How I Use Meditation to Decrease Anxiety & Stress

How I Use Meditation to Decrease Anxiety & Stress

If you find it difficult to decrease anxiety or stress, you’re in the right place!

Like me, you probably understand the following feelings:

  • Your thoughts racing on constant overdrive
  • Your heart throbbing in your throat
  • Over-sensitivity to what people say and think
  • Panic attacks
  • Feeling on edge and unable to focus when anxious
  • Having trouble sleeping
  • Finding it difficult to sit still for long periods of time
  • Being unable to swallow properly due to emotions building up
  • AND unable to stop worrying about worst case scenarios or what will happen in the future.
Yep, having anxiety can suck...

But it’s usually at it’s worst when you’re not equipped with effective techniques to manage and cope with it.

As someone who has had anxiety for many years and found constant stress overwhelming, I understand the frustrations of not being able to switch off your mind, control difficult emotions or rationalise why you’re feeling a certain way.

I get it….

But I think the greatest challenge I experienced, was trying to explain my anxiety to my inner circle.

It’s hard to explain your emotions and what you’re feeling (eg. anxious, angry, stressed or upset) when you don’t really have a tangible reason behind it.

Managing Anxiety - When people Don't Understand

And in the moments when they couldn’t empathise with how I was feeling, I’d start to feel weird and like an outcast.

I think that was the greatest pain of them all…

BUT!! There’s a silver lining!  I don’t feel that way anymore!

I’ve learned to be a lot more open with my emotions and have learned how to decrease anxiety and stress symptoms.

And now, I’m so much more stable with my mind and emotions.

But how did I do learn to decrease anxiety?

I’m going to delve into this shortly, but before I do – here’s a video you can watch which covers the same content if you’re more of a visual learner than a reader.

To be honest, Meditation has been an absolute godsend for me!

If you haven’t done meditation before or are a bit intimidated or “weirded out” about with what meditation is, don’t worry! I was in the same place several years ago.

But after giving it a go and keeping consistent, the practice has truly transformed my life.

It’s such an amazing natural way to decrease anxiety symptoms, reduce stress and has a whole range of other benefits for general health and wellness. 

In this article, I’m going to highlight how and why meditation has helped me to decrease anxiety and how it can help you too.

 

How to Decrease Anxiety & Stress with Meditation 

If you’re struggling with managing anxiety, you probably experience at least one of the following thoughts in your day-to-day functioning:

That you/you’re:

  • Not good enough
  • Unattractive
  • Unloved or unlikable
  • Unworthy
  • Dumb or don’t have what it takes to be successful
  • Prone to fail
  • Difficult for other to understand
  • Have something wrong with you
  • Have no time or are too busy to do things you enjoy

Sound familiar???

The problem is that these thoughts are usually ingrained limiting beliefs that have developed at some point in your childhood or early years of life.

When you have anxiety, or are stressed, these thoughts are triggered regularly and can often occur in a scattered fashion.

The purpose of meditation is to slow down your mind and detach from your thoughts.

You are not your thoughts! 

That is something I have personally learned throughout my meditation journey.

How to Use Meditation to Help Decrease Anxiety and Stress


Why I Tried Meditation to Decrease Anxiety

In 2016, I went on the greatest adventure of my life!!

I spent 1 year backpacking around the world including South, East & North Africa, the Middle East and Europe.

Before my travels, I had read about the benefits of meditation for anxiety and had also heard about the powers of mindfulness.

Although I really wanted to decrease anxiety naturally, I felt that meditation was a bit too “woo woo” and wouldn’t work for me.

I also wasn’t a spiritual person, had very little extra time to invest into it and had some preconceived assumptions regarding what meditation was aboutwhich I later found out were complete myths!

Maybe right now, you’re feeling a similar way?

When working full-time, I’d put off trying meditation because I felt there were more pressing issues. But when I was travelling, I had no excuse…

I now HAD the time to give it a shot and didn’t have much to lose….

 

My First Experience Meditating #FAIL

Learning how to meditate was not easy, especially given I tried to be smart and do it all on my own (Not something I’d recommend if you’re just starting out too)

It took a lot of trial and error, time and I rarely had any idea what I was doing!

And because I didn’t have a dedicated meditation space, I felt so paranoid that:

  1. My room-mates would wake to find me looking like some uncoordinated passed out starfish on the floor
  2. People would think I’m dead or passed out and would notify the hostel staff
  3. Travellers would walk in on me, ruining my practice, focus, and also causing a big red face of embarrassment (on my end!)

 

My Experience Meditating Now

Now, several years later, I have developed a steady morning meditation routine. 

And what can I say, it’s freaking awesome!!

I love to meditate in the morning. I find it really sets me up for the day.

These days, I don’t get stressed as easily, I’m more balanced, more focused, motivated, centred and feel genuinely happy before my day has even begun.

Meditation, mindfulness and deep breathing have become necessary exercises in my daily life.

How I Use Meditation to Decrease Anxiety and Manage Stress

The Benefits I’ve Experienced from Meditation

1) Dedicated time to refresh, regenerate and relax. 

One of the greatest things I’ve gained from building a meditation routine is that I’m much more comfortable giving myself permission take a break and a moment to myself.

Being able to pause, reflect, focus and live in the now rather than constantly panicking about the future, what I need to do, my goals or past events.

 

2) Have Greater Clarity With My Thoughts

Rather than having scattered and distracting thoughts a lot of the time I’m now able to focus on what’s important, and detach from the rest.

