Do you know the impact relaxation can have on your mood and health?
Incense has been used for thousands of years as an aid to meditation because of the affects it has on the mind and body. It has huge physical and psychological benefits that even a frequent scented candle enthusiast may not be aware of. Monks and spiritual healers have been aware of these but now the scientific community have run tests and focus groups that can quantify its results which, for some, are harder to dispute.
These test results have found that the human body has different responses to different scents:
“Fewer health symptoms were reported in the lemon conditon on scented compared to unscented days” Chemical senses – Oxford Journals
“The lavender fragrance blend had a significant transient effect of improving mood, making people feel more relaxed…” International Journal of Neuroscience
If you are having problems believing in the powers of the scent, try and think about how you feel when your favourite song comes on. You automatically feel a bit better, and singing your wee heart out gives you the feeling of release. A few heavy metal songs and a bit of air guitar, or belting out a bit of Whitney Houston’s “I will always love you”, whatever it may be, will most certainly create some kind of emotion in you. Scented candles have the same effect, they are just a little more subtle.
They work better the more you get into the habit of using them on a regular basis and the more you expose yourself to their benefits.
Here are some suggestions on how to create an atmosphere in your home to help you relax and destress with scented candles
- Plan ahead. Make time for yourself. Tell your partner or house-mate you’re planning a relaxing evening. If they want to join thats fine, if not, tell them not to disturb your alone time and to give you space.
- Pick a scent. Some of the best known scents for relaxation are lavender, rose, camomile, bergamot, vanilla and ylang ylang. But essentially, choose what appeals to your senses!
- Set the scene. Clean up a bit, de-clutter, turn everything off (yes your phone too!), run a bath if you like.
- Light the candle and clear your mind. Turn the lights off too. Concentrate on your breathing. Try and get your mind to de-noise. I like to ‘box off’ my thoughts and come to the mind-set that whatever needs done can be done tomorrow or later. After a busy day and everything you have done for others, you can take just 1 hour for yourself.
When we are stressed, tired or overwhelmed we can become snappy or frustrated, which isnt fair on others. This ritual can be very beneficial to your health and mood and therefore making you an easier person to be around. I cannot stress enough the importance of looking after your mental health. So make time for yourself and get into the habit of learning to relax.