How To Use Essential Oils For Mindfulness

Alternaleaf Team
Written by
Alternaleaf Team
Apr 28, 2024
Last updated:
May 2, 2024

In recent years, the concept of mindfulness has been on the rise, with healthcare experts vouching for its positive effect on wellbeing. In simple terms, mindfulness is about being ‘in the present’ – training your mind to be calm and centred, which in turn, gives you a greater awareness of your internal and external worlds. It’s about taking time to observe your thoughts without judgement, rather than getting consumed or overwhelmed by them.

Mindfulness has its roots in Buddhist meditation, but today it’s appearing in many forms (even colouring books!). A growing trend for those embracing mindful practices is to ‘supercharge’ them with the use of essential oils. The idea is that, by integrating aromatherapy into our rituals, they become even more effective and beneficial.

Interested in adding essential oils to your mindful practices? Here are a few tips to help you get started.

Choose Your Mindful Practice

Meditation gets a lot of air time, but it’s not the only way to achieve mindfulness in your day – here are a few other ways to achieve this state.

  • Breathwork. Take a few minutes out to sit comfortably and breathe deeply. There are handy apps available to guide you.
  • Body scan. Again, take a moment to sit or lie in comfort and scan your body, from the top of your crown to the tips of your toes, taking note of any feelings or sensations you pick up along the way. What are they telling you?
  • Mindful walking. This is a wonderful practice to do in nature. Ditch your phone and earbuds and, instead, walk while paying attention to your body and environment – sights, sounds, smells and sensations.
  • Yoga. Even if you’re not keen on a class, you can practice basic yoga poses at home to achieve a sense of calm and connection with yourself.
  • Mindful meditation. If you’re unfamiliar with this practice, there are plenty of videos, apps and guides available online to help you master the basics. Don’t be intimidated! Remember, meditation can take up whatever time you make for it, even a couple of minutes.

How To Integrate Essential Oils

There are many ways you can sprinkle the magic of aromatherapy into mindfulness – feel free to explore different options or even a combination, to see what feels best. Here are a few of the easiest.

  • Diffusion. This means dispersing essential oils into the air (ideal if you’re meditating or doing yoga or breathwork at home). Diffusers come in many forms to suit different tastes and budgets, from ceramic to electric.
  • On your skin. During a body scan, massage essential oils into different parts of your body as you work through them, or just massage a few drops into the soles of your feet before you meditate. You may need to combine your essential oil with a carrier oil (such as coconut or jojoba oil) to avoid a skin reaction.
  • Inhalation. This simply means breathing in the aroma, and is easy to do in the context of most mindfulness practices, even walking. You may add a few drops to your palms, rub them together, bring your hands to your face and take a few deep cleansing breaths.
  • In the bath. Adding a few drops to a bath gives you the benefits of inhalation and skin application in a beautifully soothing context. Who says you can’t be mindful while you soak?

Which Are The Best Oils For Mindfulness?

There are hundreds of different oils and blends out there, so selecting the best one can be a challenge (and it’s also very personal). A few oils that are widely popular in the context of mindfulness are:

  • Patchouli: a good ‘grounding’ oil that’s earthy, woody and musky.
  • Cedarwood: a warm, complex oil thought to help ease aches and tension.
  • Cypress: uplifting and refreshing, commonly used to calm and clear the mind.
  • Rosemary: refreshing and herbaceous, thought to help memory and mood.
  • Lemon: mood-boosting and brightening, used to improve mental clarity.
  • Ylang Ylang: often used for stress relief and to balance the nervous system.
  • Eucalyptus: a purifying, cleansing and clarifying oil that aids respiration.
  • Lavender: a calming, relaxing and emotionally balancing floral aroma.
  • Bergamot: derived from an Italian citrus and used to ease anxiety and stress.
  • Frankincense: woody, spicy and earthy with a comforting, sedating fragrance.

Whatever oil (or blend) you opt for, remember to read the product information carefully. Not all essential oils are of the same quality, so pay attention to the purity of the oil and check how it’s been produced and whether it’s organic. High quality essential oils almost invariably cost more, but given the benefits they deliver, it’s worth the investment.

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