 

3) I Deal With Anxiety & Stress Much Better 

I’m also so much with how I manage anxiety, pressure, stress, nerves, overwhelm and conflict.

Previously, it wouldn’t take much for me to feel stressed and overwhelmed, but now I feel that my tolerance and resilience is a lot better.

 

4) I Feel Genuinely Happy Within Myself 

Meditation has helped me to feel happier every day because I have greater focus and can prioritise my time on things that have the greatest meaning or impact to me.

I have a better understanding of myself and my emotional triggers, have learned to accept myself as I am and have a more positive mindset. I don’t dwell on the negative and have more gratitude and appreciation for the small things in life.

I guess you could say I’m a much more grounded, happy and balanced person in most areas of my life.

 

How Meditation Could Help You Decrease Anxiety & Stress

 

Something to remember…

Although meditation (for some) is a spiritual practice, it’s not magic.

There may be times when you meditate and don’t feel much afterwards at all. Other days you may feel amazing and ready to take on the world!

Another thing to consider is that Meditation will not rid you completely of your anxiety or stress symptoms.

But it will help you to reduce them and cope more effectively.

Although it may not do those things, Meditation will open the door to your subconscious and give you insight into the inner workings of your mind.

Given many of us are so busy running our lives and distracted by the noise around us, we rarely give ourselves time to tune in to what it really going on at a subconscious level.

Before learning the skill of meditation, I had suppressed my emotions for so long, that I’d eventually boil over like a pot on the stove.

Even at the most undesirable times…aka. work.

I learned the hard way but you don’t need to.

Until you sit down and truly listen to what’s going on in your head, you’ll never be able to overcome or address the source of your anxiety and stress.

If you’d like to read more about the health benefits of meditation you can do so here.

How to Meditate to Manage Anxiety & Stress

How to Get Started with Meditation as a Beginner

Wanna know what’s awesome?  Yeah you do…

Well for starters, you don’t have to be a pro or be spiritual to feel the benefits of meditation.

You also don’t need to have a lot of time to invest into it or spend a lot of money on meditation retreats or classes.

I started my meditation journey on a cold hostel floor with a pillow.

Not ideal, but proves it can be done.

To start a meditation practice, all you need is:

  • Yourself;
  • A quiet place to sit or lie down;
  • and guidance form someone who knows what they’re doing.

And that person is me! Yay!!

If you’d like to give meditation a go, and are interested in learning from someone who has been where you are, I offer a great meditation course for beginners to teach you how to meditate.

Decrease Anxiety with our Journey to Calm Meditation Course for Beginners

Icon Journey to Calm Course

In the course, Journey to Calm, you’ll get to learn about the following:

  • How anxiety & chronic stress impact our health and stress relieving activities you can do to combat it
  • About natural remedies you can add into your weekly routine for stress relief
  • How to build a positive and un-shakeable mindset by overcoming limiting beliefs and using positive affirmations, gratitude and mindfulness.
  • About the importance of self-care and some easy things you can do during your week to feel happier and fill your cup up again
  • How to Meditate and what you need to know before getting started
  • How to maintain a good posture to improve the quality of your practice
  • How to choose a meditation pose that suits your body and improves comfort and focus
  • Simple techniques to create a Meditation room that you love and that heightens your meditation practice
  • Simple ways to reduce back & joint pain
  • How to build a fool-proof Meditation Routine in just 14 days.

Click here to learn more about the Journey to Calm Course. 

 

If you’re not ready to jump into the complete course, you can alternatively sign up to our FREE / Lite version of the course below. 

In the free mini course, you’ll gain an insight into what meditation is, how it works, the benefits and why it is so great for decreasing anxiety and stress symptoms.

Like most things in life, you can never be 100% sure what the outcome will be until you give something a go…

Start your meditation journey today by entering your details below.

10 Natural Remedies for Anxiety & Stress Relief

10 Natural Remedies for Anxiety & Stress Relief

Since the age of 16 anxiety and stress have been a common occurrence for me. 
Just like many of you I’m sure…

At this age you start to enter the world of VCE (Year 11 and 12) and all of a sudden you’re required to decide exactly what you want to do for the rest of your life…AND start making plans to get realise it…

All within those last 2 years of school – crikey! Talk about pressure.

Then by the time you’re 18, you’re required to start “adulting”, which can come as quite a shock to some of us.

  • No more pocket money….
  • No more parents driving us around when we feel like it….
  • No more packed lunches…
  • No more 2 week boyfriends… (ok maybe that was just me)
  • And you officially get your drivers license….

Eeee shits getting serious….

Then, as we enter our 20’s we hit that point where we need to make some big life decisions including whether we go to uni (for most), work full-time, buy a house or even starting a family.

To be honest, life in my early teens had been pretty sweet, but once I turned 16, I was hit with a mass of self-inflicted stress and anxiety.

The kind of stress and anxiety that has a massive toll on our bodies – yep you know what I’m talking about…

It was in my 20’s that I started to discover natural remedies for stress and anxiety, and goodness me, it was one of the best things I did.

So here’s an insight into 10 helpful natural remedies for stress and anxiety.

 

10 Natural Remedies for Anxiety & Stress Relief

If you know me personally, you’d know I’m not a big fan of taking prescription medications. This is why I rely on natural remedies and techniques to help cope with my anxiety and stress symptoms.

