Reducing Stress with Essential Oils

“Stress is the body’s response to difficult, pressured, or worrisome circumstances. Stress can cause both physical and emotional tension. Symptoms of stress include headaches, muscle soreness, fatigue, insomnia, nervousness, anxiety, and irritability.” (Modern Essentials, p. 341)

We all experience stress at some point in our lives. Some deal with stress almost constantly. And often times, little things can trigger a lot of stress. We live in a fast-paced environment that makes it difficult to slow down, take deep breaths, and calm our bodies—but this is what we need to do! Stress can be very harmful to our health, and it is important to learn how to deal with stress appropriately so it doesn’t control or ruin our lives.

Essential Oils for Stress:

According to Modern Essentials, the following oils may help reduce stress:
General Stress: lavender, Focus Blend, lemon, ylang ylang, bergamot, petitgrain, Joyful Blend, Restful Blend, grapefruit, Massage Blend, Roman chamomile, geranium, spikenard, Grounding Blend, frankincense, marjoram

Chemical Stress: lavender, rosemary, grapefruit, geranium, clary sage, lemon

Emotional Stress: Joyful Blend, clary sage, Reassuring Blend, bergamot, Comforting Blend, petitgrain, geranium, Roman chamomile, sandalwood

Environmental Stress: bergamot, cypress, geranium, cedarwood

Performance Stress: grapefruit, bergamot, ginger, rosemary

Physical Stress: Restful Blend, lavender, bergamot, geranium, marjoram, Roman chamomile, rosemary, thyme

Ways to Use Essential Oils to Reduce Stress

1. Aromatic Application
One of the best ways to get an essential oil quickly into our bodies for emotional balance is to inhale it. There are several ways to do this:

  • Inhale oil directly from the bottle.
  • Apply oil to hands, tissue, or nasal inhaler, and inhale.
  • Diffuse into the air with a diffuser.
  • Wear as perfume or cologne.

2. Topical Application
Most methods of topical application include relaxing your muscles as you apply the essential oil. This is especially helpful when dealing with stress because we tend to hold our stress in our muscles (i.e., tense shoulders, tight back, neck pain, etc.). Here are a few ways to apply essential oils topically for stress:

  • Add 5–10 drops of essential oil to 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) fractionated coconut oil, jojoba oil, or sweet almond oil, and massage on skin. Massage gently into tight muscles.
  • Add 1–2 drops to 1/4 cup (60 g) epsom salt, and dissolve in warm bathwater before bathing. Lavender essential oil is great for a relaxing bath!
  • Dilute oils as recommended, and apply 1–2 drops on neck, back, or bottoms of feet.

If you experience stress due to tiredness or insomnia, try this massage blend:
15 drops clary sage
10 drops lemon
5 drops lavender
2 Tbsp. (30 ml) Fractionated Coconut Oil

3. Essential Oil Stress Balloons
These stress balloons can be a great reminder to calm down if stress is overwhelming you. Plus, they are fun to play with (which can release endorphins and reduce stress).

Essential Oil Stress Balloons

  • Time: 5 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients & Supplies:

Instructions:

  1. In a glass bowl, mix together the epsom salt and essential oils until well combined.
    As you mix, break up as many clumps as you see so that the epsom salt doesn’t get stuck in the funnel.
  2. Place a funnel into the opening of the latex ballon, and carefully pour the epsom salt into the balloon. It is helpful to have a bowl beneath where you pour so you can catch any fallen salt and pour it into your balloon before tying it.
  3. Once all the epsom salt is in the balloon, pull the salt down into the balloon.
    Make sure the neck is clear of salt before tying off the balloon.
  4. To use, squeeze as you would a stress ball. After several squeezes, you should begin to smell the oil from inside the balloon.

