15 Essential Oils For Anxiety And Stress – Boost Your Mood

If you’re looking for natural remedies to help manage anxiety and stress, essential oils may be worth considering. In this post, we’ll explore the top 15 essential oils for anxiety and stress. They are known for their calming effects and their impact on mood. Whether used alone or in combination, these oils can provide a soothing and relaxing experience.

15 Essential Oils For Anxiety And Stress – Boost Your Mood

In this post we discuss the best 15 and their impact upon mood. These oils can be used alone, or in combination. Take the time to try each and discover which mood boosting anxiety tips work for you! essential oils for anxiety and stress

Our Sense Of Smell And The Limbic System.

When using aromatherapy essential oils for anxiety, or any condition related to mood, we stimulate the olfactory bulb. The olfactory bulb, an ancient part of the brain, is located within our limbic system.

When we stimulate our olfactory process, we receive “information” that is coded within the aroma. This aroma then travels from our olfactory bulb to the other structures that make up the limbic system. The limbic system is located near the center of our brain and within the central nervous system.

The olfactory, limbic and central nervous system structures are responsible for triggering a wide range of human behavior. This includes our emotions, our motivations, our view of self and how we form our memories.

This system operates instinctively and is responsible for triggering habitual and automatic behaviors. Those reactions and responses that usually occur without conscious thought or will.

The limbic system is also responsible for translating the sensory data received from our thinking brain, the neo-cortex, turning them into the motivational forces that are responsible for our behavior.

essential oils for anxiety and stress - impact upon the limbic systemlimbic system
Essential Oil Impact Upon The Limbic System

How To Use Essential Oils.

Your limbic system is responsible for your initial reaction to an event, how you perceive the event (do you feel threatened, joyful or stressed), and your resulting physiological response, all delivered via your endocrine system.

So when stimulated you gain information which is processed conceptually in the cortex. This then is passed to the limbic system where it is evaluated and a motivational or behavioral response is made.

It is this process that determines your emotional state and therefore how you respond to certain triggers. These responses are as individual as you are.

For example a large group of people may experience and be witness to the exact same event, but all have a different emotional response.

Their response will be on a scale, ranging from safe, or secure, or joyful all the way to fight or flight and abject terror. The responses are neither right or wrong, simply they are a reflection of the cumulative experiences had to date.

It is for you to determine if, and when, your emotive reaction to certain situations is not helpful to you. If you desire to modify a behavioral reaction, you need to identify what the triggers are and then replace your experiential determined habitual responses with new replaced behaviors.

Over time the behaviors you choose to display, replace the old and become the new norm. Now to be clear, this doesn’t mean you should just decide to replace every adverse feeling, such as fear. Nor should you try.

Fear is a normal reaction that prevents you from making risky decisions and being harmed or hurt. Everyone will know the behaviors they exhibit habitually and be aware if these are exaggerated or if they negatively impact your emotional health and feelings of well-being.

The key is identifying the trigger. What causes this behavior? Why is this your response? What in your past has led you to react to certain situations in the way that you do?

You then need to replace these stored experiences with new ones. Building positive links. Releasing those that no longer serve you. This is where essential oils come in!

Inhaling aromas from essential oils also have different effects and can stimulate your limbic system. This enables you to form memories.

This then explains why a familiar smell may trigger memories or emotions. If you have positive and fond memory association with an aroma on this list then it is one that should be used first.

This memory association assists mood elevation. This association is why oils have become so popular as natural remedies

Here Are The 15 Best Essential Oils For Anxiety and stress.

lavender essential oil

1. Lavender – Helps Us Relax and Gain Quality Sleep.

This is possibly the best known of all aromas used for relaxation. Lavender can help us calm the mind and body, and the oils may help you reduce stress. Its effects are almost instant. But less well known is that research shows Lavender essential oil1Effects of lavender aromatherapy on insomnia and depression in women college students is highly successful for the treatment of insomnia.

A research study, comprising 48 female college students, found Lavender fragrance effective for easing sleep problems and also helped with depression in the participants.

