Like the other 40 million adults in America, I have my bouts of anxiety. The feelings of restlessness, the imagining of the worst possible scenario in every situation, the roller-coaster emotions? Check, check, and check. I’ve gotten much better at dealing with the side-effects as I’ve gotten older (regular meditation and chatting about it are both invaluable), but I’m still always on the hunt for other ways to ease my mind and eliminate unnecessary stress. It's a work in progress.
Shockingly, though, I’ve never jumped on the essential oils bandwagon, even though I’ve researched this topic incessantly for work and read glowing review after glowing review on what diffusing the botanicals can do for your mind and body. After a night filled with bad dreams and 2.5 hours sleep, and raging, tear-jerking moods the next day, I decided to test the natural beauty solution for a week.
I brought the Art Naturals Oil Diffuser ($25; walmart.com) home from work, a spherical electrical device with a wood finish, and went to work in figuring out the best oil to drop in it for my uneasy mood. I might be a millennial, but it takes me a long time to figure out techy tools, but I had this down in about five minutes. The top comes off and you fill it up with water and then add in your drops of oil to the water. That's it.
Lavender, an essential oil known for helping with relaxation, was up first. As the mist slowly released and I slipped in bed, I felt like my entire body felt loose and more at ease, and while that could have been due to comfy sweatpants and a hoodie, my mind also quieted. I was calm—and I’m never calm. I wasn’t necessarily shocked because I swear by lavender pillow mists, but it was a pleasant surprise nonetheless.
The next morning, I tested out sweet orange oil, one that has mood-boosting, anxiety-reducing claims to its name. I was in a relatively cheery mood anyway, but adding this promising step into my morning routine didn’t hurt, and I didn’t even feel a dip in my positivity after spilling coffee all over my counter.
VIDEO: The Crazy Cost of a Lifetime of Beauty
As the days went on, I tested out a few other essential oils including rosemary, known for helping with clarity, eucalyptus, known for soothing and aiding in concentration, and peppermint, said to help with focus. Whether or not that was the sole answer behind my calmer and happier persona at home, I can't guarantee, but I can say that having an easy and enjoyable solution at my fingertips gave me hope that my jitters would wear off and my anxiousness was only temporary. And that realization is sometimes the most important thing for anyone suffering with anxiety.