Adapted from Wellness Today.
A small study showed that just 25 minutes a day of mindful meditation can help you feel less stressed in an anxiety-inducing situation. And the best part: This effect was shown in people who had not spent months, or even weeks, but merely days training in mindful meditation.
For the study, which is published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology, researchers had 31 young adults undergo three days of a brief, 25-minute mindful meditation training. During the training, the participants learned how to monitor their breathing, and also be more aware of being in the present moment. Meanwhile, 35 other young adults were assigned to do a three-day cognitive training program, which involved analyzing poetry for purposes of boosting problem-solving skills.
Then, at the end of the three-day period, all the study participants were put in a stressful situation: They had to do math- and speech-related tasks as stern evaluators looked on. The researchers had them report how stressed they felt from this experience, and they also asked them to provide saliva samples so that researchers could measure the participants’ levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
The people who were assigned to the mindful meditation reported less stress during the task than people who were assigned to the cognitive training program.
Meditation is something we can easily put into our daily routine – sometimes easier said than done right? I agree. I tried doing a free 21 day meditation program with Oprah and Deepak Chopra (yes, I read Orpah and went, really? I was confused, but she was great!) Let me be an example that while meditation is extremely relaxing and beneficial, you have to make the time for it. I find that for me, meditation happens most effectively in the middle of the day. I can’t get up early enough before I start my day to meditate and if I try to do it right before bed I usually fall asleep before I can finish. At least that’s what happened with the Deepak meditations =)
Meditation can calm the body, mind, and spirit. It can help us to connect more deeply with the worlds around and within us. It has been shown to have physical health benefits including lower heart rate and lower levels of stress. But sometimes, life’s distractions can make a meditation session challenging so I wanted to give you some great essential oil suggestions to use or diffuse during your meditation practice to allow you to be more centered. (adapted from organicauthority and aromaweb).
Frankincense: The Liquid Gold and King of Oils is believed to help you increase your faith and connection with spirit.
Myrrh: One of the highest sesquiterpene contents in an essential oil, myrrh directly stimulates the hypothalamus, pituitary and amygdalin glands to help reduce stress and bring focus. It can assist in deep spiritual “opening” while bringing calm and tranquility.
Cedarwood: Focus inward a bit more clearly with the help of cedarwood. It can also help to illuminate your need for meditation and return you to your spiritual path when obstacles have made it difficult.
Sandalwood: This oil is very helpful in healing, particularly emotional/spiritual difficulties. It opens the heart and helps to promote trust.
Vetiver: This oil is extremely grounding and can be especially beneficial if you have a tendency to wander and lose focus in meditation.
Patchouli: Patchouli is very grounding and considered the oil of peace. With its earthy aroma and sedative properties, it can help quiet the mind during meditation. It is also calming and can help rebalance the body when stress has caused nervous exhaustion.
Om Diffuser Blend
6 drops orange (Citrus sinensis)
2 drops bergamot (Citrus bergamia)
2 drops patchouli (Pogostemon cablin)
Space Clearing Spray
30 drops cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica)
Add to a 60 mL spritzer bottle of distilled water. Shake well before using.
Go om yourself =)