Certain essential oils have been known to help relieve stress, depression, and anxiety. When you’re stressed out at work, having trouble sleeping, or unable to concentrate on your daily tasks, using some essential oils can give you that little break you need to de-stress.
The use of essential oils for relaxation is something that more and more people are choosing to try. Here are some of the common essential oils that can help you relax.
Table of Contents
- 1. Lavender Oil
- 2. Lemon Oil
- 3. Ylang Ylang Oil
- 4. Chamomile Oil
- 5. Ginger Oil
- 6. Orange Oil
- 7. Peppermint Oil
- 8. Bergamot Oil
- 9. Sandalwood Oil
- 10. Cinnamon Oil
- 11. Passionflower Oil
- 12. Pepper Oil
- 13. Marjoram Oil
- 14. Basil Oil
- 15. Anise Oil
- 16. Clary Sage Oil
- 17. Eucalyptus Oil
- 18. Sandalwood Oil
- 19. Vetiver Oil
- 20. Valerian Oil
- 21. Roman Chamomile Oil
- 22. Clove Oil
- 23. Eugenol Oil
- 24. Geranium Oil
- 25. Petitgrain Oil
- 26. Rose Oil
- 27. Copaiba Oil
- 28. Frankincense Oil
- 29. German Chamomile Oil
- 30. Patchouli oil
- 31. Neroli Oil
- 32. Spearmint Oil
- 33. Melissa Oil
- 34. White Angelic Oil
- 35. Vanilla Oil
- Final Thought
1. Lavender Oil
Lavender oil is probably one of the most popular choices when it comes to essential oils for relaxation. It is obtained by distilling the flower spikes of certain species of lavender and has a distinctive, calming scent that can help provide relief from stress and anxiety.
2. Lemon Oil
Lemon oil is often used for relaxation by stimulating the mind while at the same time relaxing the muscles. The senses are heightened after inhalation and will make you feel refreshed.
3. Ylang Ylang Oil
Ylang ylang oil is known to have the aromatherapy effect of being able to reduce stress and anxiety. This oil has a calming effect (due to the component of linalool and myrcene) that can help you sleep better at night if you use it before bedtime.
A few drops of this essential oil diffused into your bedroom or to your bath just before going to bed can be effective for relaxing after a long and stressful day.
Ylang Ylang oil also has an aphrodisiac effect that can help improve the mood of those who suffer from a lack of libido or sexual performance issues. This is caused by a chemical compound known as benzyl benzoate which is naturally found in this essential oil. The scent of this oil induces feelings of happiness and relaxation. It has been used as a sedative for those who have trouble sleeping, also known as insomnia.
4. Chamomile Oil
Chamomile oil comes from the flower chamomile, which has a herbal smell that some describe as apple-like and others describe as honey-like. It can be very soothing to inhale because it contains the chemical constituents bornyl acetate and bisabolol, which are both calming.
Chamomile oil is useful for relaxing the muscles and nerves without causing any drowsiness. It also has a number of other benefits, such as:
- Help people who are experiencing stress because it reduces cortisol levels in the body.
- Has anti-spasmodic properties which are useful for people who have muscle spasms or seizures.
- Help relax the entire nervous system, including the brain, which makes it ideal for migraine headaches since it reduces pain due to cortisol levels being too high.
5. Ginger Oil
Ginger oil is an essential oil that comes from the root of the ginger plant. It has both relaxing and stimulating properties due to its active ingredients (gingerol, shogaol). The aroma alone can make you feel more relaxed, but you can also diffuse it or inhale it through aromatherapy. As for topical application, it can be diluted in a lotion or carrier oil (coconut, jojoba) and applied to the neck and shoulders for relaxation.
6. Orange Oil
Orange oil is great for relaxation, which has a sweet citrusy scent that helps lift up your mood by stimulating neurons in the brain which brightens your spirits.
You can dilute orange oil with a carrier oil or unscented lotion to make a nice aroma massage blend with many different oils that can help reduce your stress or simply make you feel more relaxed.
7. Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil is the most common essential oil that people use for stress and relaxation. It has a cooling sensation when used, which can instantly calm you down. The smell of mint also reminds the brain of something refreshing and invigorating, such as fresh air or clean sheets.
If you want to relax after a long day at work, try putting a few drops of peppermint oil on your brush, running it under hot water to warm up the liquid, and brushing it against your teeth.
8. Bergamot Oil
The bergamot oil for relaxation is a natural scent that can help you to relax, unwind and even sleep better. Bergamot essential oil comes from the citrus genus known as Citrus bergamia or citrus aurantium.
Bergamot essential oil is known to help reduce anxiety and promote relaxation:
- Reduces emotional stress, worry and tension
- Boosts mood and can help with depression
- Can help with sleep disorders, insomnia and other related issues
9. Sandalwood Oil
Sandalwood oil has a woody, earthy scent that’s often used in aromatherapy to help you relax when you’re feeling stressed out or anxious. It can also relieve depression symptoms, insomnia, fatigue, stress, migraines and headaches because of its pain-relieving properties.
10. Cinnamon Oil
Cinnamon oil has a spicy, sweet scent that can help reduce stress and anxiety along with calming the mind. This oil can be used in a diffuser to help promote feelings of relaxation and ease any stress or anxiousness that you may be feeling throughout the day.
You can also add 4-5 drops into your bathwater, which will give you similar soothing effects to increase the relaxing qualities of the water and fill your home with a soft and sweet aroma. Cinnamon oil can also be used topically by mixing it with a carrier oil like grape seed or coconut oil, and then applying the mixture to pressure points on your body. When applied correctly, this type of application should work quickly to relieve any tension you may have in your muscles.
11. Passionflower Oil
The name of this oil comes from the passionflower plant, which was named after Christian Passion. This flower for some reason is known to have calming effects. It is used in aromatherapy to reduce stress and anxiety while helping with insomnia, by calming the mind and body. It can also be used for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
This oil has a sweet smell that can be described as fruity, slightly flowery, but with a hint of sweetness to it. Because it is an oil, using this oil in aromatherapy usually means putting some drops into a diffuser or vaporizer with water and inhaling the steam that comes out. There are also pillows infused with passionflower that you can put over your face to help relax while you are sleeping.
12. Pepper Oil
Pepper oil helps with muscle tension and migraine headaches. Pepper oil is very fast-acting in that it can be effective in just a few minutes when placed on the skin or when inhaled. The best way to experience pepper’s amazing effects is by diffusing it into the air.
13. Marjoram Oil
Marjoram Oil has a warm, spicy and sweet scent. It is steam distilled from the flowers and upper leaves of the plant. The oil has been shown to have anti-spasmodic properties that help to relax the body’s muscles. In addition, Marjoram oil has been shown to have pain-relieving qualities, which can be useful for muscle aches. The scent of the oil may be helpful in lowering blood pressure, which can help to prevent or reduce stress-related hypertension.
14. Basil Oil
Basil oil is great for relaxation and restlessness. The smell of basil essential oil is soothing and guarantees a good night’s sleep. This relaxing essential oil for restless people can also help with nervousness, anxiety and stress. It stimulates circulation and digestion while helping against stubborn fat deposits in the body. You can use it during yoga or massage or inhale its scent before going to sleep.
15. Anise Oil
Anise oil helps you relax and enjoy your time to yourself. It can also be used as an anti-spasmodic which helps to relieve muscle spasms and cramps. It has a very aromatic smell which relaxes and calms the body and mind. This can be used to treat stress, anxiety, tension headaches, even insomnia.
This oil works best when diluted with a carrier oil (such as olive or coconut).
16. Clary Sage Oil
Clary sage oil can be used in aromatherapy to relax the mind and the body. It has calming effects that allow it to be helpful for those with anxiety, insomnia, stress, muscle tension, headaches, depression and arthritis. Inhaling clary sage essential oil can reduce cortisol levels–lowering blood pressure and decrease the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
17. Eucalyptus Oil
Eucalyptus oil is best known for its powerful cleansing effects on the respiratory system, but it also has many benefits that promote relaxation and a good night’s sleep.
