It’s normal to have feelings of fear, worry or uneasiness from time to time.
However, it becomes a problem when a person is unable to control these feelings to the point that it affects his/her daily life, explains the National Health Services.
Sometimes, this problem leads to anxiety disorder, depression, and even suicide.
Alarmingly, anxiety disorder is actually the most common type of mental illness in the United States with over 40 million adults suffering from this condition, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.
The good news is, anxiety can be controlled by the following natural methods before it becomes a disorder.
In the following article, you will find some effective home remedies to control anxiety, plus the causes and symptoms of the mental condition.
1. Lavender Oil
Lavender essential oil has always been popular for its relaxation and calming effects.
When things go awry, just sniff into a bottle of lavender oil, and you’ll immediately feel much better.
It has been found effective in reducing anxiety among people caught in different stressful circumstance such as among graduating nursing students, dental patients, patients undergoing a surgery, and many more.
In one of these studies, Austrian researchers examined the effects of lavender on 200 patients who were exposed to the aroma of orange or lavender .
By the time the study was over, both groups had significantly lower anxiety levels .
Nursing students, meanwhile, were observed to have slower pulse rate and reduced anxiety after inhaling lavender oil prior to taking their examination .
This oil appears to have the same anxiety-reducing effects as diazepam, which is commonly prescribed for this problem.
How to use lavender oil for anxiety:
- Boil 2 cups of water in a pot.
- Transfer to a bowl.
- Add 4 drops of lavender oil.
- Inhale the steam.
- Repeat several times a day.
2. Rosemary Oil
If you love rosemary for its aroma and flavor, you’d love it even more when you find out how it can boost your mood.
A clinical trial involving 144 healthy participants showed that the scent of rosemary had a positive impact on their emotions .
These participants were exposed to either rosemary or lavender aroma .
Researches then measured their mood and cognitive performance, noting improvement in memory and mood in both groups .
Not only did rosemary oil help the participants feel better, they also scored higher in mental aptitude tests.
Since these two studies were done on animal subjects, more clinical trials involving human volunteers should be done to establish the efficacy of rosemary as an anxiolytic agent.
How to use rosemary essential oil to calm anxiety:
- Pour 4 drops of essential oil in a bowl of hot water.
- Inhale the steam coming from the water.
- Repeat as necessary.
3. Orange Oil and Peels
Simply inhaling an orange peel can already do so much in boosting your mood.
In one of these studies, 40 male participants were required to inhale either orange oil, tea tree oil or water .
After they were exposed to these aromatic oils and the placebo, the participants were subjected to an anxiety model examination .
It turns out that orange oil has acute anxiolytic effect that justifies its use as tranquilizer by folk healers and aromatherapists .
In another study performed by Iranian researchers, 30 children with ages six to nine years old, underwent two dental appointments .
In the first one, the dental office was filled with the aroma of orange oil, while the second one did not involve any aroma .
The results were determined by testing the pulse rate and salivary cortisol levels of the children .
It was noted that anxiety was significantly lower during the first visit when the dental office had the aroma of orange oil .
Whether you’re anxious about your dental visit or any other medical procedure, or you’re just worried about something, orange can help calm your nerves and relax your senses.
How to use orange peels for relieving anxiety:
- Boil a handful of orange peels in 2 cups of water.
- Transfer to a bowl.
- Inhale the steam.
- Follow this remedy several times a day.
4. Rose Oil
Don’t you just love the soothing scent of rose oil?
It’s one of those oils that you won’t think twice about applying on your skin, or using in your oil diffuser.
It’s not only aromatic, it’s also highly beneficial for your emotional health.
In a 2009 study conducted in Thailand, it was reported that human participants who inhaled rose oil aroma became “more calm, more relaxed and less alert” compared to those who did not .
After being exposed to rose oil, there was a dramatic reduction in the blood oxygen saturation, blood pressure levels, and breathing rate .
All these confirm the anxiolytic effects of rose oil, supporting the claims that it is an effective relief for stress, depression and anxiety .
How to use rose oil for reducing anxiety naturally:
- Pour 4 drops of rose oil on a handkerchief.