Essential Oil Make & Take Class Idea

You can teach an essential oil class on reducing stress! Use the information in this article and Modern Essentials (see page references below) for your lesson. You can also use any of the following articles as well:
Living a Stress-Free and Healthy Life with Essential Oils
Using the “Introduction to Modern Essentials” as a Mini Textbook for Essential Oil Classes
Coloring with Essential Oil–Scented Pencils for Mental Health
Stress Less Diffuser Blend
Lavender Essential Oil Spotlight
Essential Oil Application: Aromatic
Essential Oil Application: Topical
Essential Oil Dilution
Modern Essentials, 8th Edition, p. 29 (“Nose and Olfactory System”)
Modern Essentials, 8th Edition, p. 341 (“Stress”)
Modern Essentials, 8th Edition, pp. 266–69 (“Emotions”)
Modern Essentials, 8th Edition, pp. 224–25 (“Anxiety”)

After a short lesson about stress and essential oils, allow your attendees to make the Essential Oil Stress Balloon (recipe above), a massage oil blend (oil suggestions above), a roll-on stress blend, or essential oil–scented pencils or send your attendees home with a coloring book, an “Introduction to Modern Essentials” booklet, a lavender essential oil sample, or a diffuser blend in a little sample bottle.

Source: Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 8th Edition.

Coco-Cacao Mint Fudgsicles

Go ahead and repeat the title of this recipe—it is seriously so fun to say! Coco-Cacao Mint Fudgsicles (it’s pronounced “ko-ko kuh-kow”). Coco-Cacao Mint Fudgsicles. Coco-Cacao Mint Fudgsicles. Now keep chanting the name as you throw the ingredients in the blender. It’s almost as fun to say as it is to eat these yummy, healthy treats!

Coco-Cacao Mint Fudgsicles

  • Servings: 4–6
  • Time: 10 minutes active; 3+ hours inactive
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (13 oz.) coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup (27 g) raw cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
  • 2 Tbsp. (24 g) coconut oil (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) maple syrup or honey
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 drop peppermint essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Add all ingredients to a blender, and blend like you would a smoothie.
  2. Pour into popsicle molds, and freeze for at least 3 hours or until solid.

EO-Flavored Water: Blueberry Watermelon Mint

Are you looking for a refreshing drink that is healthy and tasty? Try flavoring your water with essential oils and fruit. This blueberry watermelon mint combination is perfect for beating the heat during the summer.

Guidelines for Adding Essential Oils to Your Water:

  • Make sure to use an essential oil–safe water bottle! Glass or metal cups, bottles, and straws work great. Plastic should be avoided, especially with cinnamon or citrus essential oils.
  • This Natural Essential Oil Emulsifier really helps disperse the oils throughout your water. Just add 1 drop of emulsifier for every drop of essential oil. If you don’t want to use the emulsifier, then remember to shake the bottle to mix in the oils before drinking. When taken internally, essential oils can irritate the mucous membranes—especially when concentrated on the surface of the water—so make sure to add an emulsifier or shake the bottle really well before drinking.
  • Remember, a little goes a long way! If you don’t know whether you’ll like the taste, start out small—dip a toothpick in the oil and swish it in your water (the more you dip, the more oil you’ll get). A good rule of thumb is 1 drop oil to 1–4 cups of water.
  • Safety Note: Essential oils are very concentrated, and it is easy to overload the body if adding oils to your water every day. Occasionally is fine, but make sure to give your body a break in between uses.

Just Add Oils to Your Summer Fun

Make essential oils a part of your summer fun with these tips, ideas, and recipes!

Summer Cooking

We love cooking with essential oils—especially in the summertime when fresh fruits and vegetables are available and it’s warm enough to grill meats outside! While you can find a huge variety of summer recipes here, the following are some of our favorites:

Surviving Summer Activities

Staying cool and unbitten by mosquitoes is a challenge during summer activities, but you have a chance at succeeding with the following tips:

Summer Body Care Tips

Making sure to take care of your skin and hair during the summer is important for your health. Besides, who wants a sunburn to ruin even a week of their summer? Give these body care recipes a try for happy and healthy skin and hair!

Summer Activities for Children

Children quickly get bored during the summer since school is out and they have lots more free time. Keep them entertained with these essential oil crafts and activities!

Summer Vacations

You’ll be more than ready for your summer vacation after reading these articles:

Summer Diffusing

Diffuse like a pro this summer with these diffusing tips and diffuser blends:


Need help choosing a diffuser? Check out this post to learn all about the different kinds of diffusers and the benefits of each.