Eucalyptus oil can be used in an aromatherapy diffuser to promote relaxation and a peaceful night’s sleep, or it can be inhaled directly from a tissue or handkerchief. As a massage oil, it relieves tired muscles and eases the mind into a more relaxed state. It can also be used as a bath oil, which eases the muscles after a long day and lulls you to sleep.
18. Sandalwood Oil
Sandalwood oil is a well-known essential oil that helps relieve feelings of tension, stress and anxiety. It has been documented as far back as Ancient Egypt and can be found in many Middle Eastern cultures’ rituals and religious practices even today.
It is a natural sedative that can help ease feelings of worry and restlessness. Inhaling sandalwood oil has been shown to slow the respiratory rate, reduce blood pressure, and lower cortisol levels*.
In addition to lowering stress hormones, sandalwood oil also stimulates the brain in a way that creates alpha waves – similar to those produced in the brain during meditation. These alpha waves are associated with positive feelings of relaxation and calmness. Sandalwood can be found in a variety of cosmetics products including lotions, perfumes, and diffusers.
19. Vetiver Oil
Vetiver oil in aromatherapy is particularly good for relieving stress and promoting relaxation. This type of essential oil has sedative qualities, which can slow down the heart rate and reduce blood pressure. It also contains constituents that are known to act as tranquilizers, helping one to focus less on stressful thoughts, and more on the here and now.
A calming aroma is often a good choice for people who tend to over-analyze everything in their lives. Since vetiver oil contains a rich composition of sesquiterpenes – natural chemicals that are known to have a soothing effect, it can be used using aromatherapy inhalation in a vaporizer to ease stress and induce relaxation.
20. Valerian Oil
Valerian has a sweet, floral scent that works as a natural sedative to help you sleep better at night by reducing cortisol levels in your body, allowing you to restore yourself from all the stress it’s been through during the day. It also helps relieve muscle pain and chronic stress due to its sedative properties.
21. Roman Chamomile Oil
Roman Chamomile is an essential oil that has been used since the Middle Ages to help promote relaxation. The oil works on your brain by stimulating your body’s neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and GABA which are chemicals produced in the brain that work as calming agents.
Once these neurotransmitters are stimulated, they can produce relaxation and reduce feelings of nervousness to ease the mind.
22. Clove Oil
Clove oil’s scent is used to enhance the smell of various foods and even perfumes. It also has other useful properties, such as its ability to help promote relaxation. Clove oil contains eugenol, which helps release serotonin in the brain. This neurotransmitter is responsible for feelings of well-being and relaxation, meaning that the scent of clove oil increases these feelings.
23. Eugenol Oil
Eugenol oil has been used since ancient times as a pain reliever, anesthetic, anti-microbial agent, etc. Today eugenol oil has also demonstrated the ability to promote relaxation through aromatic inhalation or massage therapy.
Inhalation is an easy and effective way to take in the therapeutic properties of eugenol oil. Add a few drops to a bowl of hot water, cover your head with a towel, and inhale deeply. You can also add it to a diffuser or vaporizer for aromatic benefits. Massage therapy in the form of gentle, and rhythmic stroking can be very relaxing.
24. Geranium Oil
The oil of the geranium plant has long been used to treat insomnia. It is very effective in reducing stress and calming anxiety, which also helps release endorphins, the body’s own feel-good chemicals naturally released after periods of exertion or excitement.
25. Petitgrain Oil
Petitgrain oil comes from a tree called Citrus aurantium. It can also be found in the leaves and twigs of the tree. The smell of this oil is very pleasant, which makes it good for aromatherapy, promoting relaxation and reducing stress.
Petitgrain oil may be useful for people undergoing menopause, as it seems to mimic the effects of estrogen in the brain, blocking receptors that normally react with this hormone. This is what causes many of the symptoms experienced during menopause, including anxiety and depression. The relaxing effects of petitgrain oil can help mitigate these symptoms.