- Sniff into the handkerchief whenever feeling anxious or stressed out.
5. Bergamot Oil
A hybrid fruit of lemon and bitter orange, bergamot is considered useful in alleviating stress and anxiety .
Oil extracted from this fruit is used in aromatherapy either through inhalation or massage for reducing stress responses .
In 2010, scientists administered different doses of bergamot oil in rats with anxiety-related behaviors .
Bergamot oil appeared to have similar anti-anxiety effects as diazepam .
It also inhibited the release of the stress hormone called corticosterone .
How to use bergamot oil to get rid of anxiety:
- Put 5 drops of bergamot oil in a cup of hot water.
- Inhale the steam.
- Repeat as needed.
6. Lemon Balm Oil
Lemon balm is a traditional medicine still widely used today for its sedative and other therapeutic effects on the body .
In 2002, 20 healthy volunteers were randomized to receive various doses of lemon balm at seven-day intervals or a placebo .
When the treatment was over, the participants’ cognitive performance was measured using a test battery called Cognitive Drug Research, and several sets of subtraction tasks .
Not only was there a self-rate “calmness” that was reported by the users of lemon balm, these participants also scored higher in tests compared to those who were given a placebo .
English scientists conclude that even at low doses, lemon balm can significantly improve state of calmness .
Another study takes note that this herbal remedy is a viable solution for people suffering from mild to moderate anxiety disorders .
According to the researchers, lemon balm contains phytochemicals that give it its anti-anxiety effects .
Out of all the participants who used lemon balm extract, 95 percent had better mood and less difficulty falling asleep at night .
How to use lemon balm for treating anxiety naturally:
- Boil water in a pot.
- Add 1 teaspoon of dried lemon balm
- Let it steep for 15 minutes.
- Strain the leaves.
- Drink this concoction once a day for up to two weeks.
Sandalwood’s fragrance has been used as a sedative for many years .
In a study published in the Flavour and Fragrance Journal, it was stated that sandalwood oil exhibited significant anxiolytic effects .
This was the result of a study involving animal subjects, in which stress-induced mice were given sandalwood oil .
Anxiolytic-like effects were observed among the mice after they were exposed to the aroma for 24 hours .
Another study conducted in the United Kingdom released findings that aromatherapy massage with 1 percent sandalwood oil efficiently reduced levels of anxiety among palliative care patients .
Its effects were superior to other oils such as sweet almond oil .
Although the results are “not substantial enough” according to the researchers, they do appear to support the claim that sandalwood oil can help reduce anxiety levels.
How to lower anxiety naturally with sandalwood oil:
- Dip a cotton ball on 5 drops of sandalwood oil.
- Put cotton ball on your pillow before sleeping.
- Do this every night for one week.
8. Clary Sage Oil
When you’re feeling stressed out, anxious and don’t know what to do, try using clary sage.
Clary sage oil has become known worldwide for its numerous health benefits, mostly for the body.
Now, did you know that it also works in alleviating emotional disturbances such as anxiety attacks?
Researchers from Ariel University in Israel investigated clary sage’s anxiolytic properties .
They have discovered that clary sage works by stabilizing the mood and reducing the corticosterone levels in the blood .
At 5 percent concentration, clary sage had the strongest effect among all the other oils tested in this study dated 2010 .
This essential oil has also been found to have antidepressant effects .
As you know, anxiety and depression are sometimes closely related, and that it’s a must to relieve both of these problems to maintain optimal mental wellbeing.
How to use clary sage oil to lessen anxiety:
- Boil 2 cups of water in a pot.
- Put water in a bowl.
- Pour 8 drops of clary sage oil in the water.
- Inhale the steam.
- Do this several times a day.
9. Chamomile Oil
When you’re not in a good mood, a cup of warm and soothing chamomile tea can certainly help.
It’s no surprise that this tea is one of the most widely consumed in the world.
For many years, our ancestors relied on chamomile for its calming and relaxation effects .
A study featured in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology explains that this herbal remedy displays beneficial effects on animal models suffering from anxiety .
