Essential Oils for Anxiety & Back to School Stress
Have you tried essential oils for anxiety? Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S. Did you know that they affect over 40 million people each year. If you are a parent to a child struggling with any sort of anxiety issues, then you probably have had your own feelings of panic, being overwhelmed, and a desire to move mountains to ease the pain and suffering of your child.
As our kids head back to school I wanted to share a story. Actually, my friend, Stacy will tell our story about turning to essential oils for anxiety relief. Yep, it was me that she thought was crazy. I knew she felt that way when I suggested she get her daughter an inhaler! She didn’t want her daughter to get used to sniffing something every time she was overwhelmed. I completely understood her resistance but encouraged her to think about it as giving her daughter a tool to take control of the situation.
Let Stacy tell you what happened……….
Children and School Anxiety
Our daughter starting displaying some school-related anxiety during her 4th-grade year. She began to panic that she wasn’t prepared for tests and worried about falling asleep in time to get a good nights rest before the school day. I talked to her teacher and we decided on better communication between us to help our daughter succeed, and an earlier bedtime to help her at night. All kids have different levels of anxiety for a variety of reasons throughout their childhood, so her teacher assured me that she would most likely outgrow some of these quirky behaviors.
Fast forward to 5th grade when my sweet and funny little girl began to quickly spin out of control. This was the first time a good friend suggested that I try essential oils. Knowing that my friend had been through a lot worse of a storm raising a child with Aspergers, I still politely took her advice and declined her offer of help with oils. I love her dearly (and should have realized her wisdom in this anxiety area) yet considered her offer to be in the same genre as voodoo.
Our two oldest daughters breezed through grade school, and we couldn’t understand what we were doing wrong with our youngest. Her 5th-grade year was throwing off the whole peaceful–well mostly peaceful–dynamic of our family. Homework was my nemesis. Studying a list of spelling words would have her on the floor screaming and crying, and reviewing for a science test would have her completely shut down in her bedroom kicking at her closet door. Her bedtime routine became a nightmare for me. She became super time sensitive and never felt like she had enough time. She began to sleep in the clothes she planned to wear the next day and even though she went to bed at 8:30, she panicked every minute that the clock crept closer to 9:00 pm. If she wasn’t fast asleep by 9:00, Pandora’s box was opened and she would tighten up every muscle in her body and look like she was having a seizure on her bed. My heart would break into a million pieces. Desperate to help her, I would give her Benadryl, rub her back until she fell asleep and then drink a glass of wine and eat chocolate–almost every single night that first semester.
Although she exhibited no signs of anxiety at school, I was able to convince her teacher that I needed help. I think it was me breaking down into tears telling her about our home life while she was trying to eat her lunch in the teacher’s lounge. She gave me plenty of notice for upcoming tests, told me not to worry about spelling words, and helped me get my daughter into the school counselor’s office for small group anxiety work. Yes! We had a plan! We were recommended a family counselor and we started meeting with him over Christmas break. He helped us with a couple of tools. One of which was to help her write lists of what needed to be done each evening so that she could see she had plenty of time to complete the list, and the other was to create a safe place that she could retreat to for a few minutes when homework (or anything) seemed to be a little much for her. The most important thing that I learned was that she didn’t have control over this. What seemed like a two-year-old tantrum that I should punish, was really something that she needed to recognize was building up inside of her, and she needed the tools to help her figure out what to do next. The counselor suggested anxiety medication and in my heart of hearts, I just wasn’t ready to go down that path yet. I wanted to figure out the tools but in the meantime, the rest of the house was falling apart. My husband and other two daughters were getting less and less of my time, the housework was piling up, we were all losing patience with the youngest, and all of this wine and chocolate had put 20 pounds on me!
