Looking for ways to avoid stress and increase joy this holiday season? If so, perhaps including meditation on your to-do list over the next few weeks may just do the trick!
Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years. Originally, it was a method used by those who desired a spiritual and intuitive connection. These days, people around the world turn to meditation to increase mindfulness, relaxation and stress management. It's an inexpensive and simple solution that often brings profound and long-lasting results.
Not only does meditation (and related relaxation techniques) help bring peace of mind and less stress, according to the Mayo Clinic, scientific research shows that meditation may help such conditions as: allergies, anxiety, arthritis, asthma, cancer, chronic pain, depression, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
Here are some ways you can practice meditation on your own, with essential oils, whenever you choose.
This technique is good for beginners because breathing is a natural function. Focus all attention on your breathing. Concentrate on feeling and listening as you inhale and exhale through your nostrils. Breathe deeply and slowly. When you feel your attention wander, gently return your focus to your breathing. Try applying
doTERRA's Breathe essential oil on your chest for added support!
Scan Your Body.
When using this technique, focus attention on different parts of your body. Become aware of your body's various sensations, whether that's pain, tension, warmth or relaxation. Combine body scanning with breathing exercises and imagine breathing heat or relaxation into and out of different parts of your body. Try applying doTERRA's Balance blend to help you connect well with your body!
Focus on an Affirmation, Scripture or Phrase.
A mantra is the name of a sacred phrase that you repeat silently or aloud. An affirmation is a positive statement that brings you peace. You can create your own mantra or affirmation or you can memorize and ponder or repeat a verse of scripture. Try anchoring your statement in your mind using your favorite citrus essential oil. My favorite is Wild Orange.
Combining a walk with meditation is an efficient and healthy way to relax. You can use this technique anywhere you're walking--a mountain path, on a city sidewalk, or at the mall. When you use this method, slow down the pace of walking so that you can focus on each movement of your legs or feet. Concentrate on your legs and feet and the movement of your body rather than on your surroundings or destination. Lavender essential oil has a calming effect on the body and can be very helpful!
Engage in Prayer.
Prayer is the best known and most widely practiced example of meditation. Spoken or silent prayers are found in most faith traditions. You can pray using your own words out loud or in your mind. Begin your prayer with statements of gratitude. Then, from your heart, honestly pray for what you desire. Frankincense essential oil is terrific at supporting a spiritual connection!
Read or Listen and Take Time to Reflect.
Take time to read scriptures, poems or inspirational writings, and allow a few moments to quietly reflect on the meaning that the words bring to mind. You can listen to sacred music, spoken words or any music you find relaxing or uplifting. You may want to write your reflections in a journal or discuss them with your family or close friend. Peace or Forgive essential oil blends may be very supportive for reflection.
Other relaxation techniques that are helpful and popular are: yoga, tai chi, hypnosis, or massage.
If you have a hard time quieting your mind and moving into a space of calm, here are some techniques to help you out.
1- Count - Simply close your eyes, sit up straight, smile then take a deep breath and count slowly from one to ten.
2- Take a walk. Walking is a form of meditation. Find a local park or if possible, woods near your home where you can connect with nature and feel the calmness of mother nature. Leave your phone at home.
3- Animal time - Simply spending a few minutes with a pet can encourage calming the mind.
4- Watch or listen to a guided meditation. Many resources are available online. One of my favorites sites is the Chopra Center for Wellness.
5- Say THANK YOU. Spend a few minutes to sit down and verbally say ‘thank you’ for all of your blessings. This is especially a good exercise when your feeling negative emotions as it will help you create new, positive emotions. Even if it starts slow, keep going and eventually you’ll find a list so long you’ll have to take a break.
For this week’s homework, experiment with meditation and relaxation techniques, using essential oils, and find out what types and oils work best for you. Adapt meditation to your needs each day this week. Remember, there's no right way or wrong way to meditate and many essential oil blends may be supportive. What matters is that meditation and essential oils help you with stress reduction and may keep you feeling better overall.
Best of all, by using these techniques you may very well improve your holiday experience!