If you experience trouble getting a good nights sleep we encourage you to try this soothing scent.

2. Cinnamon – Allows Physical And Emotional Release.

The active ingredients of cinnamon essential oil, and responsible for its benefits are eugenol, cinnamaldehyde, phellandrene and methyl eugenol.

Research into Cinnamon oil2Antispasmodic Effect of Essential Oils and Their Constituents: A Review found it has an antispasmodic effect on our physical body. This means it helps us to relax our muscles. It is great to treat aches and sprains. It also soothes rheumatism and arthritis.

Often these muscular aches and pains are associated with stress, and once this stress is released it allows us to become less anxious.

3. Pine – Relieve Stress

Have you noticed that most people associate Christmas with the scent of pine? Perhaps the reason that pine trees and their aroma makes us more cheerful in the holidays is because research has shown that pine scent3Physiological and Psychological Relaxation Effects of Fir Essential Oil on University Students lowers our levels of anxiety.

A research study in Japan found that those who people who went for a walk through pine forests had significantly lower levels of depression and stress.

The same study found that the subjects who had anxiety were able to remain relaxed for longer periods of time after inhaling the scent of Pine.

4. Rose Geranium – For Relaxation

The Rose Geranium helps relax our entire body. It also has properties that boost mood. A great choice for those that have times when they feel low or down in the dumps.

This is one of the essential oils that help to balance hormonal levels. This oil provides a major mood boost and enhances our feelings of relaxation.

The aromas effects are reported to last for a long period of time. This can help you feel calm throughout the day.

Rose Geranium was evaluated in a research study4The Effects of Essential Oils on the Nervous System: A Scoping Review and was shown to soothe the central nervous system. If you are caught up in a cycle of work, stress, and anxiety, the Rose Geranium will help.

It is one of the very best essential oils used for anxiety.

clary sage essential oil

5. Clary Sage Oils Help With Anxiety.

Choose Clary Sage for treating anxiety and stress.

The Korean Academy of Nursing, conducted a study5The effect of aroma inhalation method on stress responses of nursing students which involved inhaling clary sage, lavender, peppermint, and rosemary oils.

All 4 oils resulted in lowered levels of anxiety, however Clary Sage had the best results when individuals took part in a stress test.

6. Bergamot – To Find Calm

Bergamot essential oil comes from the citrus rind of unripe orange like fruit. Like the other essential oils already listed, it provides a deep state of relaxation and calm. It is also one of the best essential oils to help sleep!

Many individuals find the scent of Bergamot refreshing and helpful for restoring a sense of calm.

This essential oil can provide major relief for those suffering long term stress.

In another clinical study Bergamot6Acute effects of bergamot oil on anxiety-related behaviour and corticosterone level in rats was found to be as helpful as diazepam for reducing corticosterone responses to stress and for correcting HPA axis activity.

7. Citrus – For Energy

If you’re looking for a little pick-me-up, you may want to forget the cup of coffee and opt for citrus instead.

Scents like lemon and orange are known for their Vitamin C properties, but research shows that inhaling pure citrus essential oils7Citrus Essential Oils in Aromatherapy: Therapeutic Effects and Mechanisms boosts energy and elevates mood.

8. Vanilla – Mood Boosting Anxiety Tips

Vanilla may sometimes be thought of as bland, but this scent is anything but. Vanilla is superb when it comes to boosting our happiness levels.

In one study researchers found that inhaling vanilla bean8Influence of Fragrances on Human Psychophysiological Activity: With Special Reference to Human Electroencephalographic Response essential oil elevated participants’ feelings of joy and relaxation.

The results were measured through mood mapping, which included emotions ranging from happiness and stimulation to apathy and irritation.

9. Pumpkin Pie – To Boost Feelings Of Love And Desire

In another study conducted by The Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation, researchers found that 40 percent of male test subjects responded more positively and demonstrated greater empathy and love when pumpkin essential oil was combined with lavender.

