Aromatherapy expert Clare White’s six tips to overcome anxiety

Clare White portrait photographBy Clare White on April 14th, 2023

Clare White is an aromatherapy expert and founder of Made By Coopers, after her own battle with life-limiting anxiety drove her to find her ‘cure’ in essential oils and powerful plants. Anxiety is the theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week (May 15-21) as a recent survey carried out by the charity around stress, anxiety and hopelessness over personal finances found a quarter of adults said they felt so anxious that it stopped them from doing the things they want to do some or all of the time. Six in ten adults feel this way at least some of the time, so the likelihood is that you or your clients are affected by anxiety. On a positive note, anxiety can be made easier to manage.

After years of suffering anxiety disorders throughout most of her late twenties, a 10,000-mile-round trip helped Clare find solace in aromatherapy, apothecary, and all-natural products as well as yoga and meditation.

Meditating with frankincense and regularly practising yoga in London was just the start. Clare knew she wanted to delve deeper into this type of healing work and was drawn to India where her story really began. During her travels, Clare spent time at an Ayurvedic retreat in Kerala, learning all about the power of plants and natural healing, as well as understanding the techniques and benefits of yoga and meditation.

Clare, now many years later, is still sure her anxiety is under control, and she’s overcome her attacks by following a few simple steps. Here she shares six ways that continue to help her, and her ever-growing list of clients overcome anxiety attacks.

THE HEALING PROCESS

“The way I started healing my anxiety was to finally face up to things and go to the doctor. After four years of having what I came to know was social and generalised anxiety disorder, as well as a dissociative disorder which is basically where you feel disconnected from yourself, I knew I had to admit it to myself I needed medical support, advice, and help.

“As well as going to my GP, I knew I wanted to go beyond medicine and look for alternative treatments for my anxiety. I would recommend doing your own research and exploring what is out there – I checked out having NLP therapy, hypnotherapy and/or finding a life coach.

“I knew I had suffered enough. I couldn’t do it alone any longer. When I finally admitted it – I felt a real sense of freedom. You could start writing your worries down in a notepad first, then speak to someone you trust and then shout it from the rooftops when you’re ready.

“I also found some of the first steps of my own healing process were to make swaps in my life. Small and big ones. I needed to be real with myself and know that swapping say a girls’ Vegas holiday in favour of going solo to a yoga retreat would bring me so much more long-term joy.

“I also learnt that swapping certain things in my diet helped bring my mental health to a new level. Changing up my diet to mainly organic and vegetarian, and almost totally cutting out alcohol, had such a huge impact too.”

MEDITATION

“When you have an overactive mind, filled with anxious and negative thoughts about yourself, meditation is the key to untangling your mind. I felt my anxiety as like a knotted ball in my brain.

“I had headaches every day for years and once I started meditating, my headaches slowly disappeared. Meditation is an amazing tool and it’s totally free!

“If you prefer unguided meditation, find a quiet spot you won’t be interrupted, sit on a chair with your feet on the ground, take a few deep cleansing breaths, and then focus on relaxing every part of your body, starting at the feet and end at the top of your head. If thoughts pop into your mind, just observe and try not to judge or be involved in the thoughts, as that’s all they are, just thoughts and not reality.”

BREATH-WORK

“When you have an anxiety attack coming on, without realising it, you hold your breath. When you hold your breath, your heart beats faster, you feel dizzy, you burn up and break out in a sweat.

“As soon as you feel the anxiety attack building, practice a simple breath technique such as the 4, 2, 6 (Inhale for four seconds, hold for two and exhale for six). This breathing cycle regulates the amount of oxygen you take in so that you do not experience fainting, tingling, and giddy sensations.”

“These are just simple techniques, but I would also recommend something called transformational or shamanic breathing which is a powerful healing tool for clearing stuck energy and negative emotions. This is great for deep inner healing work and really makes fast improvements to anxiety.

“I recommend finding a breath coach, and I can say the breathing project is amazing for a 1-2-1 session. Expect tears and then feelings of bliss!”

AROMATHERAPY

“When I first started my journey, I used to burn frankincense resin in my room while I meditated. The calm feeling it gave me instantly relieved the feelings of anxiety I had. I never knew just how much the power of plants can help with your feelings and emotions.

“It was something that never crossed my mind until I travelled to India. Whilst I was there, I learnt what smells and oils help with each mood and how I could make my own products to use in my day-to-day life. It was a life-changing experience, I came away understanding how the aromas from the oils made me feel and affected my wellbeing in such a positive way.

“I would highly recommend burning natural aromatherapy candles, using an atmosphere mist, or diffusing oils, just make sure they are 100 per cent natural to get the therapeutic effects. Candles can also create a ceremonial atmosphere which helps when doing healing work.

“My go-to aromatherapy oils for stress and anxiety are lavender, frankincense, cedarwood, sandalwood bergamot and ylang ylang. If it’s sleep you have trouble with, lavender and frankincense are a great combination.”

YOGA

“Yoga can also play a key role in having good mental health and I’m a huge advocate for it. For that hour and a half on the mat, you can calm your mind and move stuck energy around your body.”

“Try practising yoga every day, there are many different types such as Vinyasa flow, Ashtanga, hot yoga, and Hatha. Given the time, try and practice as much as possible but if life gets busy then just do a few classes a week.

“It is an important part of good mental well-being, so I would recommend giving it a try if you don’t already.”

REALISING THERE IS NO QUICK FIX

With anxiety, the thing to remember is, there is no quick fix.

Clare explains: “Don’t be putting too much pressure on yourself to feel better instantly. It is a life’s work to learn the tools and techniques to deal with stressful times. The more you practice meditating and looking within, you will learn how to look at things differently and not react with irrational thoughts. Life will become a lot easier.
“Stressful situations are still going to be there, but there are ways to not become emotionally involved. Always remember phrases to disconnect yourself from a situation or negative thought. These can be powerful, such as the Buddhist saying, “Don’t let the behaviour of others disturb your inner peace”.

“Different methods work differently for everyone but if you can have some sort of meditation or yoga practice, breathwork, use aromatherapy and spend time outside in nature I am sure anyone would see some resolve.”

Visit https://madebycoopers.com/ for all their product range.

Clare White portrait photograph

Clare White

The co-founder of Made By Coopers Apothecary leads a team in crafting natural aromatherapy and wellness products that promote emotional and mental wellbeing. Made By Coopers is dedicated to creating clean, natural products that leave skin radiant and nourished while restoring perfect harmony to the mind and body.

All articles by Clare White

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