It may not be the be end all solution for everyone…I get that.

But, these natural remedies can definitely help you to reduce your symptoms, even if used along more conventional medicines.

So without further ado, let’s kick straight into it.

P.S > If you prefer to watch videos over reading text you can also check out the video below:

 

1. Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness Meditation– originally an ancient Buddhist practice used by various religions around the world, but as of the last few years, has become a mainstream therapy for treating stress and anxiety.

It is a great natural technique where you’re key focus is to bring yourself into the present moment, and usually involves bringing your attention to your breath.

There are many scientifically proven benefits of meditation, including its ability to:

  • Provide stress and anxiety relief
  • Slow racing thoughts and overthinking
  • Help you gain greater clarity, focus and concentration
  • Promote greater happiness, well-being, a positive mindset, greater quality of life and inner peace
  • Lower blood pressure, cholesterol and your risk of heart disease and stroke
  • Help improve sleep and insomnia
  • Improves your resilience and patience,

For anxiety sufferers, the practice of mindfulness is an easy technique to add to your daily routine.

Types of Meditation - Loving Kindness Meditation Image

How to Meditate for Beginners

If you’d like to learn how to meditate, but need help grasping the basics, I encourage you to sign up for our “Journey to Calm” Meditation Course for Beginners.

This course is awesome because it not only teaches you how to meditate, but also helps you overcome many of the challenges newbies experience and build a fool-proof meditation routine.

You can read more about the Journey to Calm course here.

 

2. Get Off Your Phone!

It’s easy to forget how dependent we’ve become with the technology in our lives. Often most apparent by the immediate panic and worry that we feel when we think we’ve lost our phone. Followed shortly by the relief when we realise it’s been sitting right next to us the whole time…

Phew, the relief! 

This constant need to check our electronic devices, regardless of whether there’s an alert or not, can trigger feelings of anxiety. Even just idly scrolling through social media feeds and comparing your life to others can make you feel a sense of stress.

Sometimes it worries me with how intensely people’s phones seem to control them.

And, no! I don’t mean in a crazy sci-fi thriller kind of way.

What I mean is how so many of us multi-task with our phones:

  • Watching TV…but also scrolling the social feeds on our phones
  • Typing a task at work…and then suddenly feeling the need to check our phone
  • Walking down the street…with our face in our phones not even looking where we’re gong
  • And the worst of them all, driving….and texting on the phone.

Look guys, I admit I’m no angel! I’ve been a sucker for all of these things too.

But it’s something we all need to mindful of, especially if we’re wanting to reduce stress and anxiety on our bodies.

 

 

3. Get Yourself Some Herbal Teas

Yeah, yeah. You’ve probably heard about the power of herbal teas before.

But, as a natural remedy for anxiety, herbal teas are just so simple and easy to add into your daily life.

They’re not expensive and some have been scientifically proven to reduce stress and anxiety symptoms; promoting relaxation and improving sleep.

A study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, in Philadelphia, revealed that patients with generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) who took chamomile supplements for eight weeks, saw a significant reduction in their anxiety symptoms versus patients taking a placebo.

That’s why chamomile tea can be a great natural remedy to look into if you need help relaxing and de-stressing in the evening.

4. Essential Oils & Aromatherapy

Essential oils are another natural therapy that can be used for stress and anxiety relief. It is one I absolutely LOVE and rely on almost daily.

Of the many essential oils out there, Lavender, Chamomile and Cedarwood are known to help:

  • Reduce your heart rate
  • Reduce tension in the body
  • Promote relaxation
  • Improve sleep

Another great thing about essential oils is that they can be used in such a variety of ways to relieve stress and anxiety.

They can be smelt, inhaled, burned, diffused, put in a bath, dabbed on your skin, put on your pillow etc.

But just remember, this is mainly for essential oils only. Many fragrance oils are not recommended for your skin or in the bath so be aware of this when looking to buy some new oils.

Related Articles:

 

5. Spend Time in Nature or With Animals

Why is it that we feel so refreshed and happy after spending some time outside and amongst nature?

Well, a key reason is that nature including waterfalls and streams are known to release negative ions into their air.

Once negative Ions reach our bloodstream, they produce biochemical reactions that increase levels of serotonin in our brain. This is said to help alleviate depression, relieve stress and boost our daytime energy.

So, if you’re feeling stressed or anxious – take a moment to get outside and go for a walk in a nature reserve or park.

You’ll feel so much better for it.

In addition to getting up and close with nature, pets are also great for reducing stress. They offer companionship, love and support.

Research has shown that pets can be beneficial to people experiencing a variety of mental health issues, including anxiety.

 

6. Himalayan Salt Lamps

Himalayan Salt Lamps have become increasingly popular over the last few years.

They are believed to have numerous benefits, including their ability to counteract the positive ions released by many electronic appliances in our home environments.

Himalayan Salt Lamps are also believed to:

  • Improve mood and reduce stress or anxiety symptoms
  • Purify the air; restoring and preserving natural air quality
  • Correct the imbalance of ions in our home environments
  • Neutralise the Electro Magnetic Field (EMF) that we get in our homes, due to having extensive electrical devices surrounding us
  • Reduce symptoms of asthma, allergies and other illnesses
  • Improve sleep
  • Increase energy levels
  • Boost serotonin levels

Himalayan Lamps provide similar benefits to what we discussed above about nature and negative ions. However, they provide those benefits in the comfort of your own home.

