Chances are you’ve already come across essential oils—maybe you’ve even used essential oils for anxiety. Like when your yoga instructor rubbed some on your shoulders at the end of practice, or when you always feel so zen at your friend’s apartment because she has that aromatic diffuser on her countertop. In this increasingly health-conscious world, these plant-derived liquids are suddenly popping up everywhere. Let these plant extract chill you out.
Lavender essential oil
There’s a reason lavender is used in so many spa services: It really will chill you out. “The reason I like lavender as an essential oil for anxiety is because not only does it contain linalool, which has a sedative effect, it also relaxes the muscles, lowers blood pressure, increases circulation, [and] lowers the cortisol in our bloodstream—all things that we are looking for to help us deal with stress,” says Hope Gillerman, certified aromatherapist and author of Essential Oils Every Day. And science agrees—in one study, patients suffering from an anxiety disorder were given lavender orally and it improved symptoms of restlessness and disturbed sleep, and had a positive effect on general well-being and quality of life.