Best Essential Oil Blends for Anxiety and Panic Attacks

 

Anxiety is becoming increasingly more common today among individuals regardless of age or sex─although women are twice as likely to struggle with anxiety as men.1 In fact, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States.2 While it’s perfectly normal (and expected!) to experience anxiety at different times during your life, if the anxiety lasts for a prolonged period of time and won’t go away, it may be indicative of an anxiety disorder.

 

What is anxiety?

 

Put simply, anxiety is the body’s way of responding to stress. It usually involves feeling fearful about something and can also involve other symptoms. We may experience anxiety before a big presentation at work, before a big life change, or before some other major event. The truth is, there are many things that can cause anxiety. However, if it begins to worsen, with normal everyday events becoming anxiety-inducing or even anxious feelings about nothing at all, then it may be time to determine if there is an anxiety disorder or other underlying health issue present. A qualified medical health professional can help determine if a specific diagnosis needs to be made.

 

Symptoms of anxiety

 

People experience anxiety and its symptoms in a variety of ways, so it may not look exactly the same with every person. However, there are some common symptoms that many people experience when dealing with anxiety. A few of them include:

 

  • A feeling of fear, panic, or apprehension
  • Excessive worry
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Irritability
  • Trouble concentrating

What causes anxiety?

 

While major life events or life changes can definitely cause anxiety, there are a number of other factors that can also contribute to it. For instance, some individuals with certain personality types may be more prone to anxiety. Or someone may even be genetically predisposed to having it, especially if they have family members who struggle with anxiety. But there are also several other factors that can contribute to anxiety as well, such as:

 

  • Underlying health issues
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Nutrient deficiencies
  • Experiencing trauma
  • Exposure to prolonged stress
  • Lack of quality sleep
  • Substance abuse
  • Other mental health disorders
  • Medication side effects3

What are panic attacks?

 

young woman with hand on heart experiencing panic attack

 

Although many people may think that panic attacks and anxiety are the same thing, they actually are not. Anxiety can often lead to panic attacks, causing some individuals to experience both. However, not everyone who has anxiety experiences panic attacks. Panic attacks come on very suddenly and cause intense physical reactions due to fear. Here are just a few symptoms of a panic attack:

 

  • Increased heartrate
  • Shortness of breath
  • Upset stomach and/or other stomach issues
  • Sweating
  • Shaking
  • Overwhelming feelings of fear or apprehension
  • Feeling lightheaded
  • Chest pain4

Panic attacks can occur at any time and are frequently brought on by stress, although they can also occur without any apparent cause. Most people will only experience them just a few times in their lives, if at all. However, they can be quite scary and understandably so. Prolonged and frequent panic attacks may lead to a panic disorder and should be discussed with a qualified health practitioner to make sure there is nothing else going on.

 

Common issues caused by anxiety and panic attacks

 

As mentioned before, occasional bouts of anxiety are perfectly normal and quite frankly, a part of life. However, if anxiety or panic attacks are prolonged and persistent, they can lead to other health issues if not dealt with. Unfortunately, we seem to be getting more used to living under a constant state of stress. However, this is definitely not good for our bodies. When we live in a constant state of stress and anxiety, it can affect numerous bodily systems and cause issues that may affect our health. Just a few of these issues include:

 

  • Sleep issues
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Negatively affecting the body’s ability to detox
  • Becoming more susceptible to illness or disease
  • Headaches
  • Heart palpitations
  • Other mental disorders
  • Weight gain5

Common treatments for anxiety and panic attacks

 

woman in sitting yoga pose

 

Anxiety and panic disorders are generally considered to be relatively easy to treat. Conventional treatments often include counseling or therapy, medication, and/or making changes to reduce stress—depending on the severity of the disorder.

