Have you ever experienced a full-blown panic attack?
Your mind gets really noisy and the world around you starts to blur into chaos. You break out into cold sweat and start to shiver, and you heart beats a hundred times faster than usual. Your throat constricts, you find it hard to breathe, and you start to wonder if you’re soon about to take your final breath.
For some, it might not be as bad as that. To some, it might be worse. Either way, panic attacks make you feel like it’s the end of the world, and that’s no fun state to be in.
What are Panic Attacks?
Panic attacks are powerful waves of intense anxiety that can wash over a person unexpectedly, leaving them feeling overwhelmed and disoriented. These episodes can be incredibly distressing, often leaving people dealing with a range of unsettling sensations.
During a panic attack, the body’s response system is triggered into overdrive. Your heartbeat becomes rapid and erratic, and breathing can feel shallow and difficult. The world might seem distorted, almost dreamlike, and a sense of impending doom can cast a shadow over even the sunniest moments.
Physical symptoms can also include trembling or shaking, sweating, and feeling a tingling sensation or numbness in the extremities. The mind is also affected with racing thoughts, a racing heart, and a desperate need to escape the situation, even if it’s a familiar place.
Although panic attacks will trick you into thinking that you are left with a complete loss of control, it’s essential to remember that panic attacks are a natural response to stress and anxiety — and we have an arsenal of natural tools that can help you ease from a state of panic to a state of acceptance, calm, and peace.
How Essential Oils Help Relieve Panic Attacks
Two parts of the body play a huge role in handling stress — the vagus nerve and the HPA axis.
The vagus nerve serves as the pathway where the brain sends commands to control your digestive system, your heart rate, your immune system, and so much more. When the vagus nerve is stimulated, it allows the body to regulate your heart rate and blood pressure, effectively calming down the body.
On the other hand, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal or HPA axis takes care of your body’s responses to what it perceives as stress. If you’re prone to panic attacks, it means that your HPA axis is on overdrive and is looking at even the smallest events as a possible threat.
This is where essential oils come in.
Just when your HPA axis kicks in and perceives signals as an imminent threat, essential oils can effectively reset your brain’s response. Some essential oils help stimulate the vagus nerve so that your body goes into a state of calm, instead of a state of chaos, when it experiences different triggers. It slows down breathing and lowers your heart rate, causing the rest of the body to relax.
Essential Oils for Panic Attacks
When you incorporate essential oils into your daily routine, you minimize the chances of your body going into the usual stressed state. Think of it as a way to maintain a natural state of tranquility, where your body learns to regulate its responses to stress, as well as its perception of what stress looks like.
Should there be highly stressful situations that come along, it’s also natural for the body to still feel that pressure. In this case, you can use the same natural preventive tools as a means to support your body through the experience.
Here are some essential oils that are great for alleviating panic attacks:
- Roman Chamomile
- Ylang Ylang
You can also use some of my favorite essential oil blends that I get from Young Living. These blends contain a synergy of single essential oils that soothe your senses, allowing your body to respond to stress more effectively.
- Stress Away
- Peace & Calming
You can use these oils and blends on their own by adding a few drops to your diffuser or by placing a drop or two on your palms and inhaling directly.
You can also make your own DIY blend. My personal favorite is blending equal parts of Orange, Bergamot, Ylang Ylang and Lavender in a 10-ml roller bottle, then topping it off with V-6 carrier oil. I have it in my bag wherever I go and would apply it on my wrists, under the ears, on the back of the neck, and over the heart whenever I would feel stressed or anxious.
Daily meditation is also extremely helpful in training your body’s responses. You can read my blog post about meditation techniques to learn more about it.
If you need help in creating your own blends, let me know! I’d be more than happy to lead you to the right direction. Just send an email to email@example.com and the Hush Angels team will get back to you.
** If you’re experiencing panic attacks regularly, seek support from a mental health professional. Young Living products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.