Each day we are faced with bad news, deadlines or general frustrations about life, which can all cause a great deal of stress, worry and anxiety. I’ve been feeling that generally the world is experiencing a force of negative energy, which has left me feeling depleted. While I am not able to change how others react, I do have the ability to change how I respond. One tool that I’ve used for many years to help me cope is to practice mindfulness meditation.
Mindfulness is the ability for us to be fully present in the now and to put space between ourselves and our reactions. This requires being fully aware of what we’re doing, feeling, experiencing without reacting. This means that we turn off auto-pilot and our mind’s ability to continuously think about what is next or what just happened. Mindfulness is available to all of us in each moment of our lives; although, it does require practice and diligence to call it forth. But when we do, it’s very empowering.
Meditation is a practice that allows us to achieve mindfulness. When we meditate, we venture into our minds, feelings, sensations, emotions and thoughts to explore and to suspend judgement. When we combine mindfulness and meditation, it becomes a mental practice that teaches us to slow down our racing thoughts, let go of negativity, calm our mind and body while just being in the present.
Typically, mindfulness meditation focuses on deep breathing and bringing awareness to our thoughts. There is no judgement on the thoughts, it’s more about noticing the feelings and emotions associated with the thought. It’s not right, wrong, good or bad, it just is. The beauty of practicing mindfulness meditation is that it teaches us to be non-reactive during challenging situations and to use our breath to calm us. This can be very beneficial when we are faced with stressful situations.
Practicing mindfulness meditation doesn’t have to be an elaborate event. It can be as simple as comfortably sitting in a quiet place, focusing on the breath, and noticing your thoughts. You can do this for any amount of time and as many times throughout the day that works for you. Read our previous post on The Benefits of Deep Breathing to learn more.
There are times that I like to use essential oils to help focus my attention. Essential oil aromas can be calming, uplifting, grounding, or soothing. Essential oils are very potent and useful for producing a response from a small amount. I like to simply put a drop or two in my hands, cup them together and inhale deeply. You can also put them in a diffuser or simply open the bottle and inhale.
Three of my favorite doTERRA essential oil blends are:
- Balance – I love this oil because it has a warm, woody aroma that reminds me of being in the forest. It’s a blend of Spruce, Ho Wood, Frankincense, Blue Tansy, and Blue Chamomile with Fractionated Coconut Oil to offer an enticing fragrance that creates a tranquil and relaxing atmosphere.
- Adaptiv Calming Blend – This blend is perfect for dealing with life’s stressful situations, being on edge and feelings of restlessness. It’s a blend of Lavender, Magnolia, Neroli, and Sweetgum that provide stress-relieving effects while Wild Orange and Spearmint energize and uplift.
- Motivate Encouraging Blend – This is a fantastic oil to use if you’re feeling frustrated at work or cynical. It’s a blend of citrus oils and mint that unleash your creative powers and find courage to increase yourself confidence.
The benefits of mindfulness meditation can do more than just improve our mental state as discussed. They can have a positive impact on our overall health and well-being. Here are nine benefits that can help us stay healthier and enjoy life to the fullest.
- Reduces stress
- Increase self-awareness and self-control
- Improve relationships
- Help fight a disease or an illness
- Decreases depression and anxiety
- Help with weight management
- Increases compassion
- Help deal with pain or an injury
- Improve sleep by calming the mind