“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
Ingredients & Supplies:
- 1/3 cup (80 g) Epsom Salt
- 3–5 drops essential oil (avoid citrus oils; lavender works great!)
- 1 latex balloon (such as these branded balloons)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.