Guest post by Paisley Hansen
Aromatherapy is the practice of using essential oils to improve health and wellbeing. It is thought that the inhalation and absorption of essential oils stimulates receptors in the brain that in turn send signals through the central nervous system for a specific function to occur.
Because of the intimate link between the central nervous system and the brain, use of aromatherapy has been found to be quite effective in the treatment of stress and social anxiety. Most essential oils must either be diffused or diluted with a carrier oil when applied to the skin, and as the FDA currently does not regulate the use of essential oils to treat or address certain health conditions, it is important to research products to determine which of them will be right for you. Popular oils that can be used in combination with essential oils are almond oil, coconut oil, and jojoba. These carrier oils are not known to have any adverse effects when used in combination with all kinds of essential oils.
Essential Oils for Social Anxiety
Today's strange world has all of us dealing with extra stress and anxiety. For someone that already struggles with social anxiety, it can be especially crippling to deal with. Social anxiety is defined as "the excessive fear of embarrassment in social situations that can have debilitating consequences on both personal and professional relationships". For someone struggling with social anxiety, it can be difficult to even have a casual conversation with someone, let alone functioning out in public. Adding the COVID-19 pandemic concerns to the mix is almost too much to bear.
Fortunately, there are a number of essential oils that can be used to address all types of anxiety and stress disorders, including social anxiety. Essential oils are a wonderful, natural alternative therapy when used in combination with other treatments that can help to relieve stress, increase a sense of peace and wellbeing, and make it possible to "breathe" in social situations. Read on to discover which oils are most effective in treatment of social anxiety.
- Valerian Root
Valerian is a root that has been in use for thousands of years; it contains compounds that both calms nerves and promotes healthy, restful sleep. Adding a few drops of valerian oil to a carrier and applying to the wrists, or placed in a diffuser will bring about a relaxed, enhanced state of calm.
Jatamansi is an herb that belongs to the same family as the valerian root. It has long been used in Ayurvedic traditions to calm the mind and promote inner peace. According to recent studies, it has been especially effective in treating depression by decreasing GABA neurotransmitters and MAO receptors in the brain. Jatamansi is best used when blended with a carrier oil and massaged into the temples and the forehead.
Lavender is one of the most well-known and well-recognized essential oils in use today. Having a remarkable ability to calm the mind and increase feelings of wellbeing, it is also an effective digestive system soother. For those who may suffer from food sensitivity, lavender could be an effective way to calm and soothe the digestive system and promote calm relaxation.
Jasmine has a strong, floral scent. Use of jasmine to treat social anxiety is effective in enhancing feelings of wellbeing without the extra fatigue. Just make sure you're okay with smelling like a fragrant garden before you apply; the beautiful and heady scent will stay with you for hours.
- Holy Basil
Although holy basil will not work in your grandmother's lasagna recipe, it is from the same family, and it smells just as fragrant. This adaptogenic herb has promise in treating a host of both physical and mental issues, helping to reduce stress and anxiety, as well as promoting an overall sense of wellbeing and relaxation. Use in a carrier oil and apply to the temples and at the nape of the neck, or diffuse throughout your home for a lovely, refreshing pick me up.
With a rich history of use and application in all kinds of therapies, chamomile is another well-known oil. The use of chamomile to address issues of anxiety and depression has found itself incredibly effective; you can massage chamomile directly onto the temples or add to water in a warm bath for ultimate relaxation.
- Ylang Ylang
Ylang ylang and its strong floral scent is used to promote relaxation and wellbeing. Studies show that blends of ylang ylang with other oils such as bergamot and lavender were effective in lowering stress and anxiety levels, reducing blood pressure, and lowering levels of stress hormone cortisol in the body.
Combination of Therapies: Most Effective Treatments
Using essential oils and aromatherapy in combination with traditional treatment for social anxiety issues is the best course of action for long lasting results. There is relief for you; try these effective and aromatic oils for a reduction in stress and an overall improved quality of life.