Essential Oils for Stress Relief


a table with objects on it

bottles of essential oils and flowers

While stress manifests in a variety of manners from person to person, it affects more than 70 percent of the US population each year. Whether it results from work struggles, financial burdens, or chronic health conditions, stress can often be debilitating for many. For those seeking a holistic remedy from their daily stressors, there are a variety of options that can soothe the symptoms without the need for medical intervention. Ever-rising in popularity for stress relief is the use of essential oils. Whether you’re looking to apply them topically or enjoy their aromas through a diffuser, here are just a few great essential oils to use the next time you’re feeling the pangs of stress.


For many, the first thing that comes to mind when looking to find a sense of calm is lavender. For centuries, this flower has been used as an antidepressant, anticonvulsant, sedative, and various other medicinal remedies. It is believed that the plant contains analgesic and neuroprotective properties along with a slew of other mood-stabilizing benefits. This particular oil, unlike many others, is often applied undiluted to the skin or as a part of aromatherapy in diffusers or baths.

Also common in the floral relief of stress is Bulgarian rose oil. Rose Otto is known for its use as an astringent, antiseptic, and antidepressant. Dating back to ancient civilizations, rose oils have been used to reduce restlessness, depression, and headaches. When blended with other oils like jasmine, lavender, and Ylang-Ylang, it can be diffused to cleanse negative emotions and produce an overall sense of calm.


When used either topically or in a diffuser, grapefruit oil has been shown to decrease blood pressure, relieve symptoms of stress, and reduce mood imbalance. The oil is extracted from the peel of the fruit which contains a chemical known as limonene. This chemical is commonly used in various medicines and can also aid in cancer treatments and weight loss.

Tangerine oil, which also contains limonene, is often used in blends with grapefruit, orange, and spearmint to create a fresh citrus diffusion. Together, these powerful oils work to purify and cleanse aromatically while relaxing both mind and body. Tangerine oils can also be diluted and applied topically along the body to create the same effects.


One of the best, most effective ways to reduce stress with essential oils is to create blends. Many brands of essential oils have pre-made blends with specific uses from stress relief to pain reduction, even appetite suppression and sleep aids.

Combining lavender, lemon, and clary sage with a carrier such as almond oil can create a blend to apply topically to the palms of the hand, rub together, and inhale at bedtime. This particular blend can alleviate stress-related insomnia to help you fall asleep faster, stay in restorative sleep through the night, and wake up feeling energized for the day.  

If you’re weary of topical applications and prefer using a diffuser, the following blends can eliminate restlessness, relax the mind, and ease tension throughout the body:

  • Bergamot, lavender, and geranium
  • Mandarin, lavender, and lime
  • Vanilla, lime, copaiba, cedarwood, and lavender

If stress has become a looming cloud in your life, or simply rears its ugly head on a circumstantial basis, having essential oils at the ready can be the difference between a nagging sense of gloom or a calming flood of relief. From single oils to blends, these powerful natural remedies provide relief from anxiety, depression, restlessness, and a vast array of other stress-related conditions. When the mind is free of its stressors, the body is healed as a result. The next time you’re feeling stressed, give these oils a try, and enjoy the relaxation they provide.