Related Articles:

Meditation Resources - Himalayan Salt Lamp

7. Exercise

Yeah, yeah. Another one you’ve probably heard of before.

However, for me this one has been HUGE!!

In my case, I need to exercise at least 3-4 times a week in order to keep a lid on the box of my anxiety monster.

If I miss a day or can’t exercise for a week due to sickness or another event, I immediately notice a change in my anxiety levels. Something inside me just feels different and my mind can start to race unnecessarily.

As has been proven on many occasions, regular exercise is good for the brain and is a powerful cure for both depression and anxiety – immediate and in the long term.

Some even say that just 20 – 30 mins of exercise daily can help to reduce anxiety symptoms.

This could include a brisk walk during your lunch break or a quick gym session before or after work. it doesn’t need to be a burden on your life. Especially if you’re not really one who is very keen on exercise.

My advice is to just DO IT!!

Stop being a lazy couch potato, get your heart rate up and let’s burn off some of that anxious energy!

 

8. Eat a Healthy Diet

Most of us are aware of the importance of a healthy diet. It’s not exactly a new concept.

Yet, with the amount of conflicting information about health and diet on the internet, it’s no wonder we’re all confused about what to do.

From an anxiety perspective, diet can have a HUGE impact on your energy levels and nerves.

For anxiety sufferers, it is recommended that you focus your diet on:

  • Whole foods
  • Lean Meats & Seafood
  • Leafy Greens
  • Foods rich in omega-3
  • Reducing your sugar intake
  • Reducing caffeine and alcohol

According to Dr. Ramsey, the co-author of “The Happiness Diet, “people get more anxious and irritable when they are hungry.”

I don’t disagree with you there, Doctor. I definitely get anxious and #HANGRY when I’m hungry. Bring on the meal…

In the book, they also highlight how during anxiety attacks, our blood sugar can start to drop.

This is why having a snack can be the best thing to do if you feel your symptoms coming on (but of course, avoid unhealthy sugary snacks).

Over the last year, I’ve cut out quite a bit of sugar from my diet. So, now, when eating something naughty like a chocolate bar or a snack high in sugar, my heart starts to race and I feel anxious.

This never used to happen to me before!!

I believe it’s related to the sudden hit of energy you get from consuming sugar. This is why I now try to avoid eating those things as best I can.

Note: Being a chocoholic, this can be really hard!!

 

9. Relaxation Exercises

Breathing deeply and also engaging in other relaxation exercises such as body scanning and stretching can help to relieve tension in the body as a result of stress or anxiety.

 

Yogic/Deep Breathing

If you suffer from anxiety, deep breathing is a great habit to get into. Also termed “yogic breathing” or the “4-7-8 breath”, deep breathing has been shown to effectively reduce stress and anxiety.

One reason it works is that you can’t breathe deeply and be anxious at the same time. It also helps to slow down your body.

To do the 4-7-8 breath:

  • Exhale completely through your mouth
  • Then inhale through your nose for a count of four.
  • Hold your breath for a count of seven
  • Now let it out slowly through your mouth for a count of eight.
  • Repeat several times in a row until you start to notice that you feel a greater sense of calm.

Body Scanning – Relaxing Different Muscle Groups

Some people unconsciously tense muscles in their body, such as clenching their jaw, in response to anxiety. To combat this, try lying in a comfortable position on the floor, close your eyes and scan your body from head to toe.

Can you identify any areas in particular that feel tense?

If so, slowly constrict and relax each muscle group, beginning with the toes and working up to the shoulders and jaw. Do this for a few moments.

 

10. Self-Care – Making Time for the Things You Love!

Ever wonder why you feel so relaxed after treating yourself to some time in a sauna, a bath, or a steam room? Or even just by cozying up to a fire with a cup of tea?

Well, the sense of relaxation you feel is associated with the release of tension from your body as a result of feeling warm.

Research suggests that sensations of warmth boost mood and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.

One study in particular, revealed that “whether lying on the beach in the midday sun on a Caribbean island, grabbing a few minutes in the sauna or spa after work, or sitting in a hot bath or Jacuzzi in the evening, we often associate feeling warm with a sense of relaxation and well-being.”

In addition to seeking some warmth, allocating time for self-care and downtime is really important as part of our weekly routines.

Whether it’s watching a movie, painting your nails, getting a massage, meditation, yoga or going for a walk, making the time for these things will help to make you feel much more relaxed.

I guarantee it!

 

So, there you have it, 10 Natural remedies for anxiety & stress relief.

I hope that you now have some ideas of things you can try to aid in managing your anxiety naturally.

Note: When trying these remedies, keep in mind that some remedies may work better for you than others. Everyone is different. Ensure to try several different remedies before deciding if they work for you.

For chronic anxiety sufferers, you may want to suss out some other treatment options as highlighted below.

Other than that, I wish you all the best with giving natural remedies a go!!

If you would like to learn more about meditation, we cover this an more in our free Journey to Calm course below. 

 

 

Other Treatment Options

For those who suffer from chronic anxiety, you may require some additional treatment or therapy to prevent anxiety from interfering with your daily functioning. This is where it can be necessary to seek advice from a doctor about your symptoms.

The great thing is that Anxiety is becoming much less of a taboo topic these days. So, don’t feel awkward about seeing someone about it.

Even though mine isn’t chronic, I went and got some therapy myself (in the earl days).

It helped me to identify my triggers and make positive lifestyle changes. 

It could be the same for you!