Essential Oils for Anxiety Relief
When my dearest friend once again suggested essential oils in the form of lavender in a diffuser, I had nothing to lose. At this point, if she told me stuffing needlepoint pins into a voodoo doll would help my daughter, I was all in! I bought two diffusers and starting diffusing lavender oil in the kitchen and also in my daughter’s bedroom. This is where my essential oil story began. As the whole house began to smell wonderful, I had high hopes. My little one loved her diffuser with the fun changing colors and it became a great part of her evening routine. I added a little lemon and eucalyptus to the kitchen diffuser and even though the house was still in disarray most days, it at least smelled good, and it seemed to put us all in a little better mood. For their patience, I rewarded my older two daughters with their own diffusers, and I was honestly surprised when they told me how much better they were sleeping each night. What? I didn’t even know they were feeling restless!
Lavender oil was not the simple answer I was hoping it would be. I felt more relaxed and cheerful, my older daughters loved the lavender, but nothing really changed with my youngest daughter. My friend told me that her family loved to diffuse a blend called but Peace and Calming, but that same scent agitated her son with Aspergers. My daughter often commented on the lemon and eucalyptus diffusing in the kitchen, so with a little hesitation, I put that in her bedroom. I added a couple of drops of lavender because I worried that the other two scents were invigorating mood boosters. Eeek! How would that help her sleep? That is when I researched and learned that scents affect everyone differently and, invigorating scents like lemon can help boost your mood in the morning and can actually help you relax in the evenings. I felt I had stumbled upon some ancient magic potion. It didn’t solve all of our problems, but it did start helping our evening routine.
One of the best tools we found for panic attacks was an essential oil inhaler. Once again, I resisted this at first. I didn’t want my daughter to get used to sniffing something every time she was overwhelmed. But my rock star friend insisted that I try it and physically brought one over to my house. I put the same three oils on the little cotton wick and loaded it up into the inhaler. We paired the inhaler up with some meditative breathing. She held the inhaler under her nose and breathed in for 5 counts, held for 3 counts, and breathed out for 5 counts. I could instantly see her body change as her muscles relaxed from their tense state, and her whole body assumed a more calming posture. We used this during stressful homework sessions, bedtime, and many times when things just weren’t going as she had planned. I honestly believe that the inhaler and meditative breathing are one of our best tools.
Oils for Anxiety
After much research into this topic, here is a list of the top ten essential oils for anxiety. Although everyone is different, you are sure to find something on this list that can help calm your body. Inhaling essential oils allow their molecules to travel directly to our brain through the olfactory system. Once there, they can affect our hormones and stress levels. Our brain produces neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine allowing our body to feel good and to relax. Research has shown that essential oil diffusers can have a calming effect in the workplace and I truly believe that we will begin to see them in more and more classrooms too!
- Ylang Ylang
- Clary Sage
I think that it is important to note that I am not a doctor or even an essential oil specialist. I am just a mom trying to figure out what is safe and what works best for my family. Essential oils for anxiety has been a lifesaver. If my research and trial and error somehow helps you and your family, then I am delighted to be sharing this with you! I do want to mention that in all of the research that I did, one thing that comes up time and time again is the importance of using therapeutic-grade oils that don’t contain synthetic fragrance. This is so important! You definitely don’t want to be breathing in toxins! It is one of the reasons that I chose to seek out the Young Living Oil company. Their oils are 100% certified organic and therapeutic grade. Their starter kit is over a $350 value for only $160 and includes 12 of the most commonly used oils (a great way to try something new!) a diffuser, and some samples of their Thieves cleaning product (amazing stuff!) and Ningxia wellness drink. If you are interested in giving this a journey a try, you can sign up here and send me any questions that you might have. It is a journey that has been and continues to be a blessing to my family.
FREE Inhalers and Essential Oil Educational Resource
I know you will love the oils as much as we do. If you want to sign up let me know and I will send you a couple inhalers for FREE. I also will send you an educational resource that we use as a reference guide for what each oil can do. Go sign up, and then email Stacy and me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send you your free inhalers and an educational resource. If you are already using Young Living sign up the amazing essential rewards program (earn increasing points each month towards products and reduced shipping YAY!) and we will send you the free inhalers.
Don’t hesitate to ask us any questions.