10. Peppermint – To Boost Motivation

Peppermint essential oil can lessen stress and anxiety and improve concentration and motivation!

A study from the Wheeling Jesuit University9Modulation of cognitive performance and mood by aromas of peppermint and ylang-ylang found that inhaling peppermint was linked to participants enhanced cognitive stamina, feelings that enhanced motivation and overall happiness levels.

jasmine essential oil

11. Jasmine – To Ease Anxiety and Stress

The floral scent of Jasmine has serious mood boosting perks.

2010 study10Stimulating effect of aromatherapy massage with jasmine oil found that jasmine created a sense of alertness, and also was able to ease and lower the instances of depressive thought patterns.

Researchers found that the essential oil from jasmine helped relieve depression and also boosted and stabilized mood. A powerful punch from this tiny flower.

Many found Jasmine worked better in massage more than the oil alone, stating if they could add it to their skin the results were outstanding. Just remember never to apply it in its pure state, always dilute it with a carrier oil first.

They say, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” and that may be very true when it comes to stress related headaches. Research suggests that the aroma of apple helps ease migraine.

One study found that those who liked the scent of apple had reduced stress related symptoms as well as far shortened migraine episodes.

Previous studies also found the aroma of green apple helps to control feelings of anxiety and lowered stress. You can get excellent essential oil from R V Essential.

13. Roman Chamomile Essential Oil

Most people know chamomile tea, but may not know the oil is used in aromatherapy to help reduce anxiety. Roman Chamomile essential oil is one of our top mood boosting oils.

Diluted chamomile essential oil reduces stress and helps relieve insomnia and muscle tension.

The roman chamomile has been used for over 2000 years and has been used as a treatment for a variety of ailments including vomiting, insomnia, restlessness, and ADD. This is due to the calming effect it has on our body.

14. Sweet Marjoram – To Ease PMS

Sweet Marjoram helps during the menstrual cycle by reducing cramps, improving circulation and elevating mood.

It enables you to enter a deep state of relaxation of both the mind and body and helps battle insomnia so you get a deeper night’s sleep.

Many use sweet marjoram essential oil with other oils such as lavender, bergamot, chamomile and ylang ylang essential oil for an even more powerful effect.

15. Ylang Ylang Essential Oil (Try it with rose essential oil)

Ylang Ylang is a tropical flowering plant and has a sweet fragrance, with the essential oil being extracted from the petals of its star shaped flowers.

It has been shown to help with anxiety and feelings of stress, and is a great choice for those who find the aroma of Jasmine to be overpowering.

Make sure that if choosing Ylang Ylang you get a pure therapeutic brand. There are many synthetics due to the difficulty in obtaining large quantities of the flower.

It is often used as a combination therapy by mixing it with the citrus essential oil bergamot, rose essential oil or sweet orange essential oil.


  • 1
    Effects of lavender aromatherapy on insomnia and depression in women college students
  • 2
    Antispasmodic Effect of Essential Oils and Their Constituents: A Review
  • 3
    Physiological and Psychological Relaxation Effects of Fir Essential Oil on University Students
  • 4
    The Effects of Essential Oils on the Nervous System: A Scoping Review
  • 5
    The effect of aroma inhalation method on stress responses of nursing students
  • 6
    Acute effects of bergamot oil on anxiety-related behaviour and corticosterone level in rats
  • 7
    Citrus Essential Oils in Aromatherapy: Therapeutic Effects and Mechanisms
  • 8
    Influence of Fragrances on Human Psychophysiological Activity: With Special Reference to Human Electroencephalographic Response
  • 9
    Modulation of cognitive performance and mood by aromas of peppermint and ylang-ylang
  • 10
    Stimulating effect of aromatherapy massage with jasmine oil
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Educator and International Leadership Consultant with over 20 years experience, and still loving it! Qualified and Licensed Reiki Master Teacher, Hypnotherapist and Chakra Energy Health Body Worker. A traveler, a foodie and a knowledge seeker with a passion for all things healthy, herbal and energy holistic!

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