Further research was done to probe chamomile’s efficacy on people with mild to moderate anxiety disorder, and yielded positive results .
In this experiment, a total of 61 patients were given either chamomile extract or placebo for eight weeks .
In the outcome, it was shown that the anxiety in these patients was reduced by up to 50 percent .
Of all the participants, only one patient reported of adverse reactions to the remedy .
What You’ll Need:
- 3 teaspoons of dried chamomile
- 1 cup of water
- 1 teaspoon of honey
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- Boil water and add dried chamomile.
- Remove from heat.
- Strain the leaves.
- Stir in honey and cinnamon.
- Drink this tea once or twice a day for one month.
10. Fennel Oil
The Tropical Journal of Pharmaceutical Research published in 2013 a study that reviewed fennel’s anti-stress qualities, showing that it is a valuable tool for stress management .
Another study examined its anxiolytic effects and found that fennel works to calm the senses and diminish anxiety .
All these findings support the claim that fennel is a good remedy for anxiety and anxiety disorders.
How to use fennel essential oil to ease anxiety naturally:
- Pour 5 drops of fennel oil on a tissue.
- Inhale the scent for one hour.
- Repeat a few times each day.
Here’s another reason to get a massage.
In a study that can be found in the International Journal of Neuroscience, 26 adults were given chair massage sessions while 24 adults were simply asked to relax on the chair .
The experiment lasted for 15 minutes, twice a week for five weeks .
Those who received a massage turned out to have lower levels of anxiety compared to those who simply sat on the chair .
Australian researchers also examined the effectiveness of massage in relieving stress and anxiety among emergency nurses .
The nurses who participated in the clinical trial received over 300 massages over two 12-week periods, one session in summer and the other during winter time .
Massage was particularly helpful during the winter season, according to the study findings .
So whenever you’re feeling stressed out or anxious, go and get a massage therapy.
- Get an hour-long massage.
- Ask the therapist to make use of lavender oil.
When to See a Psychiatrist
An anxiety attack is when a person feels awful, intense and frightened. These are all powerful experiences and the person may feel like they are going out of control.
Anxiety attacks can be debilitating. So, one needs to be aware and quickly address it using the right support.
The symptoms of anxiety attacks are as follows:
- Feeling overwhelmingly fearful
- Feeling that one is losing control
- Feeling that one is in danger
- Feeling that one may go senseless
- Feeling like escaping
- Heart palpitations and increased heartbeat rate
- Pain in the chest
- Weak in the knees
If you feel any of the symptoms above, then you should make an appointment with a psychiatrist immediately.
Some Q&A About Anxiety
1. What is the difference between generalized anxiety disorder and general anxiety?
The difference between generalized anxiety disorder, also called, GAD, and general anxiety is that a person who has GAD is very persistent, excessively worried about everyday things of life.
2. Can anxiety lead to depression?
Yes, it can, unfortunately. So, it is best to treat anxiety then allow it to grow into something even worse.
3. What are the different types of depression that a person can suffer from?
There are three types of depression that a person can suffer from. They are:
- Manic depression, also known as, Bipolar disorder.
- Seasonal adjustment disorder or SAD
- Postnatal depression, also known as postpartum depression
4. What are the common symptoms of depression?
The common symptoms of depression are:
- A sad mood
- Being preoccupied with past failures of life
- A loss of self-esteem
- Feeling useless, hopeless or suffering from feelings of extreme guilt
- Slowed down thinking ability
- Forgetfulness, difficulty concentrating
- Loss of interest in work, hobbies and social gatherings
- Extremely lethargic and fatigue
- Changes in weight
- Loss of appetite
- Insomnia or oversleeping
- Lower sexual drive
- Suicidal thoughts and tendencies
It is common for human beings to face anxiety in life. Anxiety is a biological reaction that tells us that something is not right in our lives. It helps be safe from harm and also prepares us to face dangerous situations of life. However, if this condition overwhelms you and is persistent and hampers your day-to-day activities, then there is high possibility that you may have anxiety disorder.
The home remedies discussed here may provide with mental support and control an anxiety attack. In severe cases you should resort to a psychiatrist.