Essential Oils for Mindfulness

es·sen·tial oil
əˈsen(t)SHəl oil/
noun
  1. a natural oil typically obtained by distillation and having the characteristic fragrance of the plant or other source from which it is extracted.

Essential oils are found in many sources of plants, stems, roots, flowers and bark on trees.  The nature of an essential oil varies from plant to plant, within botanical families, and from species to species. Each oil has it’s own components that are used in many things from cosmetics, lotions, bath salts and in healthcare.  The oils can be used with a single aroma or with multiples combined.

I am going to talk about a couple of oils that have many uses, but work well with mindfulness and meditation.  These are a few of my favorites and the benefits they can offer to help you relax.

Frankincense:  This oil has many uses but the aromatic influence is to help focus energy, minimize distraction, and improve concentration.  It also helps to ease hyperactivity, impatience, irritability, restlessness and enhance spiritual awareness and meditation.  It’s scent is a rich, deep, warm, balsamic, sweet with incense like overtones.

Lavender:  This oil promotes consciousness, health, love, peace, and a general sense of well being.  It also nurtures creativity. Lavender is a universal oil that has traditionally been known to balance the body and to work wherever there is a need.  It may help anxiety, nervous tension, mental clarity, and emotional balance.  It’s scent is floral, sweet, herbaceous, balsamic with woody overtones.

White Fir:  This oil promotes grounding, anchoring, and empowerment.  It can stimulate the mind while allowing the body to relax.  Fir creates the symbolic effect of an umbrella protecting the earth and bringing energy in from the universe.  It’s scent is fresh, woody, earthy and sweet.

For more information and other oils https://www.doterra.com/US/en/site/mandygaskill

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Mindful Breathing

We do it all the time. Breath that is.  Sounds easy enough, right?  Here is a simple exercise to help you focus on being more mindful.

  1. Sit comfortably with your eyes closed.  Inhale slowly and deeply through your nostrils and hold up to 5 seconds then exhale slowly through your mouth.
  2. Tune into your body and try to relax any tense areas.  Keep practicing your breathing.
  3. Feel your chest rising and falling, the air passing through your body.
  4. Notice your mind if it wanders.  It is normal to be distracted for those stray thoughts, but when you notice them, gently return your focus back to your breathing
  5. Breathe mindfully for a few minutes and gently return your focus back to your whole body, relaxing even deeper.  When you are ready, open your eyes  and take a moment to appreciate yourself for the quiet time.

Adding Mindfulness Into Your Routine

To practice mindfulness you have to work on re-framing your thoughts.  For example, when you are trying to work on meditation or breathing techniques, you may find that your mind wanders.  So instead of thinking ” Whenever I mediate my mind wanders” think, “It’s OK that my mind wanders.  I will just acknowledge those stray thoughts and bring my mind back to now.”

You can’t ignore the thoughts, but instead, revise them.  Usually we find that when we are stressed or have anxiety, our bodies reflect that negativity.  So revising will allow not only your mind to relax, but also your body. Think about what is going well right now and focus on the good. Tomorrow we will walk through one of many ways to add mindful breathing.  Through mindful breathing and re-framing your thoughts, you will have a great start to adding mindfulness into your daily routine.

Mindfulness

What is mindfulness?  The easiest way to describe it, is that it is being aware in the here and now.  It is awareness with no judgement.  No good or bad.  It suggests that the mind is fully attending to what’s happening, to what you’re doing, to the space you’re moving through.  Mindfulness helps you to be more aware of your choices and progress towards your goals.

While mindfulness is instinctive, it can be accomplished while seated, walking, standing, lying down and short breaks we take in our daily activities.  Combined with meditation, mindfulness can help you to manage stress, anxiety, sadness and more.  lina-trochez-377674-unsplash Photo by Lina Trochez on Unsplash

It’s Actually This Simple

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Counting calories, low-fat, low-carb, eating six meals a day, drinking

protein shakes –you’ve been bombarded with thousands of conflicting

and overwhelming ideas telling you how you should feed yourself.

Unfortunately, there’s no magic equation —no set of rules you can find on Pinterest to

make your health dreams come true. There is good news though; it’s so much more

straight forward than you think.  Instead of focusing on all of the restrictions, rules and

cheat sheets–concentrate on one thing only. Eating whole foods as much as possible, and

getting rid of any of the processed foods you currently consume.  That’s it. You’ll see

results quickly, and you’ll find it much easier than diets you have to learn the swing of.

Isn’t that great news?

Re-Evaluate Your Priorities

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What have you noticed lately that may be slipping from your grasp?  Have you been so busy you’ve spent less time with your kids, friends, family than you are comfortable with?  Are you working on a deadline and you’ve been cooped up in your office for weeks, with no free time?

It may not be that extreme, but chances are, there’s something out of line in your priorities that you’ve been hoping to change.  What is that?

I tend to procrastinate which causes chaos and leaves me feeling out of control.  I am working hard to find ways to organize and reduce the feeling of overwhelm that I endear because of it.  There are many online apps that can be used for this.  What is yours?

Now, about you.  Let’s just start with that first thing that popped into your mind.  The very first thing you thought of when you read this post.

How can you begin motion on changing that, starting tomorrow?

It doesn’t have to be some huge overhaul, which can feel very overwhelming.  But what can you start to do to make some changes that will last?

 

Don’t Wait Until Spring

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Somewhere along the way, the need to spring clean was ingrained in us.  After the hibernation of a frigid winter, we start fresh with a deep cleaning of our living space.  Hopefully going deeper than that, also an adjustment of our routines, attitudes, schedule, relationships and more.

But I think to start that now before spring officially arrives has its benefits.  We just started a new year, which inevitably brings new resolutions and new ideas of what you want your life to look like.

How is that going for you so far?  What needs tweaking?  Start with that, and you’ll be on a spree by the time spring arrives, where you can tackle the rest of your list it full force.

If we arrive in the spring with our failed resolutions still in tow, we will likely put off the spring cleaning as well.  It doesn’t have to be that way, though, and your growing to-do list doesn’t have to feel like a failure.  Start with jump-starting those resolutions you may have neglected from January and start a fresh track with one or two of those.  Your confidence will compound, and you’ll be ready to tackle more in the coming weeks with that momentum.

What’s the first thing you want to change in your life?