5 Essential Oils to Help You Feel Calm

Essential oils that calm

It's no mystery that our modern-day lifestyles are contributing to this increase in stress that we're seeing.

Even if you’re not normally a stressed person, likely there are times you’d benefit from something calming. Readers of this blog probably already know how helpful some essential oils blends can be for anxiety, but in case you’re new to aromatherapy, consider this: a 2011 study reported that schoolteachers working in a high-stress environment who used a bergamot essential oil spray experienced measurable changes to their symptoms.

Today we have 5 essential oils that calm the mind and promote peace.

1. Lavender—For a Clear Mind

You may already love lavender’s light floral fragrance. And it’s no wonder because its benefits are abundant. Among lavender’s many offerings is its proven calming effect.

If You're Looking for Restful Sleep…

Though lavender helps people get more restful sleep, it doesn’t have a sedative effect. This makes it perfect if you want to go into your day with a calm and clear mind. We recommend putting some lavender in your diffuser while you get ready in the morning or even using a lavender water spray to scent your clothing.

Even better: try lavender oil in a massage for double the benefits. Some studies have shown that massage with lavender oil seems to calm more than massage alone.

2. Frankincense—For Well Being

Frankincense, which is the resin from the Boswellia plant, has had its moments in history, but it’s certainly not a thing of the past.

Indeed, frankincense is a popular oil for easing tension and calming. It’s said to create a sense of euphoria when used as incense, but you can also add two-three drops in your vaporizer, or simply add a bit to a pan of boiling water and then inhale the steam.

3. Peru Balsam—For Comfort

This oil comes from an evergreen tree native to Central America. It’s said to be extremely uplifting and refreshing, helping to improve your wellbeing while calming you down at the same time.

Peru balsam has an aroma somewhat similar to cinnamon and vanilla with a twist of clove.

4. Cedar Wood—To Wind Down at Night

You may have heard that cedar wood makes a great natural insect repellant, so it may seem strange to see it listed here, as a calming oil, but that’s the wonder of nature! This oil is considered excellent for promoting restful sleep, something that can help calm you down when you’re feeling stressed.

Many herbal practitioners recommend this one to help with more restful sleep, because it’s a good source of “sesquiterpenes.”

to help you catch some zzz's

To help yourself slip into sleep, add just a drop of cedar wood oil to a carrier oil that works for your particular skin type. Massage your cheek bones, between your eye brows, and the sides of your temples. This is also a fun thing to do with a partner. You’ll be gliding into dreamland in no time.

5. Vetiver—To Ease Restless Thoughts

This oil comes from a perennial grass native to India that has tall stems and long leaves, with brownish-purple flowers. The oil is actually distilled from the plant’s roots, and has a strong, woody aroma.

This oil is a star when it comes to calming. Similar to cedar wood, vetiver is very high in sesquiterpenes. Herbalists recommend combining vetiver with cedar wood and even a little juniper to calm and ease symptoms like unease or a lump in the throat.

We recommend using vetiver at work to help you relax while also being productive.

Do you use aromatherapy to keep yourself calm? Please share any tips you may have with our readers.


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Reader Interactions


  1. Velda says

    As usual, such great information. I have never heard of Peru Balsam. I’ll be on the lookout for it. There are some good, reputable oils out there – Young Living is one and Do Terra is another. I’m not sure about Young Living, but Do Terra is therapeutic quality. Their strength and quality is far superior to any “OTC” that I have ever purchased. I not only appreciate the article, but reading the great comments as well. I’m going to check out the Ameo oils.

  2. Danelle says

    I use vetiver on the bottom of my feet before bed which helps me feel very relaxed and sleep all night. We also use the diffuser throughout our house. I love my oils.

  3. Kathy says

    I really appreciate that you have done the research on essential oils. There is way too much information out there and I don’t know who I can trust. But since Kris Carr trusts Annmarie, that’s good enough for me! Thank you – I will be purchasing from you!

  4. Karen says

    Since I am very new to essential oils and aromatherapy your articles on these topics interest me very much. So thank you AnnMarie!

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