Sensory Wellness, Improve Your Meditations with Your Sense of Smell
When you walk into a room, building, gym, or any area, there is a load of information that triggers your senses to feel a certain “vibe”. Whether the information is important or not, the feeling you derive is entered into your brain through the 5 senses; sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell.
Pretty cool right? It’s an automatic response that occurs within the body and has an impact on the way you think or feel during an experience. The body’s responses are different for each person and can influence your mood. Start to pay attention to your senses. Some things to think about are:
- What is the appearance of the space?
- Are there sounds?
- Does it have a particular smell?
- What is the temperature like?
Our bodies are full of sensors and are equipped to feel our environment all the time. These senses help us to understand our daily surroundings in our life’s involvement.
These same senses also influence our mood, behavior, and well-being. It is important to realize that we all experience and react differently when our senses are triggered. It is fair to say they can have a long-term effect on our mental and physical health.
Sensory wellness has vast implications on your overall well-being. Being able to filter and modulate the sensory stimuli presented to you in this world will help you become more resilient with your inner wellness when exposed to negative surroundings. Also, nurturing your senses will help improve your overall vitality and energy forces for a balanced mental life.
Each of the 5 senses has an effect on another or may resonate more with you personally.
- Sight – bright or flashing lights, colors, objects, visuals
- Smell – specific smells/ odors; good vs. bad
- Taste – sweet, salty, spicy, sour, hot, cold
- Hearing – music, voices, noises
- Touch – soft, rough, smooth, textured
These senses trigger your sensory organs, which can produce feelings such as comfort, discomfort, excitement, and fear. Senses can also stimulate old memories or past feelings, and we are constantly creating new memories as we become surrounded by different senses.
Sensory wellness is such a broad topic and can be discussed in so many ways. For this blog, we will focus on discussing the sense of smell and how it can apply to the mind for meditation purposes.
The sense of smell is connected strongly to the mind. When we meditate, our mind, body, and spirit begin to align. When there is an awareness and harmony of the mind, body, and spirit, our brain triggers positive messages throughout the body, which has proven benefits to improve mental health and physical wellness.
Meditation is a state of deep peace that occurs when the mind is calm and silent. It’s the practice of focusing your awareness on a particular object, thought, activity, or breath pattern to clear your thoughts and calm your inner spirit. Being silent with your surroundings allows your mind to achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm state.
Meditation can be done anywhere, anytime, and can be performed differently for each person. Much like yoga or any activity, meditation takes practice to become skillful, and the more we practice, the more we can benefit from it. We all have deferent inherent abilities to mentally separate ourselves from the world and enter into a meditative state. One way to improve your meditation is to incorporate aromatherapy using essential oils.
The aroma of oils can help create the right atmosphere to open up your senses to meditate. Studies prove that a space filled with specific smells can feel warm, inviting, relaxing, calm, and reduce stress and anxiety. They can also help boost one’s mood and energy level.
There are many essential oils that can be used to invigorate your senses and heal your body’s concerns. Oils are used as a safe, simple, and powerful means of enhancing health and personal well-being. Each essential oil contains unique therapeutic benefits, while essential oil blends (a combination of oils) create a synergistic effect that boosts the potential benefits even more!
TAKE IN THE AROMA
When diffusing oils, add a few drops (2-3) of one oil or mix a blend of a few oils together inside the diffuser with water. If you do not have a diffuser, simply inhale deeply from the open bottle to take in the healing aroma. You can also apply topically to the temples, wrists, or feet.
Here are some examples of commonly used oils and their known benefits when feeling a certain way.
Lavender: restless, calming, relaxing, stress relieving
Lemon: revitalizing, energizing, uplifting, refreshing, cleansing, purifying, hydrating, antioxidant
Peppermint: boosts energy, uplifts mood, opens airways, promotes circulation, soothes aches
Mood: Calm and relax
Combined: lavender, orange, sandalwood, rose
Combined: lemon, grapefruit
Combined: rosemary, peppermint
Combined: lavender, lime, spearmint
Combined: wild orange, juniper berry
Combined: bergamot, frankincense
Whether you’re enjoying the aromatic benefits of essential oils through diffusing, applying topically, or taking internally, the positive healthful effects are boundless.
While practicing meditation, focusing on the breath can be very helpful in relaxing the mind. Here are a few focal points to concentrate on and a few breathing techniques to implement into your practice.
- Center your intentions and devote energy on something you desire.
- Allow thoughts, feelings, fears, and distractions to be at peace.
- Breathe in the aroma being diffused to receive “good” oxygen, thoughts, and feelings. Then exhale fully by extracting bad CO2 to flush out negativity, fears, and distractors.
- Sitting or lying down in a relaxed position, deeply inhale to expand your rib cage outward in all directions so that the lungs fill up with air.
- As you inhale, call IN love, energy, say a short mantra, or count slowly 1, 2, 3… Send your inhaled breath to all parts of your body.
- On the exhale, allow your breath to retreat back to the center of your rib cage. Exhale the breath by sending OUT love, energy, repeat the mantra or by counting 1,2,3…
- There is no right or wrong way to focus on breath. Do what is best for you and your practice.
Any of these techniques will help you stay focused and present in your life. Be open to change and ask the universe for guidance. If you are focused and direct with your intentions, what you want will be presented in ways that will enlighten your life.
Check out the video to learn how to invigorate your senses while cleansing your mind.
Invigorate your senses by paying attention to the small things around you. Your senses are road maps to your inner well-being and could change the way you live a balanced lifestyle.
Peace, Love, & Light.