11 Most Effective Essential Oils For Anxiety & Best Ways To Use Them

anxiety calming essential oils

When we are trapped in a spiral of anxiety, it can be hard to even understand what is happening, why it is happening, and what we can do to break the cycle. Anxiety feels like it owns us, envelops us, and insidiously takes over our entire lives.

Anxiety is a complex condition that affects our mental, physical, and emotional health. Treatment is often multi-faceted and varies from person to person. Often several different treatments must be tried to determine which works best for our particular type of anxiety. Current standard treatments options include prescription medications or a stay at a residential treatment center.

Why Essential Oils Help Relieve Anxiety

Due to the complex nature of anxiety, success of a particular treatment varies by person. Although physicians have a pretty good idea as to which pharmaceuticals work best for a particular type of anxiety, many of us display more than one type of anxiety. This can make it hard to dial in the correct medications and dosages to achieve full symptom relief.

During this trial and error phase of treatment, we are still dealing with unpleasant symptoms and may feel frustrated by the drawn out nature of the treatment process. We need something positive and uplifting. Essential oils can support us through this time and continue to function in a complementary fashion even after our other treatments have been dialed in.

Essential oils can help to support our physical, mental, and emotional health without adding to the slew of artificial ingredients, chemicals, and harsh side effects that accompany our prescription medications.

Safety: Respect the potency of essential oils by always using them carefully and diluting appropriately. Please review safety precautions here.

11 Best Essential Oils For Anxiety

When choosing which essential oils to use, follow your instincts. Introduce yourself to each oil by smelling it. Notice the effect each oil has on your mind, body, and emotions then choose the ones which are best for you. Treat it as you would wine or cheese tasting and select only the oils which really resonate with you.

1. Bergamot (Citrus bergamia)

Living with an anxiety disorder can be very disheartening. We feel isolated, alone, and trapped in our unpredictable minds and bodies. Some days we feel mentally and emotionally drained while our bodies are keyed up and on edge.

The uplifting spicy citrus scent of bergamot gifts us with happiness while simultaneously calming and relaxing our bodies.

Bergamot works so well that scientific researchers actually decided to study bergamot’s calming properties. They used a group of stressed out school teachers as test subjects and found that merely inhaling the scent of bergamot lowered the teachers’ heart rates and blood pressure.

2. Roman Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis)

Racing thoughts and incessant worries are hallmark symptoms of certain types of anxiety. They greet us when we wake in the morning, chase us throughout our day and are there waiting when we crawl into bed at night.

We want help breaking that cycle so our minds can return to a place of calm stillness and tranquility. This is exactly what chamomile excels at. Chamomile works to rebalance our mental state and allow our minds to get off the hamster wheel of worst case scenario worries.

3. Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea)

How does your home feel when you walk in the door? Notice the emotional energy that lingers in the space. Is it uplifting and healing? Stagnant? Less than positive?

Our homes should be the place we can go to recharge and to feel at peace. If the energy there isn’t conducive to our mental and emotional health, sage can help us to change that. Sage is a purifier that can help raise the vibrational energy of both our homes and our minds.

On a mental level, sage guides us through releasing negative thoughts and emotions like the incessant worries inherent to generalized anxiety disorder.

As an extra bonus, clary sage has historically exhibited muscle relaxant properties that allow it to calm our physical bodies as well.

4. Frankincense (Boswellia carterii)

During a panic attack, we may begin hyperventilating and feel like we are having trouble breathing. While essential oils are not a substitute for medical treatment in the case of an emergency, enlisting the aid of an essential oil at the first sign of panic can short-circuit the whole event.

Frankincense is a calming oil that may help alleviate the physical symptoms of anxiety by slowing our breathing and relaxing our airways. If it helps monks to get their bodies into a deep state of relaxation needed for meditation, it makes sense it can help to calm us as well.

5. Jasmine (Jasminum officinale)

Sometime we want a little gentle nudge of positivity and encouragement when we feel lost in the depths of life with anxiety. Jasmine is soft, soothing, and inviting. She gently takes our hand and guides us away from the feelings of sadness and worry. Jasmine works on a mental level to relax, quiet, and rejuvenate our minds.

6. Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

Lavender is that steadfast, tried and true, intensely loyal best friend who has been there for us through everything and always seems to know just what to do for us when we need help.

She is one of the most well-known and well-loved soothing oils. If anxious thoughts are keeping us from getting quality sleep, lavender can help to gently calm us and relax our brains. Lavender encourages us to breathe deeply and slowly as we allow our worries to dissipate.

7. Mandarin (Citrus reticulata)

When we breathe in mandarin, we are carried away on the emotionally uplifting citrus scent with an extra note of sweetness like a sprinkling of sugar on top. Mandarin fills us with joy while also calming our anxious bodies as she eases breathing and relaxes our central nervous system. With mandarin as our guide, we find ourselves in a place of gratefulness and peacefulness.

Introduce mandarin to your children too. Her gentle positivity makes her a perfect fit for their more sensitive bodies.

8. Neroli (Citrus aurantium)

Neroli is the very definition of a whole-body holistic oil. This exotic oil has been known to alleviate sadness, calm anxious thoughts, relax our bodies, and even support healthy sexuality.

