One of the most common questions I get asked as an aromatherapist is “What essential oils can I use when I feel anxious?” The second most common question I get asked is “What can I do to help my child when they are anxious?” My answer for the first question comes from what I have learned over the years and have recommended to women who have come to see me and they have told me what works.
My own experience
The second question I have firsthand experience of as my youngest child often feels anxious before a big event like a swimming carnival or the first day back at school. I put this down to her not coping well when her Dad and I separated a few years ago. She is very attached to both of us and finds the transition from one house to another difficult. She doesn’t want either of us to go when we drop her off and finds ways to try and keep us there longer.
It is hard for her to understand her emotions and to explain why she feels the way she does. She has a pattern of behaviour that goes through cycles and you can often guess what behaviour is coming next. She feels anxious when she thinks about having to leave one of us, so she often acts out to get attention. If that doesn’t work she will get injured somehow so that she gets looked after, which is more attention seeking. If that doesn’t work she will then threaten to run away, which is actually the last thing she would do as that would make her feel more anxious.
She has difficulties getting to sleep some nights as she thinks about things when she is lying in bed and worries. I have to lie with her for her to go to sleep. She wakes up during the night and comes down to sleep in my bed, often after a nightmare. As I’m writing this I am feeling extreme ‘mother guilt’ and blaming myself. It’s so hard to see your children suffer and easy to feel helpless. I can’t tell you how many times I have cried after dropping my daughters off at their Dad’s.
Helping your anxious child
This is when I need to take a step back and look at what I would suggest to any other parent or person who was in this situation. Firstly, I would recommend seeing someone. I am a huge fan of counselling and at numerous times during my life I have used counselling to help me to deal with my own emotions. These days, in Australia, we can access free counselling sessions through our Doctor. There are numerous phone lines such as Lifeline that we can call for support. They can refer us to counsellors in our local area.
Secondly, I recommend breathing exercises. This really works for my daughter. Recently we had a trip to the emergency department as she broke her pinky finger. The doctor asked if she would like some pain relief and my daughter said, “No. I don’t like that”. So instead, she started doing the breathing exercises she had been taught previously. She attaches a count to her breathing and breathes quite deeply all the way into the bottom of her lungs.
I’ve done yoga for many years and one of the breathing exercises which calms me down is alternate nostril breathing. This is where you breathe in one nostril and out the other. Then you alternate. You can’t do this for too long, but it does help take your mind off things. Yoga and meditation are great for anyone who wants to still their mind.
Essential Oils when you’re feeling anxious
Essential oils pair perfectly with breathing exercises, yoga and meditation. Some of the essential oils which can help overcome feelings of anxiousness include:
I love blends too as they have been scientifically formulated to be the perfect combination of certain essential oils. Some of the Young Living Essential Oil blends which may help overcome feelings of anxiousness include:
Note – if you’re feeling anxious all the time and these feelings don’t seem to go away, then you really need to see a Doctor as you could have anxiety which can be a serious condition.