender’s largest benefits is reducing insomnia, thanks to its soothing, comforting aroma.* It is truly one of the best essential oils to unwind.
Lavender Essential Oil for Stress:
- Relieves mild stress and anxiety*
- Encourages relaxation and a peaceful atmosphere*
- May help reduce insomnia*
The Best Essential Oil Blends for Anxiety
Are you the type of person who likes to save yourself the guess-work of figuring out which single essential oils go with which? If so, synergy blends are for you. Plant Therapy makes several different essential oil blends to meet a variety of wellness needs.
Whether you’re wanting to save time with DIY recipes, or just wanting to add a few yummy-smelling blends to your collection, Plant Therapy’s Synergy Blends can provide the researched, intentional support you need.
Worry Free Synergy Blend
Don’t want to mix up your own recipe for getting rid of stress? Worry Free Synergy Blend comes in a bottle or roll-on bottle for easy application in stressful times. It is a custom blend of lavender, marjoram, ylang-ylang, sandalwood, Peru balsam, and chamomile. Each oil works synergistically together to ease stress, anger, and even sadness!
Overworked schedules and commitments will have you feeling run-down and exhausted — don’t worry, it happens. Just take a moment to breathe in the magic of aromatherapy for stress and anxiety relief. It’s one of the best things you can do for yourself this year — and ever!
Worry Free Synergy Blend Essential Oil for Stress:
- Clears the mind of busy thoughts*
- Minimizes feelings of stress and worry*
- Helps instill a more cheerful outlook*
Calming The Child Synergy
Do your kids have a gazillion more times the amount of energy than you do? Sounds about right.
Calming The Child is the calming essential oil blend you need in your household. This terrific blend is an uplifting aroma that soothes overactive nerves. It combines essential oils for relaxation: mandarin orange, tangerine, lavender, and roman chamomile. Keep it close on hand to make nap time, bedtime, or any time less chaotic and more calm!
Calming The Child Synergy Blend Essential Oil for Stress:
- Soothes agitated nerves*
- Calms turbulent emotions*
- Encourages relaxation*
The Best Essential Oils for Stress and Relaxation Line-Up
Looking for a detailed line-up of essential oils for stress and relaxation? Here we go:
Calming Essential Oils for Stress and Anxiety Singles
- Basil (KidSafe)
- Bergamot (KidSafe)
- Blue Tansy
- Cedarwood (KidSafe)
- Chamomile (KidSafe)
- Clary Sage (KidSafe)
- Cypress (KidSafe)
- Copaiba (KidSafe)
- Frankincense Caterii (KidSafe)
- Frankincense Serrata — KidSafe
- Geranium (Egyptian) (KidSafe)
- Grapefruit (KidSafe)
- Helichrysum (KidSafe)
- Ho Wood (KidSafe)
- Jasmine Absolute (KidSafe)
- Lavender (KidSafe)
- Lemon (KidSafe)
- Lime (Steam Distilled) (KidSafe)
- Mandarin Orange
- Marjoram (KidSafe)
- Neroli (KidSafe)
- Patchouli (KidSafe)
- Rose Absolute (KidSafe)
- Sandalwood (Australian) (KidSafe)
- Sandalwood (Indian)
- Study Time (KidSafe)
- Tangerine (KidSafe)
- Vetiver (KidSafe)
- Ylang Ylang Complete
Essential Oil Blends for Anxiety, Stress, Worrying, Calming, and Overthinking
Want to know which essential oil blends to choose for anxiety? See the below list for the specific stress-related concern you’re facing:
- The Best Essential Oils for Worries: Energy, Relax, Meditation, Calming The Child (KidSafe), Happy Place (KidSafe), Sweet Dreams (KidSafe)
- The Best Essential Oils for Stress Balance, Brain Aid, Tranquil, Meditation, Worry Free, Calming The Child (KidSafe), Happy Place (KidSafe)
- The Best Essential Oils for Relaxation: Brain Aid, Tranqui, Relax, Worry Free, Calming The Child (KidSafe), Happy Place (KidSafe)
- The Best Essential Oils for Worrying: Brain Aid, Relax, Meditation, Worry Free, Calming The Child (KidSafe), Happy Place (KidSafe), Sweet Dreams (KidSafe)
- The Best Essential Oils for Overthinking: Brain Aid, Meditation, Worry Free, Calming The Child (KidSafe)
How to Use Essential Oils for Stress
When approaching how to use essential oils for stress, it’s helpful to first consider the type of stress or anxiety you’re experiencing. Did you have a terrible day at the office? Are you looking for a way to wind down or are you seeking something that can lift you up? This will help you choose between an uplifting, mood-boosting oil and a relaxing, calming option.
Select the type of essential oil or essential oil blend you want to use and then follow the specific oil’s usage guide. Here are some general tips on how to use essential oils for stress:
- Aromatherapy: Diffuse 3 or more drops of your chosen aromatherapy for stress into your diffuser. You could use a personal essential oil inhaler for an on-the-go approach. Don’t have an inhaler? No worries! Just place a couple drops of the essential oil on a cotton ball and breathe in the calming benefits.
