Fly Me to the Moon
My first panic attack happened seven years ago on a plane coming home from an amazing honeymoon in Ireland. I had flown on many airplanes in my life and never had an issue so when I suddenly couldn’t breathe, was soaked in sweat and fear, I thought I was going to pass out or die. Fortunately, I did not pass out or die and I made it home. But that episode – which I quickly learned was a panic attack – was the beginning of my struggle with severe anxiety. My first panic attack happened seven years ago on a plane coming home from an amazing honeymoon in Ireland. I had flown on many airplanes in my life and never had an issue so when I suddenly couldn’t breathe, was soaked in sweat and fear, I thought I was going to pass out or die. Fortunately, I did not pass out or die and I made it home. But that episode – which I quickly learned was a panic attack – was the beginning of my struggle with severe anxiety.
Welcome back to my blog. Today, I’m launching a new series of posts about a topic very close to my heart: anxiety and how I manage it every single day. Because it has been a long road, and telling my story would take many pages, I will publish in installments over the next several weeks.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, nearly 40 million adult Americans suffer from anxiety disorders; anxiety is the most common mental illness in the United States. Chances are you – or someone you know – experiences anxiety on a daily basis. And while it can be debilitating, anxiety is highly treatable. Obviously, medication is an option which many people use successfully, but there are many natural ways to effectively manage anxiety. By the way, I have take prescription medication to handle my anxiety but my personal preference is keeping it natural.
My anxiety relief tool #1: Essential Oils
One of the many “tools” I use to manage my anxiety are essential oils. I AM OBSESSED. You may think oils are “woo-woo” and a big waste of money but I’m a believer and can’t imagine my life without them. Essential oils, which are extracted naturally from flowers, bark, roots and leaves have been used for 6,000 years to treat a wide array of health issues including anxiety and depression.
Research has shown that essential oils actually affect the brain. According to this article on the University of Maryland Medical Center intranet site, “when you breathe in essential oil molecules, some researchers believe they stimulate the [amygdala and hyppocampus] parts of your brain and influence physical, emotional and mental health.”
I started consistently using doTerra essential oils in October 2017 and have noticed immediate relief of my anxiety when using them daily. My top 3 essential oil picks are:
- Frankincense. This amazing oil dates back to Biblical times when Jesus was annointed with Frankincense and Myrhh. I rub 1-2 drops of Frankincense to the palms of my hands and inhale deeply and I do this 2-3 times per day. Frankincense provides a calming and grounding effect and quiets the mind.
- Rose. Rose essential oil has numerous uses in addition to helping with anxiety: fights depression, sedates inflammation, treats wounds and is even an aphrodisiac. (See this article for more amazing benefits of rose.) I primarily apply this oil to my neck, wrists and temples as a replacement for perfume.
- Lavendar. Studies have shown lavendar has been shown to lower anxiety in people undergoing anxiety-causing activities, such as preparing for surgery (per this article by Dr. Axe). I use lavendar mostly at night to also help me sleep. I inhale it, apply it to my pillowcase and bottoms of my feet.
Interested in learning more about essential oils? Comment on this post or contact me.
Have an amazing week!