You can also try Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) which has also been very effective for anxiety sufferers. I personally haven’t tried this though.

CBT is all about helping you to understand how your thoughts affect your emotions and behaviour. And then, replacing those reactions with positive or constructive alternatives.

Finally, there is always medication. However, for me, this would be my last resort. But maybe it’s the best solution for you.

Speak to a doctor and they will be able to help you to explore your options.

All the best!!

6 Relaxing Essential Oils for Anxiety and Stress Relief

6 Relaxing Essential Oils for Anxiety and Stress Relief

As an anxiety sufferer and stress-head, I understand the frustration of not being able to calm your mind or relax after a stressful day at the office.

Thoughts on constant churn, muscles tense, sweaty palms, a tightening chest or churning stomach.

Yep, it truly sucks!

Essential Oils to help calm and crazy anxious mind

But, thankfully I’ve found a solution that is natural, easy and relatively inexpensive.  It’s time to fill your room with the nourishing aroma of natural 100% pure essential oils…

I’ll talk in more detail about essential oils for anxiety below.

 

Essential Oils for Stress and Anxiety

I can tell you from my own first-hand experience, essential oils are a great natural remedy to reduce anxiety and stress-related symptoms.

Although there isn’t much scientific evidence available to consistently show the exact link between essential oils and anxiety / stress relief, I personally find essential oils have a really nice relaxing effect on me.

I guess it’s each to their own….

If you find that beautiful smells and aromas can have a soothing effect on your mind and your emotions, get on the essential oils train – I promise you won’t regret it.

Essential oils can be used in a diverse range of ways too. Whether it’s, diffusing them whilst you meditate, burning them whilst in the bath, diffusing them in your bed room to promote relaxation or dabbing them on your pillow to aid sleep.

If you prefer learning visually, you can watch a video version of this article below:

 

Here’s a list of 6 relaxing Essential Oils that you may love to add to your tool kit:

 

1. Lavender

This essential oil is so versatile. I love it!

Not only is Lavender great for enhancing sleep, but some clinical trials have revealed that it has relaxing and soothing properties that can help to:

  • Relieve stress, depression and anxiety symptoms
  • Reduce hypertension, muscle tension and panic attacks
  • Reduce Irritability and restlessness
  • Calm the nervous system and an overstimulated mind – which for us anxiety folk, is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!

And, if that isn’t enough, some say that it can even help people with migraines.

If you don’t have a lavender essential oils, this is a staple essential oil to add to your tool kit.

 

2. Ylang-Ylang

I have many essential oil blends containing Ylag Ylang, yet I am 100% certain that I mispronounce it every time I say it.

This weird-named essential oil comes from the native “Ylang Ylang” tree in Indonesia and is best known for its medicinal and cosmetic uses.

As an essential oil for anxiety, Ylang–Ylang is said to promote relaxation by reducing feelings of hypertension, stress and frustration.

It contains sedative elements that aid in reducing the levels of cortisol (stress hormone) in the body.

Interestingly, it can also be used as a/an:

  • Insect repellent
  • Antiseptic to prevent infections
  • Treatment for insomnia

Cool huh!? Definitely worth adding this one to your Essential Oils stash too!

Ylang Ylang Essential Oils for Anxiety

 

3. Lemon

Lemon is another essential oil known to have relaxation inducing properties that:

  • Fight stress, anxiety, and depression
  • Improve your immune system

Some people don’t like the smell of lemon (Take exhibit A; my boyfriend), but personally, I find it refreshing and uplifting.

When meditating, my favourite essential oil blend contains lemon as a key ingredient and I find it really helps with maintaining concentration and focus.

 

4. Bergamot

Of the fragrance and oil blends I have, I actually don’t have Bergamot as an essential oil on its own.

It seems to be a popular one to blend with other oils – such as lavender, lemon and eucalyptus (which is a blend I have). Apparently, it can also be found in Earl Grey Tea.

The benefits of the Bergamot essential oil include its ability to:

  • Ease stress, anxiety, agitation and insomnia
  • Help soothe an anxious and busy mind
  • Boost your mood

This is why it is often used as a natural remedy to treat depression.

I actually found out recently, that my mum has bergamot plants in our garden…Iif only I knew how to create my own bergamot essential oil concoction. hmmmm…

 

5. Frankincense

Frankincense, another very versatile essential oil.

Its sedative properties can be great for:

  • Reducing irregular breathing or a tight chest due to fear, nerves or anxiety
  • A natural anti-depressant
  • Providing emotional relief 
  • Soothing the mind
  • Increasing focus and patience

If you’re interested in meditation, it can be a great oil to burn or infuse during your practice.

Frankincense Essential Oils for Anxiety

 

6. Roman Chamomile

Mmmmm Chamomile...one of my favourites.

Many of you would know of Chamomile as being a delicious herbal tea, but did you know that it also makes a great essential oil for anxiety and stress relief too?

If you’re a herbal tea-lover like I am, you’d be familiar with some of the main benefits of Chamomile, such as:

  • Relaxing muscles
  • Calming the nervous system
  • Promoting better sleep

It can also help to:

  • Treat skin conditions
  • Digestive issues
  • and much more

According to Dr.Axe (a doctor of natural medicine), Chamomile is one of the most ancient medicinal herbs known to mankind.

 

 

What to Look Out For When Buying Essential Oils

Essential oils are now available all over the place. This can come in handy, but can also be a disadvantage.

