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In a world full of early morning commutes, packed supermarkets and looming deadlines, it can be hard to find a moment of peace. Add on the fact that a lot of us are constantly plugged into social media or news outlets and it becomes pretty much impossible for our brains to stop going at 100mph. If you’ve ever wanted to ram someone with a trolley or have spent a restless night worrying about to-do lists, then you know what we’re talking about. Luckily there are things that we can do to make everything that little bit more calm.
Over the past few years there’s been a rise in popularity of ‘mindfulness’. Stick with us here, because this isn’t the mental equivalent of a fad diet. With time this can become some serious brain food. To put it simply, mindfulness is the practice of training your mind to be rid of negative or distracting thoughts in order to remain in the present. Meditation is the most common way this is achieved and enthusiasts claim that it can help symptoms of anxiety and depression. With 1 in 4 people in the UK suffering from such mental health issues, never has there been a more perfect time to jump head first into the world of mindfulness.
We know that it can be pretty daunting at first, so here are four tips to help get you on your way.
Just get started!
Although you’ll probably be able to find classes near you, it’s sometimes of benefit to grow an at home practice that you can slot easily into your day. Plus, you’ll probably feel more comfortable at first sitting with your eyes closed in your bedroom as opposed to a room full of people! There are tonnes of guided meditation resources on Youtube, as well as popular apps like Headspace to get you started. Stop putting it off and just go for it. Your mind will thank you.
Once you’ve got more into the swing of actually sitting down to meditate, make it into a habit. Pick a time everyday when you’ll be able to take 10 minutes aside to give your brain a service. We recommend doing it as soon as you wake up (yep, even before your morning coffee!) to get your day started in the best way possible.
Studies show that it takes an average of 21 days to solidify a habit, so work through your mind’s initial resistance and you’ll be into the swing of things before you know it.
Don’t get disheartened
Even the most mindful of people have their off days. It’s totally normal to sit down sometimes and feel absolutely incapable of ‘clearing your mind’ because you’re more focused on clearing your inbox. Don’t be discouraged. And don’t give up!
Create a space
If you want to make your meditation practice even more rewarding, adapt your environment to promote calm. As well as dimming the lights and making sure that you have a comfy place to sit, invest in some essential oils. Here at Tender Essence we know the power that scent has over mood. So, each time we meditate we use our diffusers in combination with our favourite calming scents.
Lavender, Bergamot , Ylang Ylang , Lemon and Patchouli are some essential oils that are best suited to meditation. They each help with anxiety or stress related problems, helping to balance the mind and the body in turn.
The best part is, that by adapting your environment slightly for meditation, it will become easier to form a habit. Your brain will start to associate the scent of lavender with your practice, making it easier to switch from work to mindful mode.