 

However, there are many natural health options to help cope with anxiety or panic disorders, and many can even be used in conjunction with conventional treatments. Some natural options include:

 

  • Dietary changes such as eliminating sugar, gluten, and/or dairy
  • Reducing or eliminating caffeine intake
  • Exercising regularly
  • Getting quality sleep
  • Practicing yoga, meditation, or prayer
  • Using herbs and supplements
  • Balancing hormones
  • Using essential oils
  • Reducing stress where possible

Essential oil blends for anxiety and panic attacks

 

Essential oils can be especially useful when dealing with stress and anxiety. There are a number of essential oils that have calming and relaxing properties, so there are a number of options when creating essential oil blends for anxiety and panic attacks. And as an added bonus, they can be used in conjunction with both holistic and conventional treatments for anxiety and panic disorders.

 

Below, I’m sharing two essential oil blends for anxiety and panic attacks—one for each situation—and they both smell fantastic. Feel free to use these blends interchangeably or substitute other essential oils to suit your needs and preferences.

 

Both of these blends would do extremely well in a diffuser. However, if you want to bring your blends with you on the go, use either blend in a personal aromatherapy inhaler. Aromatherapy inhalers can be purchased online from many different companies that sell essential oil supplies. They’re affordable, incredibly simple to use, and can easily be slipped in your purse or pocket so you can bring them with you wherever you go.

 

Keep reading to see how essential oil blends for anxiety and panic attacks can be beneficial, as well as how to use them.

 

Anxiety blend

 

The essential oils used in this blend have a long history of use for stress and anxiety. All of them contain therapeutic properties that are considered beneficial when feeling anxious or stressed. Bergamot, clary sage, and vetiver blend together beautifully, and the final result is a lovely aroma that can help promote feelings of calm and relaxation.

 

1. Bergamot

 

bergamot fruit on green background

 

Citrus oils in general are believed to have a positive effect on the mind. The fresh, sharp aromas tend to brighten our moods and also help us feel more invigorated, and bergamot is no exception. In fact, it’s considered to be one of the best essential oils overall for reducing feelings of stress, tension, and anxiety. What’s more, it’s backed by research. Studies indicate that bergamot can be useful in reducing the effects of stress and anxiety, meaning it’s a great option to consider when you’re feeling anxious.6

 

2. Clary sage

 

Clary sage is a great essential oil to have on hand if you struggle with stress and anxiety. A study conducted in 2014 showed that patients who inhaled clary sage had decreased cortisol levels, indicating decreased stress.7 Another study found that patients who inhaled clary sage experienced reduced feelings of stress and lowered blood pressure during urodynamic exams.8 Clary sage has a lovely aroma and blends well with many other essential oils, which is why it’s frequently used in formulations for anxiety.

 

3. Vetiver

 

Vetiver essential oil has a rich, deep aroma that both men and women find to be incredibly soothing. Additionally, it is believed to be a very grounding and centering oil that can help you feel more balanced and relaxed. In fact, an animal study conducted in 2015 found that vetiver showed anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) properties in rats that were exposed to its aroma.9 It also happens to be a great addition to essential oil blends, often adding a note of depth and completion to the overall aroma.

 

Anxiety blend recipe


For diffusion use:

 

  • 5 drops bergamot essential oil
  • 2 drops clary sage essential oil
  • 2 drops vetiver essential oil

*Adjust the number of drops based on your diffuser instructions or adjust to suit your preferences.

 

For a personal inhaler:

 

  • Follow the instructions on the inhaler and adjust the number of drops as needed.

Panic attack blend

 

Lavender, chamomile, and patchouli blended together result in an absolutely fantastic final product. Not only are each of these oils considered beneficial for promoting a relaxed environment, but the combined aroma is phenomenal as well.

 

1. Lavender

 

lavender flowers behind lavender oil bottle

 

Lavender is one of the most well-known and frequently used essential oils. The aroma of lavender is easily distinguished by most and is one of the most commonly used aromas (both synthetic and natural) for bath and spa products formulated to promote relaxation. The herb has been used for many years for issues related to the nervous system; and more recently, the essential oil has been found to have a positive effect on stress and anxiety.10 Overall, lavender is considered to be one of the most relaxing essential oils, making it a great choice for panic attacks.