Here’s why…

Due to the growing popularity and demand for essential oils all over the world, there are more and more companies starting to sell “look-alike” and impure essential oils. 

These companies of course continue to market their overly diluted and tainted oils as 100% pure, because the industry is not strictly regulated at the moment so they feel they can get away with it.

This can make things very confusing!!! Especially for beginners.

There’s a BIG DIFFERENCE between pure essential oils and fragrance oils.

If you’re a nature bum like me, you DON’T want to purchase some shitty fragrance oils that smell like fake rose, fake lavender or something that was whipped up at your grandma’s house… No offence grandma…

If you’re wanting top spec, high quality essential oils, be sure to look out for the following:

  • 100% natural & pure –Find a brand that contains only aromatic plant compounds and not any additional fragrances, fillers, artificial ingredients or synthetic oils.
  • Try to find essential oils that have been extracted using more natural methods.
  • Purchase a brand with a good reputation
  • Keep an eye out for sellers who reference the scientific botanical names of the oils rather than a generic name, but this can be a hit or miss with most companies not referring to scientific names.
  • Check whether the oils are free of pesticides or other chemical residues
  • The oils should by GC/MS Tested.This report shows all the chemical components that make up the oil. This should reveal oil there are any impurities in the oil.

 

+ MLM Companies

There’s also some essential oils brands that are network marketing companies. That’s why you may have noticed that DoTERRA is everywhere on Pinterest and the internet…because they often have bloggers, influencers and other people to act as reps for their products.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but does mean that it gives them an advantage over some of the other really good quality brands out there that are smaller. It also doesn’t mean that their products are better than everything else or the “be all, end all” for essential oils.

So, what brands are good options to check out?

I did some research and stalking on Amazon.com, and below have highlighted the Essential Oils brands I would go for personally (if you’re planning to take advantage of the convenience of buying online).

 

 

A Review of 5 Popular Brands on Amazon

At home, I have over 15 different essential oils and blends, of various brands, which I absolutely love!

If you don’t have any, looking at a package option can be a really great idea. Here are some of the top brands that stood out to me:

 

~ The Best of the Best – The Winner! ~

 

#1 – Edens Garden – 6 Essential Oils Set 

Edens Garden is another pretty well known and growing brand in the essential oils space.

The have a beautiful 6-set of Essential Oils comes with Lemon, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Peppermint, Sweet Orange and Tea Tree. This gives you some great variety, especially if you are new to essential oils and are not quite sure what scents you life or dislike yet.

 The Good

  • Their mission is to sell products that are 100% pure and therapeutic grade.
  • NO add bases, fillers, additives, etc to any of their oils! They try to keep the oils in their purest forms.
  • All oils are GC/MS tested
  • Their products are sourced from organic growers and distillers and extract the oils using steam distillation or cold pressed methods. They avoid synthetic additives – which is a good sign in my books.
  • They don’t engage in MLM or pyramid selling and were actually voted the #1 Non-MLM essential oil company
  • 10% of profits are given to organisations which they feel are helping to build a better tomorrow
  • Customer reviews on Amazon say that the oils smell great and that they appear to be high quality.
  • The price is also really reasonable.

The Bad

  • Some customers have complained about the smell of the oils saying that overtime they either disappear or start to smell chemically. But this seems to be a common trend with all oils really.
  • Apparently, their customer service isn’t great, leaving some customers quite pissed off.
  • Some have experienced issues with leaky bottles on delivery.

The Bottom Line

From what I can see, 81% of all customer reviews have been 5-Stars. This is a lot more compared to some of the other essential oil brands I looked at.  The bottom line for me – the positives clearly outweigh the negatives.

In terms of the concerns regarding delivery (leaking or broken bottles), I think this is a common issue with Amazon and essential oil products in general. I’m not going to hold that against company itself. The changing smell comments are also interesting.

If you’re looking to get started with a reasonably priced, diverse and reliable essential oils product, I’d get started with these.

View on Amazon here.

 

Other Options

2. Plant Therapy – 6 Set of Organic Essential Oils

Plant Therapy is quite a well known brand for providing good quality essential oils. Their set contains 6 different essential oils including: Eucalyptus, Lemon, Peppermint, Sweet Orange, Tea Tree and Lavender.

This is again another diverse set of oils for anyone who is a beginner to essential oils, or is unsure what kinds of smells they like.

The Good

  • Company claims that all oils are 100% pure and undiluted, except for their roll-on products which are diluted for safe use on skin.
  • Oils are apparently non-GMO and USDA Organic – but not sure whether there are such things as GMO and non-organic oils! Haha 🙂
  • Are GC/MS Tested
  • Offer some “KidSafe”formulas and options in addition to their usual oils
  • They have certified Aromatherapists on staff
  • Plant Therapy offer a vast range of different sized oils – from 2.5ml-10ml and 10-30ml.
  • Reasonable price and great reviews on Amazon.
  • Many customers state that the quality of the oils is really good for the price and that they smell really nice too.

The Bad

  • On the contrary, some customers on Amazon have said that the oils smell bad, are really faint or disappear after a while when burning them.
  • Some have mentioned leaking products on delivery which they found disappointing, but this a common problem with products bought online.

The Bottom Line

The Plant Therapy oils could be another good option to go for. They have many positives associated with their brand and products. The main negatives that customers highlight really come down to personal preference and opinion.

