How to Meditate More Often (Even When You Think You’re Too Busy)
We could all use more peace and clarity in our busy lives. That’s a given. Some days it can feel like we don’t have a single moment to breathe, let alone meditate. The irony is that meditation can make us more focused and productive so our days can be less hectic.
There are many more reasons to meditate backed up by actual science, including benefits that range from boosting health and happiness to actually changing your brain. Meditation is a medically recognized form of mind-body practice that can help reduce blood pressure, ease symptoms of anxiety and depression, reduce stress and help people cope with illness.
When practicing meditation, essential oils can help inspire a meditative state of mind. Using different essential oils during meditation can also allow you to create a specific atmosphere or mood in line with your meditation goals. Essential oils have even been explored as the focus of scent-based meditation.
So you’re sold on the idea of meditation, but don’t yet see how to work meditation into your schedule? These 5 tips should help you find more moments to meditate, even when you think you’re too busy, and show you how to use essential oils for meditation just about anywhere.
Tip #1: Meditate in the Morning
Let’s be honest, early in the morning most of us stumble around just trying to wake up for 20 minutes. Meditating right when you wake up can help focus your mind and give your body a chance get the memo it’s time for action. Instead of wandering sleepily from coffee pot to couch, try diffusing invigorating essential oils and beginning with just 5-10 minutes of meditation.
To begin your morning meditation, start diffusing essential oils that help perk you up. The recipe below includes peppermint and lime essential oils to give you a zing of vitality that gets your morning on track. Once you have your diffuser going, find a place to sit comfortably that is not your bed, or the couch. These are fine places to meditate, but if you have a hard time waking up in general, physical separation can help you mentally separate “meditation time” from “sleep time.”
Leaving a cushion or pillow on the floor near your diffuser before bedtime sets you up for easy meditation in the morning. You can also set out the essential oils you plan on diffusing so you just get out of the bed and go straight to meditation.
Morning Meditation Essential Oils Blend
4 drops peppermint essential oils
3 drops lime essential oils
Tip #2: Incorporate Moving Meditation in Your Fitness Routine
Tai chi, qigong and yoga are all practices that integrate meditation and physical movement to strengthen the mind-body connection. Adding a mind-body practice to your regular fitness routine is a great time saver because it allows you to cross off exercise and meditation on your to-do list at the same. Plus meditation makes your workout better.
Moving meditation doesn’t even have to be structured, it can be as simple as taking a walk. Perhaps you already take a walk in the evening after dinner or around the office building on your lunch break. Try practice walking meditation instead of just strolling.
Whether you add a mind-body practice to your fitness routine or upgrade your daily stroll around the block to walking meditation, essential oils can help you focus your mind.
Fitness Focus Essential Oils Blend
3 drops eucalyptus essential oils
2 drops pine needle essential oils
2 drops sweet orange essential oils
Tip #3: Meditate at Your Desk
Mind-body healing expert, Deepak Chopra M.D. has a great one-minute meditation video on how to practice stop meditation. You can practice stop meditation literally anywhere, you don’t even need to close your eyes.
In the video Chopra lists several tips on how you can practice meditation right at your desk. Here are his tips:
Step 1: Stop what you're doing.
Step 2: Focus on the sensations of your breathing to connect with the moment. Deeply inhale and exhale create separation between your thoughts and actions.
Step 3: Observe yourself and your inner feelings. Ask yourself these 4 questions:
Who am I?
What do I want?
What is my dharma or purpose?
What am I grateful for?
Step 4: Listen to your answers to the questions above and go forward into your day with this mindful awareness.
Especially at work, where the setting may not necessarily be peaceful, essential oils can help you settle into the mindset of meditation. Using essential oils to meditate at your desk is a physical action you can use to signal to yourself this time is special and intentional.