 

2. Chamomile

 

Like lavender, chamomile is well-known for its calming and relaxing properties. Chamomile herb is one of the oldest of the herbal medicines and is still one of the most popular and widely used medicinal herbs today.11 Chamomile has a lovely, fruity aroma that has a wide variety of therapeutic properties. It’s frequently used to promote a calm and relaxed environment and even used to promote quality sleep. In fact, it’s commonly found in essential oil blends formulated for fussy, teething, and colicky babies due to its calmative properties.

 

3. Patchouli

 

Similar to vetiver, patchouli is considered a very grounding and balancing oil. Though lacking in scientific studies, the rich, earthy aroma of patchouli is believed to evoke a sense of peace and calm and has been used to promote feelings of relaxation for hundreds of years. Although many like to use patchouli on its own, it blends very well with many essential oils and can provide depth and grounding to a blend, echoing its therapeutic benefits for the mind.

 

Panic attack blend recipe

 

finger over essential oil diffuser

 

For diffusion use:

 

  • 4 drops chamomile essential oil
  • 3 drops lavender essential oil
  • 2 drops patchouli essential oil

*Adjust the number of drops based on your diffuser instructions or adjust to suit your preferences.

 

For a personal inhaler:

 

  • Follow the instructions on the inhaler and adjust the number of drops as needed.

Use essential oil blends to reduce anxiety

 

In this day and age, many people are finding themselves struggling with anxiety and panic disorders. Whether it be from exposure to prolonged stress or even some other factor, anxiety can be a real struggle for many individuals. Ideally, one of the best solutions for anxiety is to reduce the amount of stress. However, that’s not always possible.

 

Luckily, there are many effective conventional and holistic treatment options for anxiety, including the use of essential oils. When used in combination with other relaxing oils, anxiolytic essential oils can be an effective and incredibly pleasant way to reduce feelings of anxiety and panic. Start with the blends mentioned above for anxiety and consider a ZYTO galvanic skin response or voice analysis scan as well to discover your top products and services for overall wellness.

 

 

 

About Nicole Stine

Nicole Stine is a certified herbalist who has numerous aromatherapy and natural health certifications. She is passionate about using herbs and essential oils safely and thoroughly enjoys researching and writing about natural health, as well as creating her own formulations. 

 

 

 

Sources:

1. “Anxiety Causes.” Healthline Media. Healthline.com.

2. “About ADAA.” Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Adaa.org.

3. “Causes of Anxiety.” WebMD LLC. Webmd.com.

4. “Panic attacks and panic disorder.” Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Mayoclinic.org.

5. Cherney, Kristeen. “Effects of Anxiety on the Body.” Healthline Media. Healthline.com.

6. Navarra, M., C. Mannucci, M. Delbò, & G. Calapai. “Citrus bergamia essential oil: from Basic research to clinical application.” Frontiers in Pharmacology 6 (2015): 36.

7. Lee, K.B., E. Cho, and Y.S. Kang. “Changes in 5-hydroxytryptamine and cortisol plasma levels in menopausal women after inhalation of clary sage oil.” Phytotherapy Research 28, no. 11 (2014): 1599-1605.

8. Seol, G.H., Y.H. Lee, et al. “Randomized controlled trial for salvia sclarea or lavandula angustifolia: differential effects on blood pressure in female patients with urinary incontinence undergoing urodynamic examination.” The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 19, no. 7 (2013): 664–670.

9. Saiyudthong, S., S. Pongmayteegul, C.A. Marsden, & P. Phansuwan-Pujito. “Anxiety-like behaviour and c-fos expression in rats that inhaled vetiver essential oil.” Natural Product Research 29, no. 22 (2015): 2141–44.

10. Koulivand, P.H., M.K. Ghadiri, and A. Gorji. “Lavender and the Nervous System.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine (2013): 1–10.

11. “Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with a bright future.” Molecular Medicine Reports 3, no. 6 (2010): 895-901.