The “leaky” delivery concern is a common issue across many essential products on Amazon. This one could be a great on to consider for your essential oils purchase.

View on Amazon here.

 

#3 – doTERRA – 10 Essentials Oils Family Set (Approx. $136)

“doTERRA” is one of the most popular brands of essential oils out at the moment. Some might say it has become a hip trend of it’s own.

This 10 essential oil set by doTerra contains Lavender, Lemon, Peppermint, Melaleuca, Oregano and Frankincense, as well as a few different essential oil blends; Deep Blue, doTERRA Breathe, DigestZen and doTERRA On Guard.

This would offer beginners some great diversity in trying different essential oils. But, do keep in mind that the bottles in this set are only 5mL rather than the usual 10mL of most gift sets.

The Good

  • They pride themselves on providing high quality oils
  • Classify their oils as being CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade, but I think this may be based on their own criteria rather than being an industry-wide test.
  • They extract their oils through steam distillation and cold pressing – which is good.
  • Customers have said that they like how the gift set contains short descriptions about the products
  • Comes in nice and secure packaging

The Bad

  • Not sure if GC/MS tested
  • Some customers say it’s a waste of money
  • Issues with some bottles not being full or of equal volumes
  • The kit only comes with 5mL bottles, whereas many other kits contain 10mL.
  • Although you may be getting a larger variety of oils they are all super tiny in size.
  • They are a network marketing company.

The Bottom Line

If you’re after a reliable and quality essential oil for a pretty EXPENSIVE price, then go for it! There are many happy customers of doTERRA and they are popular, so I think in general, it is a pretty safe option.

Network marketing companies aren’t all bad and sometimes they do have really high quality products. But there are some dodgy brands on the internet too that unfortunately give the industry a bad name.

It’s just something to keep in mind compared to other brands.

View on Amazon here

 

#4 – Fabulous Frannie – 14 Essential Oil Set (Approx $25)

Fabulous Frannie is a relatively popular essential oils brand on Amazon.

I had personally never heard of them before, but they have almost 1,000 customer reviews, which I guess, is a pretty good effort.

This 14 set of essential oils contains Eucalyptus, Grapefruit, Lavender, Lemon, Lemongrass, Lime, Patchouli, Peppermint, Pine, Rosemary, Spearmint, Sweet Orange, Tangerine and Tea Tree.

For the super cheap price, I feel that this could be a bit too good to be true – but who knows.

Fabulous Frannie Essential Oils for Stress Relief

The Good

  • They claim that their oils are therapeutic grade with no fillers, additives or carriers added
  • The oils are GC/MS tested
  • Many customers on Amazon have commented that the oils have exceeded their expectations.
  • Despite the cheap price, they also say that they love the smell and quality of the oils.
  • Comes in cute packaging
  • Responsive and helpful customer service

The Bad

  • I can’t find any information about how they extract the oils which is a red flag for me
  • They claim they are vegan and cruelty free – but this is a bit odd given essential oils come from plants not animals. Therefore, of course they’re vegan!! Derrrr!!! Unless they are referring to the oils being tested on animals which if I’m honest, I have no idea about…
  • Inconsistent volumes of essential oils in the bottles
  • Inconsistency with the names of the oils – with the ads saying pine oil, but then the bottles saying “fir needle.”
  • Customer complaints about leaking bottles on delivery (standard for oils it seems) and poor quality oils. 

The Bottom Line

If these oils are legit, then they are at an incredible price! I’m not sure I’m convinced that they’re 100% pure essential oils. But, I could be wrong… 

I can’t find any information about where they source their ingredients from, or how the oils are extracted. Their website really doesn’t have much detail about the products at all which does concern me.

My gut is telling me that there could be additional fragrances weaved in here, but it’s hard to know. Could be a good buy if you’re on a tight budget.

View on Amazon here

 

In Summary:

So, there you go!!

There are many other essential oils brands that you can research, but these are the main ones that stood out to me and were popular on Amazon.

It took me a ton of time putting this together, so I hope that you find the info helpful and valuable so you don’t end up buying any dud oils.

All the best!!

Anxiety Symptoms & How to Overcome Them Naturally

Anxiety Symptoms & How to Overcome Them Naturally

So you think you or someone else may have anxiety?

Well, there are a few common symptoms that many anxiety sufferers experience on a daily basis.

Some anxiety symptoms can be obvious to detect, whilst others are much more subtle. But, before I go into any further details I’d like to highlight two important points:

  1. Suffering from everyday anxiety versus an anxiety disorder is quite different
  2. I am not a doctor or medical physician, so if you think you’re suffering from anxiety or an anxiety disorder, you should always seek medical advice and diagnosis. The information I provide here is for informational purposes only : )

If you’re unsure of the differences between everyday anxiety and an anxiety disorder, ensure to read:

Now, I’m going to get into some more detail about the main causes of anxiety and the common symptoms of anxiety and anxiety disorders.

 

 

What Causes Anxiety?

Stress is one of the greatest causes of anxiety problems. It can stem from:

  • A major life event or sudden change
  • The loss of a close family member
  • Experiencing a panic attack
  • Everyday stressors including:
    • A busy lifestyle
    • Built-up traffic jams
    • Waiting in long queues when you’re in a rush
    • Being overloaded at work
    • Trying to respond to a never-ending trail of emails

I’m definitely not a stranger to that kind of stress…as I’m sure many of you aren’t either.

Stress is a very normal part of our daily lives, but if left unchecked it can transform into anxiety pretty quickly.