- Topically: Apply the calming essential oils onto your neck, wrists, chest, or soles of your feet. You can do this throughout the day, diluting on your own, or in a pre-diluted roll-on bottle. You can also mix the essential oil into any natural body cream or lotion. Stress-relieving massage, anyone?
- Baths: Usually when you’re experiencing stress-related symptoms, your body is crying for you to show it some love, and what better way to do this than by stepping into the bath? Mix a few drops of your calming essential oils into a small amount of soap or bubble bath and add after you’ve filled the tub. Bonus! Add Epsom salts for more relaxation benefits.
Keep in mind, everyone reacts differently to different essential oils. We recommend performing a skin patch test and watch for possible allergic reactions. Be sure to check which oils are safe to use with children and which are not.
Aromatherapy for Stress Recipes
If you enjoy making your own blends, you can have fun experimenting with different anxiety-relieving singles. Just be sure the oils you combine are safe for kids if you have young ones at home! Not all essential oils are kid-safe.
Try these blends in your diffuser to relieve stress and anxiety:
- Hakuna Matata: Bergamot (3 drops), Frankincense Serrata (2 drops), Lavender (2 drops)
- Zen Out: Blue Tansy (4 drops), Tangerine (3 drops), Sweet Orange (1 drop), Ylang Ylang (1 drop), Patchouli (1 drop)
- Mood Lift: Lavender (4 drops), Bergamot (4 drops), Clary Sage (3 drops), Sweet Orange (2 drops)
- Rise and Shine: Copaiba (4 drops), Lavender (3 drops), Blue Tansy (3 drops), Frankincense (2 drops)
- Grateful: Geranium (3 drops), Lemon (3 drops), Ylang Ylang (3 drops), Roman Chamomile (1 drop)
Other Ways to Manage Stress and Anxiety
Aromatherapy and natural supplements can be very helpful for managing stress and anxiety, but sometimes there are overlooked causes that trigger your stress levels. We suggest doing a mental check-in with yourself to see how you can help yourself cope with feelings of anxiety, stress, or depression.
Are there any changes you may need to make to set yourself up for greater success in your health and in your life? Here are some examples of ways you can manage stress and anxiety:
Chances are you knew exercise is great for your heart health, but did you know it’s also great for your mental health? As you engage in physical activity, the production of endorphins (your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters) is bumped up.
Some of the best exercises for stress relief include:
- Brisk walking, jogging or running
- Boxing or HIIT workouts
Make sure you eat a balanced, healthy and drink plenty of water too! And also, don’t forget to ‘exercise’ your mental health. Practicing meditation can greatly reduce stress!
You’re up at night, unable to sleep because you’re stressed. Then you’re extra tired, moody, and go figure — more stressed — the next day because you didn’t get enough sleep. We all know what it’s like to wake up on the wrong side of the bed, but if you’re a chronic night owl, and struggling with stress, it might be time to refill your sleep bank.
Calming essential oils for stress and sleep as well as natural sleep-supporting supplements can do wonders in the sleep department! We recommend getting an average of at least 7 hours of sleep each night.
Do you have a social support network you can depend on? Life’s too short to let negative people bring you down! Of course, you can’t always control who you come across while as you’re out there living your life, but if you’re prone to anxiety and stress, then limiting your exposure to added stress could really help you in your goal of achieving more emotional balance.
If you live alone or just love animals, cuddling a pet is another way to help relieve stress and anxiety!
Choose Your Calming Essential Oils for Stress and Anxiety
There are truly endless options when it comes to treating stress and anxiety with aromatherapy! Don’t let our ‘best of’ list overwhelm you — after all, our goal is to help you find LESS stress, not more! Instead of getting overwhelmed, consider walking away from this article with just one calming essential oil you want to try — and go from there.
If choosing one still seems intimidating, that’s why we’re here to help! Hit us up in the LiveChat box or give us a call. We can help suggest specific oil blends to address your unique symptoms related to stress and anxiety.
And, don’t forget — we offer free shipping! Now, that’s NOT stressful at all! Happy shopping, and let us know how we can help you find your healthy place.
Cautions: Do not use essential oils undiluted topically. Some essential oils are not safe for children ages 10 and younger. Keep out of reach of children. If pregnant, consult your doctor before use. We do not recommend the ingestion of essential oils.
Please Be Advised: The International Federation of Aromatherapists does not recommend that Essential Oils be taken internally unless under the supervision of a Medical Doctor who is also qualified in clinical Aromatherapy. All cautions listed for individual oils do not include those cautions from ingestion.
- Okano S, Honda Y, Kodama T, Kimura M. The Effects of Frankincense Essential Oil on Stress in Rats. J Oleo Sci. 2019;68(10):1003-1009. doi: 10.5650/jos.ess19114. PMID: 31582666.
- Reference: Matsubara E, Shimizu K, Fukagawa M, Ishizi Y, Kakoi C, Hatayama T, Nagano J, Okamoto T, Ohnuki K, Kondo R. Volatiles emitted from the roots of Vetiveria zizanioides suppress the decline in attention during a visual display terminal task. Biomed Res. 2012;33(5):299-308. doi: 10.2220/biomedres.33.299. PMID: 23124250.