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

Meditation ~ Healing Your Mind, Body and Soul

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Finding yourself stressed out, anxious, unable to fall asleep at night? I have found that meditating for 20 minutes helps me to reduce all of those symptoms.  Studies show that meditation can not only relax you, but it can lower your blood pressure, increase your immune system, and help with concentration!

There are over 75 different types of meditation and a lot of time and research can go into finding the exact type for you.  I personally prefer Mindless Meditation for its ease.

I found that the way Giovanni Dientsmann explains it is the easiest way to understand. Here is what he says.

Mindfulness meditation is the practice of intentionally focusing on the present moment, accepting and non-judgmentally paying attention to the sensations, thoughts, and emotions that arise.

For the “formal practice” time, sit on a cushion on the floor, or on a chair, with straight and unsupported back. Pay close attention to the movement of your breath. When you breath in, be aware that you are breathing in, and how it feels. When you breath out, be aware you are breathing out. Do like this for the length of your meditation practice, constantly redirecting the attention to the breath. Or you can move on to be paying attention to the sensations, thoughts and feelings that arise.

The effort is to not intentionally add anything to our present moment experience, but to be aware of what is going on, without losing ourselves in anything that arises.

Your mind will get distracted into going along with sounds, sensations, and thoughts. Whenever that happens, gently recognize that you have been distracted, and bring the attention back to the breathing, or to the objective noticing of that thought or sensation. There is a big different between being inside the thought/sensation, and simply being aware of it’s presence.

Learn to enjoy your practice. Once you are done, appreciate how different the body and mind feel.

There is also the practice of mindfulness during our daily activities: while eating, walking, and talking. For “daily life” meditation, the practice is to pay attention to what is going on in the present moment, to be aware of what is happening – and not living in “automatic mode”. If you are speaking, that means paying attention to the words you speak, how you speak them, and to listen with presence and attention. If you are walking, that means being more aware of your body movements, your feet touching the ground, the sounds you are hearing, etc.

Your effort in seated practice supports your daily life practice, and vice-versa. They are both equally important.

Tune in next Sunday for Meditation for Beginners

 

 

 

 

This is not provided to diagnose, proscribe, or treat any disease, illness or injured condition of the body. I shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss, damage, or injury caused, or alleged to be caused, directly or indirectly by the information contained in my blog.  This is in no way intended as a substitute for medical advice or counseling.  Anyone suffering from any disease, illness, or injury should consult a qualified healthcare professional.