The Best Essential Oils for Relaxation

The Best Essential Oils for Relaxation

Stress occurs for a variety of reasons. From workplace frustrations to relationship that drain you, the factors that contribute to stress and anxiety can quickly add up, leaving you almost unable to relax in even the most peaceful of settings.

When used effectively, essential oils can play an important role in helping you deal with serious stress and feel more relaxed.

Below, we’ve listed the five best essential oils for helping you feel calm, relaxed and peaceful in periods of serious stress. If you feel anxious, frustrated or stressed, the oils listed below can, if used effectively, have a significant positive impact on your quality of life and wellbeing.

Lavender Oil

Sometimes the most common oil is also the most effective. Lavender oil is widely used as a tool to reduce and limit stress, anxiety and panic attacks, particularly among people that suffer from insomnia as a result of overwhelming stress.

Lavender oils’ value as a stress-reducing substance isn’t due to hype -- it’s thoroughly backed up by science. A study of 97 people found that, after viewing a stress-inducing film, people who had previously inhaled lavender oil were measurably less likely to have an elevated heart rate.

If you’re stressed, anxious or just can’t get into a relaxed mood no matter how hard you try, a small addition of lavender oil to your daily care routine could have huge positive effect on your level of personal relaxation and wellbeing.

Ylang Ylang

Ylang ylang -- an oil extracted from the cananga odorata tree of Southeast Asia, is widely used as a relaxation tool throughout the Far East. Ylang ylang is an optimistic, uplifting oil that’s well known to improve mood and reduce feelings of stress, frustration and anxiety.

Beyond its popularity throughout Asia, ylang ylang has been widely used and studied throughout the West for its use as a mild sedative. Small amounts of ylang ylang oil can lower the effects of insomnia and contribute to a healthy sleep schedule, promoting better mental health.

If your stress is contributing to poor sleep (which, in turn, often creates more stress) the use of ylang ylang could play an important role in helping you fight against insomnia and gain control over your sleep schedule.


Frankincense is widely used in aromatherapy for its calming effects, making it one of the best essential oils for fighting against stress and improving your ability to relax. This oil has a mild, noticeable calming effect that makes it ideal for creating a relaxing, peaceful atmosphere.

There are several ways to use frankincense to reduce stress. One is to promote relaxation by burning frankincense candles or incense; another, which is popular in Korea, is to absorb this essential oil directly through the skin via self application or massage.

Chamomile Oil

Chamomile oil is one of several essential oils scientifically linked to a reduction in the effects of depression and anxiety. Its positive effects as a mood booster and stress reducer were found in a 2009 study by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.

Stress, anxiety and depression are closely linked. Since chamomile oil provides a meaningful, measurable reduction in depressive thoughts and activity, it’s one of the best essential oils for improving your mood, reducing your level of stress and increasing your level of relaxation.

Bergamot Oil

The effects of stress aren’t just mental -- they’re also physical. When your body feels stressed and incapable of relaxing, it increases its release of cortisol, a glucocorticoid steroid hormone that weakens your immune system and contributes to serious physical decline.

Bergamot oil is closely linked to a reduction in corticosteroid production, making it an important tool in preventing the physical effects of stress from affecting your body. Many studies indicate that regular use of bergamot oil in massage produces a significant improvement in relaxation.

If you can feel the physical effects of stress --particularly a weakened immune system and lower levels of energy -- creeping up on you, adding bergamot oil to your weekly care routine could be a great way to feel more relaxed and energized.

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