Summer Work

Summer often means yard work and gardening. Stay cool with these Frozen Eucalyptus Mint Towels while you work in the yard. Try freezing the towels rolled up in a shape to conform to your neck. Then secure one around your neck with a bandana so it stays put as you as you mow the lawn, pull weeds, or do other yard work. Also, increase your garden produce by keeping the birds and bugs away from your plants with this Protective Gardening Spray.

Summer Essential Oil Classes

You are all set with these 5 perfect summer make-and-take classes. Stay at the top of your game and adapt your essential oil classes with the season to keep attendees coming. Consider setting up a little play area for children in a separate room with a couple adult (or young adult) supervisors so the parents can give full attention to your class.

Do you have any tips for using essential oils during the summertime? Let us know in the comment section below!

Protect Your Plants with This Garden Spray!

Gardens are in full swing this time of year as plants are blossoming and many are ready to be harvested! But have you noticed that pests are getting to your plants? Get a step ahead with this garden spray that helps keep the birds and bugs away from your produce.

Once you make your spray, just spritz the leaves (both sides) and the surrounding ground. Before you know it, you’ll have gorgeous, bite-free leaves!

Keep in mind that it is best to spray on a cloudy day or in the evening so the sun and cinnamon essential oil combination doesn’t burn the plants. You can apply every couple weeks or as needed. If you wait 2–3 days after spraying to harvest any food, you shouldn’t notice any change in flavor.
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Rosemary & Thyme Patties for a Gourmet Burger

Try these delicious patties for a gourmet take on the average burger. You will love the flavor the essential oils add to these! We enjoyed these patties between toasted whole-wheat buns and topped with our Lemon Apple Slaw and Rosemary Cream Sauce (recipes below as well) along with a tomato slice, some avocado, and a little spinach! Mmmm . . . delicious! You’ll be licking your fingers for sure—and maybe even your plate!
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Quinoa Fruit Salad with Honey Lime Dressing

Summertime means lots of fruit, but sometimes eating plain fruit can get boring. Try this quinoa fruit salad to change it up and add a little protein to your meal! Serve this as a side or as breakfast. You can eat it as is, or add a little yogurt—either way it tastes great!
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10 Diffuser Blends for the Road

Whether you are off on a road trip or just wanting something to diffuse as you commute to work, these diffusing tips and diffuser blends are great for wherever you are headed!

Car Diffusing Tips:

  • Cars are such small spaces, so make sure to use only a couple drops and turn the diffuser off every now and then to give your olfactory system a break.
  • Try to keep the air circulating by running the air or leaving a window cracked.
  • Make sure the oils you use are suitable for all passengers. Keep allergies, cautions, and preferences in mind when selecting your oil or blend. For example, peppermint essential oil should not be diffused with young children (0–6) in the car. Rosemary and wintergreen essential oils should not be diffused with pregnant women in the car. And even a single drop of cinnamon essential oil is too strong to diffuse in such a small space.
  • Avoid oils that may make the driver drowsy, such as lavender, Roman chamomile, cedarwood, vetiver, and other relaxing oils.
  • If you find you don’t like the oil or blend you used, roll down the windows to let the car air out before trying something new.
  • If the driver needs something additional to keep him or her alert, try putting a drop or two of peppermint or rosemary on a tissue and placing it near the driver’s nose.

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Homemade Sunscreen

Protect your skin naturally while out in the summer sun with this all-natural homemade sunscreen. It is easy to make and looks and feels just like store-bought sunscreen! Your family won’t know the difference, but you will feel better knowing what you are putting on your children’s skin! A few things to know about this sunscreen:

  1. This sunscreen has an SPF of 20+ because the zinc oxide has an SPF of 20, the coconut oil has an SPF of 4, and the essential oils used in this recipe are also beneficial for protecting against the sun’s rays.
  2. It may need to be reapplied every hour or so, especially during water play. The beeswax in this recipe does help it be a little waterproof, but stay on the safe side and reapply fairly often.
  3. Even though it looks like it goes on pretty white in the above picture, it doesn’t stay that way. Just rub it on the skin, spreading it all over, and after a minute or so it will melt and disappear.
  4. This sunscreen will last through the summer—possibly even 2 summers depending on how fresh your ingredients are.

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Refreshing Citrus Cooler

This refreshing drink is perfect for a hot summer day when you need something to help cool you down. Take this to your next summer party—it will be a hit!
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