If you feel like most days at the office are overwhelming and stressful, you can use essential oils to relax at work every day. For Chopra’s one-minute meditation essential oils like eucalyptus, pine needle and rosemary are wonderful to use to encourage mental clarity. The recipe below encourages mental clarity and creativity. You can use it in a diffuser at your desk, or sprinkled on a tissue and inhaled as you follow Chopra’s routine:
One-Minute Meditation Blend
4 drops eucalyptus essential oils
3 drops tangerine essential oils
Tip #4: Mindful Shower Meditation
No really. You can absolutely meditate in the shower, but it’s not what you think. Shower meditation is NOT just zoning out under the water— we would never suggest wasting precious water and energy. Shower meditation is about disciplining yourself to practice mindfulness as you go through the process of this simple daily task.
In a target="_blank"n article for the New York Times online, mindfulness expert Nancy O’Hara is quoted as saying “the shower is an ideal place to start” when you want to deepen your mindfulness practice. It’s also a great place to start your mindfulness practice when you think you’re too busy to meditate. After all everyone needs to shower.
To turn your daily shower into meditation time, leave your music and other distractions behind. Methodically complete the cleansing process taking time to be mindful of each action and how your body feels. Allow yourself to fully experience each moment. Diffusing essential oils that promote mental clarity in the shower can help you focus your mind on the routine and the experience.
How to Diffuse Essential Oils in the Shower
Step 1: Fold a washcloth or small hand towel into a little pad or roll.
Step 2: Drop 15-20 drops of essential oils on the cloth.
Step 3: Place on the shower floor, shower bar, or bathtub edge where water mists, but doesn’t fully hit the cloth.
The steam and warm water of your shower diffuses the essential oils into vapor for inhalation.
Fresh & Focused Shower Blend
10 drops eucalyptus essential oils
5-10 drops bergamot essential oils
Tip #5: Swap Your Bedtime Social Scroll for Meditation
Does scrolling through social media to “help you fall asleep” sound familiar? According to a poll by the National Sleep Foundation, you’re not alone. 95% of Americans who use technology right before bed, but it turns out exposure to smartphone screens before bed is bad for sleep.
Instead of wasting 15-20 minutes setting yourself up for an unrestful night, try swapping out that time for meditation. Meditation can help quiet a racing mind and prepare you mentally and a better night’s rest. Science also shows that meditation influences sleep patterns physically. In fact, a recent clinical trial showed that mindful meditation not only helped the study group sleep better, but feel better during the day too.
Using essential oils for sleep meditation is a no brainer when you consider the well-known soothing effects of lavender essential oil. Research specifically regarding lavender aromatherapy and sleep quality also concluded that participants’ sleep quality was improved with inhalation of lavender essential oils.
Diffusing lavender with other essential oils that encourage mental clarity and focus in the evening sets a mood for mindfulness that helps relax the body and mind. When diffusing essential oils specifically for meditation before bed we recommend rosemary to avoid over-stimulating your senses.
Calm & Collected Bedtime Blend
3 drops lavender essential oils
4 drops rosemary essential oils
Best Essential Oils for Meditation
The best essential oils to use for meditation are ones that encourage mental clarity and focus. We recommend starting any blend for meditation with one of four essential oils: eucalyptus, pine needle, rosemary or peppermint. Any one of these by themselves, or any combination, will all help you get in the mindset for meditation.
Depending on your mental, emotional and physical needs, adding different essential oils to your meditation blend can help you focus your meditation intentions. For example, essential oils that inspire vitality are awesome in the morning, but not necessarily what you would want before bed. If you are very upset or grieving, adding frankincense or other essential oils that balance emotions can be helpful. Some essential oils are versatile and can be used to inspire several different moods
Here is a quick list of some essential oils that are good for different meditation intentions:
Mental Clarity & Focus: Eucalyptus, pine needle, rosemary and peppermint essential oils
Vitality: Peppermint, lime and lemon essential oils
Positivity: Sweet orange, tangerine, grapefruit, lemon, and lime essential oils.
Emotional Balance: Frankincense, bergamot and rosemary essential oils.
Relaxation: Lavender, rosemary and frankincense essential oils
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