In a scientific study, cardiac patients in an intensive care unit experienced significantly lower levels of anxiety and enjoyed a better quality of sleep when given an aromatherapy blend of neroli, lavender, and chamomile matricaria essential oils.

9. Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)

We all carry our nervous tension differently, sometimes more emotionally and sometimes more physically. Valerian is one of the most incredible oils for physical relaxation. It helps to promote a feeling of calm tranquility throughout our bodies and encourages the tension to leave our muscles.

Imagine that content, ball of putty feeling you get after an hour long full body massage. This is what valerian offers us.

10. Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanioides)

What valerian does for the body, vetiver does for the emotions. Vetiver works subtly and gently to calm and relax us. It seeks out the areas we are weakest in and supports us. Like a memory foam bed cradles our bodies and encourages them to relax into that support, vetiver cradles our minds.

This lovely oil promotes emotions of tranquility and an overall sense of grounded stability.

Safety: Not suitable for topical use during the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.

11. Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata)

Ylang ylang is another well-rounded oil that helps to relax and calm both our bodies and minds. Anxiety can feel like being in an out of control car careening down the road unable to stop. Ylang ylang puts the brakes on that car.

It slows our rapid heart rate, stops hyperventilation and fright, reduces anxious thoughts, and lowers high blood pressure. We find that we are able to breathe deeply and slowly as our bodies and minds reset and restore balance.

recipes and blends for anxiety

Essential Oils Recipes For Anxiety & DIY Blends

The best essential oils recipe for anxiety relief is one which gives you the results you are looking for. You can start out by following some recipes like the ones listed below to get a feel for which oils blend well together.

Once you are ready to start experimenting and branching out into creating your own blends, the list of 13 suggested oils will provide you a starting point. Ultimately your personal aromatic preferences and responses to each oil will determine which are the best fit for your custom blends.

Anxiety Diffuser Recipes

Restful Sleep:

  • 6 drops lavender
  • 2 drops roman chamomile
  • 1 drop neroli

Mellow Joy:

  • 1 drop bergamot
  • 1 drop lavender
  • 2 drops ylang ylang
  • 1 drop roman chamomile
  • 1 drop valerian

Clarifying Tranquility:

  • 3 drops roman chamomile
  • 2 drops clary sage
  • 2 drops sweet basil

Add 6-9 drops of any of the blends above to a water, reed, gel bead, or other style diffuser. Use per the diffuser’s instructions adding water or carrier oil as needed.

Anxiety Massage Recipes

Cleanse & Uplift:

  • 1/2 ounce of sweet almond carrier oil
  • 1.5 ounces of grapeseed carrier oil
  • 3 drops clary sage
  • 5 drops rose
  • 5 drops bergamot

Deep Breath:

  • 1/2 ounce of sweet almond carrier oil
  • 1.5 ounces of grapeseed carrier oil
  • 8 drops frankincense
  • 5 drops ylang ylang

Relaxed Body:

  • 1/2 ounce of sweet almond carrier oil
  • 1.5 ounces of grapeseed carrier oil
  • 3 drops valerian
  • 6 drops frankincense

Use any blend above. Massage into skin where desired, focusing particularly on the bottoms of your feet, your inner wrist, the back of your neck, and behind your ears.

Anti Anxiety Bath Salts


  • 1 cup epsom salt
  • ½ cup sea salt
  • ½ cup rock salt
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda

Bedtime Relaxation Blend:

  • 4 drops jasmine absolute
  • 6 drops rose
  • 6 drops lavender

Morning Inspiration Blend:

  • 4 drops neroli
  • 6 drops bergamot
  • 6 drops mandarin

Make bath salts by combining the epsom salt, sea salt, rock salt, and baking soda. Add 16 drops of any of the blends above. Add some salts to a nice warm bath and soak for at least 20 minutes.

Anti Anxiety Perfume

  • 1 tablespoon of beeswax
  • 1 ½ tablespoons of sweet almond oil

Grounded Woods Blend:

  • 6 drops frankincense
  • 4 drops vetiver

Peaceful Floral Blend:

  • 4 drops rose
  • 4 drops lavender
  • 1 drop ylang ylang
  • 1 drop jasmine absolute

In a double boiler, melt beeswax into sweet almond oil. Remove from heat and add 10 drops of any of the blends above. Mix well and pour into containers. Allow to cool until solid. Gently apply perfume to your inner wrists, behind your ears, and on the back of your neck.

Anxiety Essential Oils Room Spray

Herbal Harmony Blend:

  • 4 drops clary sage
  • 6 drops sweet basil
  • 6 drops roman chamomile

Add 16 drops of the oil blend to a glass spray bottle with 4 ounces of vodka. Use as you would a normal room scenting spray.


  • You are not alone. Anxiety is the most common mental health disorder. It affects approximately 275 million people worldwide.
  • The causes of anxiety aren’t always known, however a link has been seen between certain medical conditions and the presence of anxiety.
  • The constituents of certain essential oils have been found to display anxiolytic (anxiety reducing) properties. We can use these oils to help us relax and destress.
  • Complementary and alternative treatments methods can be used to augment treatment.

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