Whether you sneak them into your pocket before an interview for a pinch of luck, display them on your dresser to instil a sense of calm, or adorn your ears with them for their vibrational (and coruscating) effect – whatever your proclivity, healing crystals are hailed to have myriad benefits.
And, among their many proposed talents is the power to help with anxiety. But can healing stones really send good vibrations to the point of easing a restless mind? And is there any science to back it up? Below, we speak to renowned healer, crystal expert and author of The Power of Crystal Healing, Emma Lucy Knowles, to find out more.
First: what are crystals?
Now fully cemented in the mainstream, there's been a recent uptick in demand for all things crystals (as such, the term now has over 3 billion views on TikTok) and you'll see semi-precious stones cropping up in everything from skincare treatments to jewellery collections.
It's no coincidence that their rise to fame comes in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis, post-pandemic hangover and rising stress levels fuelled by poor work-life balance. Knowles believes that this surge in popularity is a byproduct of the growing social pressures of modern-day life but also a deeper search for connection. 'Crystals act as a lens; as filters for our energy but at the same time, these precious gems come from nature, naturally occurring minerals, whose powerful structures are formed under millions of years of extreme pressure – they allow us to connect back to the earth source and also to a higher power that often feels its evading us in periods of anxiety and stress.'
They are said to work by affecting the flow of energy moving in, through and around your body. 'When working with crystals, your energy shifts, evolves, strengthens and what and who your energy attracts starts to change,' Knowles adds. Though naysayers will say they're not scientifically proven (read: more woo than wow), when you take away your scepticism, crystals could have a tangible impact on your mental wellbeing.
So can crystals actually help with anxiety?
'When you're in alignment energetically, or "in balance", you can feel happy, in "good spirits", for no apparent reason,' says Knowles. 'When your energy is out of kilter, out of balance you may feel the other end of the spectrum, your mood can be unsettled, and you therefore can feel blue, or feel varying levels of anxiety.'
What's more, they're easy to use and implement into the everyday too. 'In the now age, we have had to create a new normal – we move so fast, and meditation isn’t necessarily for all. Just as we can carry our phone for connective ease, people are reaching for energy connectivity through crystals – which have the ability to align our energies, to stabilise, balance whilst we move through life at speed.'
But while crystals are never going to be a catch-all cure for anxiety disorders or acute, ongoing anxiety, if you're experiencing occasional feelings of restlessness or worry, crystals may help you rebalance. 'When anxiety bubbles, your energy moves very rapidly and you feel tight almost trapped in our body and being; the crystals will work to move you back to your natural state, drawing out the energy, and drawing in universal energy to help bring equilibrium,' says Knowles.
It's important to note that as it stands there is no scientific evidence to prove that crystals work for anxiety. There are, however, some studies that link the effects of healing crystals for anxiety with relaxation, but only as a placebo effect. A 2021 study found that this placebo effect could improve positive thinking and induce feelings of calm, therefore, potentially aiding with symptoms of anxiety.
Calming crystals: What they do and their different benefits
A quick refresher on crystals, shall we? Below, Knowles explains what these calming crystals can do for your body and mind:
Rose Quartz – When in a state of feeling out of alignment with yourself, rose quartz helps draw you back and leave you feeling more uplifted.
Blue Lace Agate – Helping to dissolve stressful states of mind, it seeks to stimulate and elevate your mindset, restoring peace during times of stress and enhancing your ability to communicate your needs with greater ease.
Clear Quartz – allows your energy to ground; to stabilise whilst also seeking to cut through turbulence and its root cause within you. Clear Quartz also allows you to see things as they truly are, rather than how your state of being is shaping it to be.
Howlite – is a natural stress reducer to help eradicate the toxicities of life around you.
Aventurine – is a deeply enriching crystal that helps you to root deep in tranquillity, promoting blissful mental stability, and calming feelings of anger or irritation.
How to you use calming crystals
Keep your crystal selection small to begin with, says Knowles, and try working with a minimum of two crystals so that you don’t get overwhelmed by choice. 'Cleanse your crystal by bathing in cold water overnight, let it charge then under the rays of the sun,' she says. You can then set an intention with them and consider what you would like to achieve in using them.
You could also try a crystal healing session, too. Crystal therapy is available at The Wellness Foundry and harnesses crystals, gemstones and minerals to maximise a self-healing process.
As with all holistic or alternative therapies, if it works for you and makes you feel good, then stick with it. And if it doesn't? You might be better off spending your cash elsewhere.
Always speak to your GP or a medical expert if you are experiencing ongoing symptoms of anxiety.