26. Rose Oil
Rose oil is an essential oil that can be either stimulating or sedating, depending on which constituent you use. The main constituent of rose oil is citronellol, typically at about 50% by volume. Citronellol is a monoterpene alcohol that smells very floral. Linalool makes up another 20%, and has a more earthy, minty smell. The final ~30% of rose oil is made up of other constituents that are not as easily detected by smell. Even though citronellol has a very strong odor, it does not contribute to the characteristic floral odor of rose oil.
27. Copaiba Oil
Copaiba oil is extracted from the seeds of a type of Brazilian tree. It’s thought to provide stress relief and positive mental effects due to its key component beta-caryophyllene, which can also help reduce inflammation and body aches.
There are both inner and outer applications one can take to aid in relaxation with copaiba oil. For the body, it can be used as a massage to help soothe sore muscles, joint pain and other issues that cause physical discomfort. It also serves as an inhalant for those looking for its mental benefits.
The therapeutic properties are inhaled via smelling or applying it topically, which helps to increase calmness and promote general relaxation. It has a slightly sweet and spicy scent, which acts as an effective mood enhancer.
28. Frankincense Oil
Frankincense oil has been used as a way of relieving both the physical and emotional effects of stress. It’s mentioned in the bible and was one of the gifts given to baby Jesus at his birth.
The oil is derived from resin collected from trees. When the resin is melted down, distilled and then filtered into pure essential oil. The aroma itself is very grounding and calming, so it works wonders when diffused into your home or diffuser.
29. German Chamomile Oil
German chamomile oil is known to relax muscles, soothe inflamed skin, and reduce nervous tension in the body. Many people diffuse chamomile oil around their homes because of its pleasant aroma, but it is also great for topical application as well. Try mixing a couple of drops with your favorite lotion, or body wash for a relaxing experience.
30. Patchouli oil
Patchouli oil is extracted from the leaves of the patchouli plant through steam distillation. It has a strong earthy scent, and can be used in aromatherapy either by directly inhaling it or diffusing its aroma into the air.
The scent of patchouli oil is said to be one of the most effective for creating a relaxed state in the body. Its smell is so relaxing that helps people with insomnia fall asleep more easily at night, and have a more restful slumber. Patchouli oil is often used as a base note in combination with other oils due to its calming properties.
31. Neroli Oil
Neroli oil is obtained by distilling the flowers of the bitter orange tree. It can be used to reduce anxiety, improve your mood, relieve insomnia, and help you fall asleep faster. It also helps reduce feelings of depression and mental fatigue.
The use of neroli oil for relaxation is based on the soothing scent it releases when diffused, which lowers blood pressure and heart rate. This makes it easier to slowly breathe in and out, which will lower stress levels.
32. Spearmint Oil
Spearmint Oil is a highly valuable essential oil for relaxation. It contains high levels of terpenes myrcene, limonene, caryophyllene and linalool which are all known to have strong mood-boosting properties. The scent of spearmint oil creates feelings of calmness and relaxation.
33. Melissa Oil
Melissa oil is extracted from the leaves of the plant Melissa officinalis, which is also known as Lemon Balm. It has a long history of use in herbal medicine for relieving stress and anxiety. It has a refreshing lemon-like smell, which can help ease tension and stress.
34. White Angelic Oil
White angelic oil has a positive effect on your emotions and physical functions. Its special scent will give you warm feelings and help you forget all every day worries. The beautiful smell relaxes your body from the stress of everyday life, soothes away mental fatigue, gives patience and hope.
35. Vanilla Oil
The aroma of vanilla has been proven to relieve stress and promote a sense of calmness and relaxation. It also contains antidepressant properties.
This oil has the power to quickly calm you down when you are in a hyper state due to stress, anxiety or anger. When diluted with a carrier oil, it can also help in improving blood circulation, which in turn promotes relaxation.
As you can see essential oils are a great alternative to some of your usual relaxation activities. We hope that this article was helpful and encourages you to try using some essential oils for yourself if you’re looking for ways to promote relaxation in your life.
What essential oils do you use? Which scent works best for relaxing? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.