Oils and our minds
The beautiful purple lavender flower and its extract have been used for many centuries to treat those suffering from anxiety and depression. The lavender oil benefits can be seen when the extract is used both internally and externally. More recent research has been able to pinpoint the key active constituents of the oil itself, and in vitro and clinical trials have enabled us to document the efficiency and benefits of lavender oil.
The fresh, delicate fragrance of the lavender flower and its essential oil has the ability to calm a restless mind and help you to relax. Lavender essential oil has many uses and benefits. Numerous different cultures in many countries have and still do use lavender. It is a key natural remedy for helping to alleviate manifold mental health issues, to change the mood, to soothe nerves, as an antidepressant and to relieve tension in the body and mind. It’s also generally used to induce an anti-inflammatory reaction and as an antiseptic – and it is widely praised for its antibacterial properties.
Lavender oil is an extremely versatile oil and is often found today in health and beauty centres for use in spa treatments. It is considered to be one of the best natural treatments for insomnia; something which can affect pregnant women and their partners in particular. A lack of sleep can be linked to depression, so lavender oil can be used to help bring about a more relaxing and therefore sleep-inducing environment. The use of lavender oil has been shown to improve the overall quality of sleep by 60% - this includes the duration of your sleep, the time it takes you to fall asleep and generally reduced symptoms of insomnia.
This versatile lavender oil has been proven to have numerous benefits for those suffering from depression too. This essential oil can boost confidence, and the lavender fragrance is incredibly refreshing, which also helps to act as a mood booster. Physicians throughout the world are increasingly using this very useful oil to help treat patients who have depression.
The benefits of lavender oil:
- Induces a sense of relaxation, mental clarity, and emotional stability
- Reduces anxiety, tension, sadness, and emotional imbalance
- Helps us to have good quality sleep
- Enhances focus and inspires a sense of enlightenment
The power of smell
Experience has shown that the way a room or the environment in which you are residing smells can have an instant effect on your mood. It goes without saying that being somewhere that has a horrible smell is more likely to have a negative effect on your mood. That said, your sense of smell can have more of an impact on your mood that you probably realised. Smell is definitely the most sensitive of all our senses.
As the seasons' change, so do the aromas and scents around us and in nature. Summer is linked to fresh smells such as cut grass, flowers blossoming or maybe even the smell of the sea. It’s been shown that our sense of smell tends to intensify and heighten in the spring and summer; the air at this time of the year is full of extra moisture.
If you walk into a room that has a nice, pleasant smell, you are much more likely to feel good and have positive thoughts. As a baby, it is our sense of smell that is the first sense to develop – our noses accommodate around six million odour detection cells.
It was a study that was conducted by the IFF (International Flavours and Fragrances Inc.) which discovered that some aromas and scents were able to affect our mood by generating an effect that could cause our muscles to relax. The company analysed how scents from around the globe affected our mood and thoughts. It was found that stress could be relieved by using certain fragrances. The aroma of lavender oil has many benefits and a proven positive influence on the mind.
Using lavender oil in meditation
The oil from the lavender plant is considered to be one of the best for meditation. Its calming properties can make your mind feel clearer and enlightened when meditating. If it is used while you are meditating, it can help you to feel more positive about life and more acceptant of you as an individual. It has been shown to reduce people’s fears and to bring about a feeling of creativity.
Our modern daily lives are characterised by being engulfed by a constantly busy, fast-paced environment. We have such a limited focus, we find it hard to rest, and we’re often generally quite exhausted. This is why the practice of meditation can help to enhance our mental wellbeing, bring about clarity, spiritual cleansing and encourage relaxation. It has also been shown to achieve a greater state of consciousness to help combat our anxieties and concerns, and give us a sense of enlightenment.
The pleasant smell of lavender oil is reputed to aid and even intensify the quality of our meditation practice. Everyone has their own personal preferences when it comes to choosing an essential oil to use during their meditation sessions, but lavender tends to be one of the favourites. This isn’t surprising, considering it has gained in popularity on account of its focus-enhancing properties when it has been used in prayer, mindfulness and meditation.
The use of lavender oil can help to centre and focus your mind. It has been said that lavender oil can also help to eliminate negative energy by encouraging heightened feelings of positivity, optimism and self-respect. The essential oil taken from the lavender plant can ease and soothe the body and soul when used together with mediation. It’s also best to ensure that the highest quality of lavender oil is used so that you can guarantee the best possible effects.
Mindfulness and lavender oil
The mind is an intricate, elaborate and powerful tool. It can help or hinder us in our daily lives. Unfortunately, the great potential of our mind does leave us open to stress, fears, anxieties and the tendency to worry. These issues have been part of our mental makeup for many hundreds of years, but are becoming increasingly commonplace in today’s stressful, fast-paced world.
It goes without saying that people and cultures throughout the globe have experimented with a variety of herbal and natural remedies, therapies and techniques to help them combat these conditions of the mind. The art of mindfulness is one of these.
Numerous religions such as Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, to name but a few, include the practice of meditation in their teachings. However, the key religion to have really provided a structured stance when it comes to the art and science of meditation is Buddhism. This religion really expresses the significance and importance of having an awareness of the mind. This is heightened through mindfulness and the regular practice and awareness of meditation.
Your mind is continuously having to work to keep you aware of key information, both today, back in the past and looking forward into the future. It also ensures that you are alert and ready for any danger or hazards. Your needs and requirements that go hand in hand with our regular daily actions and responses are also managed by your mind. It, therefore, makes absolute sense that your mind is going to need some regular downtime too. It requires rest and recuperation from being constantly active.
The practice of mindfulness aims to take your mind’s awareness from the various things it’s having to consider across its entire mental structure and make this awareness rest on just the now – the here and the present. The now and the present includes the feelings that the body is currently having, the relaxation of our muscles, and also, and most importantly, our breathing. Once we assist our mind into focussing on the present, it can consider thoughts, intentions, and even life itself from an entirely different angle and perspective. This stance is then not affected by any negative thoughts, regrets or experiences from past events. And it is definitely not marred by any off-the-cuff or negative thoughts about the future.
When we practice mindfulness, we familiarise ourselves with our inner self. This is carried out by training our mind and our physical body to maintain a state of relaxation. It has been shown that even newcomers to the art of mindfulness need only to practice for between 10 and 30 minutes each day to see a wealth of health benefits.
In parallel to the practice of meditation, it is considered highly beneficial to use aromatics at the same time. Many cultures and religions have found the use of lavender oil to help purify the mind and create a calm and relaxing atmosphere during meditation and mindfulness exercises.
The breathing of lavender essential oil through an aromatherapy diffuser can be extremely beneficial. It has also been shown that if you take some time to end your day with mindfulness it can really help to heighten your quality of sleep. You will feel more rested and also more relaxed for the day ahead. At the end of the day, your mind is really full of information and the stresses and thoughts of the day. So if your mind is not relaxed it will be impossible to sleep. If you take the time to use your lavender oil either dabbed on your pillow, on your temples, in a diffusor etc., you will find that your mind can become calmer. Lavender has been used to improve sleep and induce relaxation for centuries