Mindfulness means to be fully present in any given moment. It's simply being aware of where you are and what you're doing, without reaction, labeling or judging. Being mindful is noticing the distraction and coming back to the present over and over again, as many times as you need to.
Practicing mindfulness isn't necessarily easy, but it is extremely rewarding. Also, rest assured, it does get easier the more you do it! Keep reading to learn how mindfulness benefits our mental health! Keep your eyes open at the end of this post - I included a great activity to try that incorporates the benefits of mindfulness and essential oils.
BENEFIT #1: Regain Control
Research shows that we spend almost half our time awake with a wandering mind.This makes it easy to lose touch with our body and get lost in that cycle of racing thoughts. Yenno, that one where it feels like you have absolutely zero control of your mind? Being mindful is noticing those distractions and racing thoughts, and coming back to the present moment. Doing this allows us to feel more in control, plus it gives our brains a break!
BENEFIT #2: Increase Positive Emotions
Did you know that mindfulness has actually been shown to affect how the brain works? Studies say that people undertaking mindfulness training have shown increased activity in the area of the brain associated with positive emotions - the prefrontal cortex.
BENEFIT #3: Become Less Reactive
Mindfulness is an integrative, mind-body based approach that helps people to manage their thoughts, feelings and mental health. It trains you to become more aware of your thoughts, feelings and body sensations, allowing you to manage them instead of becoming overwhelmed. It can give us more insight into our emotions, and even helps to regulate them. Researchers have found that areas of the brain linked to emotional regulation are larger in people who have practiced mindfulness meditation for five years or more.
Mindfulness & Oils Exercise
One way that I love using essential oils is to enhance my mindfulness practice! Both oils and mindfulness can help support mental health, and combining the two is such a great experience! To give it a try, follow these steps;
Incorporating the Oils
Pick your oil. I suggest using Frankincense or Peppermint.
Put a drop of the oil you chose in the palm of your hand.
Rub your hands together and cup them over your face.
Breathe deeply for a minute or two.
As you breathe, JUST breathe.
Notice how the air feels coming in, then notice how it feels going out. Notice the feeling of your stomach rising and falling with each breath.
Explore the experience with each of your sense.
Now focus on the oil. How does it smell? How does it feel as you breathe it in?
When your mind wanders, invite your full awareness back to the experience of breathing.
Is mindfulness something you've tried before? If so, I’d love to hear what your experience was like, and what you use this practice to support! Share your stories and feedback in the comments.
Looking for some great ways to try practicing mindfulness? Check out my free Boost Your Mood Survival Guide! Each one of these activities gets 500x better when you're fully present in the moment.