Alongside stress, people with certain personality types can be more susceptible to anxiety and anxiety disorder, compared to others. AND like many other health conditions, anxiety can run in families. So yes, it can be related to your genetics too.

Now, let’s look at some general symptoms of anxiety.

 

Symptoms of Every Day Anxiety

People with “everyday” anxiety often experience the following symptoms:

Mental/ Emotional

  • Uncontrollable worrying and overthinking
  • Constantly seeking or needing reassurance
  • Lack of patience
  • Memory issues or difficulty remembering things
  • Sleep problems (Insomnia)
  • Find it difficult to relax – often appearing hyperactive, nervous or agitated
  • Feel disconnected from the world and those around them
  • Avoid or procrastinate with certain tasks particularly if it is something they’re anxious about
  • Have “All or nothing” thinking

Physical/Physiological

  • Headaches
  • Tight chest and muscle tension
  • Sweating
  • Feel like they can’t breathe due to constriction or shortness of breath, sometimes leading to hyperventilation.
  • Racing heartbeat and intense thumping in the chest
  • Panic or anxiety attacks
  • Loss of appetite

 

Natural Ways to Overcome Anxiety Symptoms

If you think you suffer from general anxiety symptoms, I have some tips and pointers that can help you to reduce some of these anxiety symptoms naturally.

My first suggestion is to get started with meditation and mindfulness training.

For me, developing a meditation habit has been one of the best things I have ever done. It has had a profound impact on my ability to control my anxiety and stress levels and has helped me to feel greater contentment and happiness in life.

If you’d be interested in checking out how meditation can help you to overcome stress and anxiety naturally, ensure to sign up for my FREE Meditation for Beginners e-course.

This 3-Day email course will give you a basic introduction into: 

  • The basics of Mindfulness Meditation
  • The Health Benefits of Meditation
  • How Meditation can help with overcoming stress & anxiety
  • The importance of regular practice
  • Other Meditation Tips for beginners

Click Here to Gain Access to the FREE Meditation eCourse!

 

If you’d like to educate yourself about meditation, here are some of my other articles to check out:

  1. How Meditation Helped Me to Manage Anxiety and Find Happiness in Myself Again
  2. An Honest Review of the Master Your Mind Course

My second tip is to start incorporating natural remedies into your daily routine. Essential oils, Himalayan salt lamps and herbal teas can be a great place to start.

Read more about natural remedies and how they can reduce stress and anxiety symptoms here:

  1. 10 Natural Remedies for Anxiety & Stress Relief
  2. 6 Relaxing Essential Oils for Anxiety and Stress Relief
  3. What is a Himalayan Salt Lamp & Why Do People Love Them?

 

Next up, let’s talk about the symptoms of anxiety disorders.

 

Anxiety Disorder Symptoms

Anxiety disorders differ from everyday feelings of anxiety because they have much more extreme symptoms.  They tend to impact a person’s daily functioning and performance, in a much more severe way than normal feelings of anxiety.

The symptoms of anxiety disorders can vary slightly, however, there are a few common signs and symptoms you can keep an eye out for.

Generally, symptoms include stress that is out of proportion to the impact of the event, with an inability to set aside worry or restlessness, even after the stressor or stressful event has subsided.

Mental/ Emotional

They

  • Feel intensely worried, afraid, restless, panicky, tense, nervous, scared or on edge most of the time
  • Have fearful, overwhelming, extreme and racing thoughts as though everything around them is going to go wrong or may result in their death
  • They are extremely irritable and easily agitated
  • Have difficulty concentrating
  • Often feel detached from their body and surroundings
  • Worry that they’re going crazy and feel that no one understands
  • They sometimes avoid leaving the house for extended periods of time due to their anxiety or fears
  • Have difficulty relaxing and unwinding due to their repetitive thoughts and feelings
  • Start avoiding social situations as a result of a certain anxiety or fear

Physical/ Physiological

In addition to the mental symptoms, people suffering from anxiety disorders can also experience physical symptoms such as:

  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia and sleep difficulties (can’t sleep or stay asleep)
  • A throbbing heart and heart palpitations (similar to that mentioned under anxiety symptoms)
  • Excessive sweating
  • Stomach aches or churning– sometimes to the point where they feel like they could vomit
  • Light-headedness or dizziness
  • Twitches and trembling
  • Difficulties concentrating
  • Excessive thirst
  • In some cases, they can develop impulsive behaviours or compulsions in an attempt to regain control or to avoid certain circumstances

 

Anxiety Disorder Diagnosis & Treatment

Given there a number of different diagnoses for anxiety disorders, you should always seek advice from a medical professional to determine whether you’re suffering from an anxiety disorder, rather than relying on self-diagnosis.

Although medications including sedatives and antidepressants are commonly prescribed to help manage symptoms, there are some other natural alternatives you can check out including:

  • Mindfulness & Meditation
  • Hypnosis & Psychotherapy
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
  • Relaxation Techniques
  • Self-Care – Frequent exercise, eat a healthy diet and avoid consuming a lot of alcohol & caffeine
  • Stress Management Techniques
  • Talking to a Counsellor

Although some levels of stress and anxiety are normal for everyone to experience, there are definitely some more extreme cases which do require medical attention and treatment.

If you’re interested in learning how meditation can help to relieve some of your stress & anxiety symptoms, get started with my FREE Meditation for Beginners eCourse by entering your details below: