Help Lower and Manage Stress with these essential oils

doterra essential oils for stress on wood

Are you tired of feeling stressed and anxious? Have you tried everything from meditation to exercise, but still can’t find relief? Essential oils may be the answer for you.

Essential oils have been used for centuries to promote relaxation and reduce stress. In this blog, we will cover everything you need to know about essential oils, including their benefits and how they work for stress relief.

We will also list the top essential oils that are known for their calming effects, and how to choose high-quality oils that are safe for use. We will discuss how to properly apply essential oils and possible side effects and precautions.

Lastly, we will share real-life experiences of people who have used essential oils for stress relief, along with their limitations. So sit back, relax, and let’s dive into the world of essential oils!

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.

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photo of woman with head tension and text the top essential oils to manage stress and anxiety

The Benefits of Essential Oils for Stress

Essential oils are natural plant extracts renowned for their therapeutic properties. Highly concentrated, these oils offer a wide range of health benefits, including relaxation and stress relief. For centuries, they have been used in traditional medicine and aromatherapy.

To maximize the benefits of essential oils, it is crucial to understand the different types available.

From peppermint and geranium to eucalyptus and cedarwood, each oil holds its own unique benefits.

From soothing anxious feelings, reducing stress levels, alleviating head tension, releiving sore muscles and joints, and promoting overall well-being, essential oils are a powerful tool in achieving relaxation.

What exatly are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are extracted from plants through processes like distillation or cold pressing. They contain the concentrated essence of the plant’s fragrance and medicinal properties.

These potent oils can be used topically, inhaled, or ingested for various purposes

The Role of Aromatherapy in Stress Relief

Aromatherapy, the practice of utilizing essential oils for therapeutic purposes, plays a crucial role in stress relief. By inhaling these oils, the limbic system, responsible for regulating emotions and memory, is stimulated.

Essential oils like lavender and bergamot, known for their calming properties, promote relaxation and aid in reducing stress and anxiety.

Aromatherapy, when incorporated into one’s routine, can significantly improve overall well-being and help alleviate stress levels.

One popular method of enjoying the benefits of aromatherapy is through the use of an essential oil diffuser. In this article, we include diffuser blends for each of the top essential oils listed.

How Essential Oils Work for Stress and Relaxation

Essential oils have a profound impact on stress and relaxation. These oils interact with the nervous system and brain, triggering the release of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine.

By inhaling certain oils, you can experience sedative effects that calm the mind and promote sleep.

Essential oils can also lower cortisol levels, effectively reducing stress and anxiety.

Massage with oils provides not only physical but also mental relaxation.

Incorporating these essential oils into your routine can help you find relief from stress and achieve a state of deep relaxation.

The Science Behind Essential Oils and Stress Relief

Limited research suggests that inhaling certain essential oils, such as peppermint, geranium, and eucalyptus, can have positive effects on stress and anxiety.

Studies have shown that these oils can lower heart rate and blood pressure, promoting relaxation and reducing stress levels.

The aroma of essential oils, like cedarwood and basil, can also stimulate the brain’s amygdala, which helps to reduce anxiety.

It’s important to note that while essential oils may help manage stress, the FDA has not approved them for medical treatment.

Best Essential Oils for Stress Relief and Relaxation

The best essential oils for stress relief and relaxation include lavender, ylang-ylang, chamomile, and frankincense.

These essential oils can be beneficial for managing stress and promoting a sense of calm and well-being.

Following are the most popular essential oils (that I have personally found to work) for stress and calming:

Lavender: The Calming Oil

Lavender essential oil, with its relaxing and soothing properties, is widely celebrated as a calming oil. Its scent promotes a sense of calm and helps ease anxiety, making it a popular choice in aromatherapy for relaxation and better sleep.

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lavender essential oil diffuser blends with a photo of doterra lavender essential oil

In clinical trials, Lavender has shown to help reduce stress. In this tiral, a comparative study in 36 volunteers showed a reduced stress level in group using lavender oil as aromatherapy as compared to placebo group.

And in recent studies, pharmacy students, with hectic schedules and workloads, “Studies revealed; the use of aroma oils especially with relaxant properties (particularly Lavender) may help ease stress.”

This versatile essential oil can be used topically, inhaled, or added to bath water to induce relaxation. Its gentle nature and wide range of uses have made lavender one of the best essential oils for stress relief.

This Lavender Oil Spray is one of my favorite ways to use Lavender essential oil to help calm my mind and body from the stres of the day before bed.

Ylang Ylang: The Mood Elevator

Ylang Ylang essential oil has a delightful, floral fragrance that lifts the spirits and promotes a sense of joy. With its stress-reducing properties, it can help alleviate anxiety and induce relaxation.

This versatile oil is commonly used in perfumes and relaxation blends. Its sedative effects make it ideal for calming the mind and improving sleep quality.

By adding a few drops of Ylang Ylang oil to a diffuser, you can create a soothing atmosphere that promotes tranquility and inner peace.

Frankincense: The Spiritual Aid

Frankincense essential oil has been used in spiritual practices for centuries. With its grounding and calming effects on the mind and emotions, it promotes deep relaxation and balances the nervous system.

Here are some Frankincense diffuser blends you can use to help relax and calm your mind:

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Frankincense essential oil diffuser blends and bottle of doTERRA Frankincense

Many people incorporate frankincense oil into their meditation and yoga practices to enhance their spiritual experiences.

Creating a serene atmosphere is as simple as adding a few drops of frankincense oil to a diffuser. This essential oil truly serves as a spiritual aid, providing a sense of tranquility and peace.

Related Article: Benefits & 30 Ways to Use Frankincense Essential Oil. The article also has DIY recipes and Frankincense diffuser blends.

Vetiver: The Grounding Perfume

Vetiver essential oil from doTERRA is extremly calming to the mind and can help calm the chaos in your brain and help relieve stress and insomnia

Vetiver essential oil, known for its grounding and calming effects on the mind and body, is an essential oil with a soothing earthy scent. Its relaxing properties make it ideal for relieving stress.

Vetiver oil can be used in massage or added to a carrier oil for a soothing experience. Not only does it promote relaxation, but it also has the ability to lower heart rate and blood pressure.

That’s why it is often used in perfumes and aromatherapy blends for its stress-relieving properties.

Vetiver is my personal go-to when I need to “turn my brain off”. You know when your brain is on over-active mode and you can’t get it to slow down? I promise you, Vetiver will help! In fact, I really recommend trying this rollerball recipe for stress which contains Vetiver. This essential oil blend is my all time favorite! I can’t live without it and I keep one in my purse and use it all day!

Clary Sage

Clary sage essential oil has a soothing and sedating impact on the central nervous system. Its pleasant and herbal fragrance encourages relaxation and aids in alleviating symptoms of anxiety. It can be used in aromatherapy or added to a bath for stress relief.

This essential oil has been proven to lower cortisol levels and induce a sense of tranquility.

Clary sage is also renowned for its ability to promote restful sleep.

Related Article: Benefits of and 30 Ways to Use Clary Sage Essential Oil

You may also enjoy these Clary Sage Diffuser blends to help relax and calm your mind, especially before bed.


Bergamot essential oil is renowned for its calming and soothing properties, benefiting both the mind and body. It is known to alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression, promoting relaxation and a sense of well-being.

In addition, bergamot oil can be used to enhance sleep quality and combat insomnia symptoms. Its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties make it an excellent choice for skincare and aromatherapy.

However, it is crucial to dilute bergamot oil properly and avoid direct sunlight exposure due to its potential photosensitivity effects.

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bergamot diffuser blends


Patchouli essential oil, known for its calming and soothing effects on the mind and body, is a popular essential oil. It can help relieve stress, anxiety, and insomnia.

Additionally, patchouli acts as a natural insect repellent, making it a versatile oil. Frequently used in aromatherapy and skincare products, patchouli offers a pleasant earthy aroma. Remember to properly dilute patchouli essential oil and patch test before use to ensure safety.

Incorporating patchouli into your relaxation routine can be beneficial for promoting a sense of calmness.

Here are some Patchouli diffuser blends that can help calm stress. Try diffusing these in your work space during the day, or where you relax during the evening.

Orange essential oil

Orange essential oil is renowned for its citrusy and uplifting aroma, which has the power to enhance mood and reduce stress. Not only does it promote relaxation, but it can also improve sleep quality.

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wild orange diffuser blends and photo of doterra wild orange essential oil

Rich in natural compounds with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, orange essential oil offers therapeutic benefits. Whether used topically or diffused in the air for aromatherapy, this oil provides a soothing experience.

Remember to dilute essential oils before use and consult a healthcare professional if you are pregnant or nursing.

How to Choose High-Quality Essential Oils

When selecting high-quality essential oils, it is important to look for oils that are 100% pure and free from additives or synthetic fragrances.

Never use an oil that is labeled as a “Fragrance Oil”. This is synthetic and offers no therapuetic benefits.

Choose oils sourced from reputable companies that have been tested for purity.

Check the country of origin, as regions known for producing high-quality oils are preferable.

Consider the method of extraction, as certain methods can yield higher quality oils.

Reading reviews and seeking recommendations from trusted sources can help guide your purchase decisions.

Shop for doTERRA Essential Oils HERE

Safe Use of Essential Oils for Stress Relief

When using essential oils for stress relief, it is important to prioritize safety.

Choose the best essential oils from reputable sources, ensuring they are high-quality and pure. Don’t use fragrance oils.

Always dilute the essential oils before use and perform a patch test to check for any adverse reactions. It is crucial to use essential oils in moderation and avoid prolonged exposure.

Additionally, be mindful of potential interactions with medications and existing health conditions. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating essential oils into your routine.

How to Properly Apply Essential Oils

To ensure safe and effective use of essential oils, it is important to follow proper application methods.

You can start by diluting the essential oils with a carrier oil to prevent skin irritation.

For inhalation, you can use a diffuser with calming essential oils in it or add a few drops to a warm bath for relaxation.

Applying the oils to pulse points or massaging them onto the skin helps with absorption.

Here are 5 rollerball recipes for calming and relaxation complete with directions on how to make a roller (it’s super easy).

Remember, proper dilution and application enhances the benefits of the best essential oils for stress relief.

Possible Side Effects and Precautions

  • When using essential oils, it is important to be aware of possible side effects and take necessary precautions. Some essential oils may cause skin irritation, so it is recommended to perform a patch test before using them.
  • It’s also important to note that certain essential oils can be toxic if ingested, so be sure the label does not say “for external use only”. doTERRA essential oils are safe to ingest in small amounts.
  • Pregnant women and children should exercise caution when using essential oils, and it is always advisable to consult a healthcare professional.
  • Additionally, some essential oils can interact with medication, so it’s important to seek advice from a healthcare professional.
  • Lastly, certain citrus essential oils may increase your sensitivity to sunlight, so it’s best to avoid prolonged exposure after using them.

Can Essential Oils Replace Traditional Stress Management Techniques?

Incorporating essential oils into a stress management routine can enhance relaxation and provide temporary relief. However, they may not address the root causes of stress. Essential oils can be a convenient option for on-the-go stress relief when combined with other techniques for better results.

Integrating Essential Oils into Your Stress Management Routine

Create a calming atmosphere by diffusing the best essential oils like lavender or bergamot. Relax by adding a few drops of ylang-ylang or chamomile to a warm bath.

Promote relaxation and ease tension by massaging diluted essential oils onto your body.

Reduce anxious feelings by inhaling the aroma of jasmine or clary sage.

Experiment with different oils find what works best for you. Everyone is different and what works for one person may not be the same as what works for someone else.

Enhance your stress relief routine by incorporating these natural remedies.

Practicing a little self care every day goes a long way towards lowering your stress levels.

What are the limitations of using essential oils for stress relief?

While essential oils can provide stress relief, it’s important to understand their limitations. They may not be a standalone solution for chronic or severe stress, and results can vary among individuals.

Essential oils should not replace professional treatment, and their use is not regulated by the FDA.

Further research is needed to fully grasp their benefits and limitations.

When to Seek Professional Help for Stress Management

When stress symptoms persist or worsen despite using best essential oils like peppermint, geranium, and eucalyptus, it may be time to consult a healthcare professional or therapist for additional strategies.

These professionals can provide personalized guidance and support tailored to individual needs.

It’s important to seek help when stress begins to significantly impact daily functioning.

Remember that a combination of professional intervention and self-care approaches, such as using essential oils, can provide comprehensive stress management.

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collage of doterra essential oil photos containing essential oils that are good for stress


To sum up, essential oils can be powerful tools for relaxation and stress relief. Lavender, ylang-ylang, chamomile, frankincense, bergamot, vetiver, clary sage, patchouli, and orange are all great options to consider.

Remember to choose high-quality oils and be mindful of any potential side effects or precautions.

While essential oils can complement traditional stress management techniques, they may not be a complete replacement. It’s important to be aware of the limitations and seek professional help when needed. Ultimately, finding what works best for you is key.

So, take some time for self-care, experiment with different oils, and discover the soothing benefits they can bring to your life.

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About The Author

Dawn Goehring Desert Naturals Essential Oils

Dawn Goehring

Owner / Founder of Desert Naturals

Dawn Goehring is the founder of Desert Naturals where she writes educational articles on essential oils, DIY's on natural beauty products, homemade cleaners, and provides related essential oil accessories like Planners, Journals, Trackers, tshirts, and custom made essential oil storage.

Dawn discovered essential oils about 10 years ago to support her then 4 year old son who was struggling to manage a respiratory condition. She then learned how to use essential oils for everyday natural remedies for her family, and has helped hundreds of women incorporate essential oils in their lives to live a healthier, more holistic lifestyle using natural products and essential oils.

Dawn has earned an aromatherapist degree and has earned a doTERRA essential oil specialist certification which is a fancy way of saying she has learned a lot about the chemistry of essential oils and how they work in the body.

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