Centre Yourself with Scent: Aromatherapy and Meditation

You’ve created the perfect meditation space: the walls are painted a relaxing light blue, the music is soft and dreamy and you’ve picked out the ideal cushion to support you. What’s missing? A beautiful fragrance that soothes body and soul.

 

There’s nothing quite like meditation to strengthen the connection between body and mind. Focused breathing, being aware of your how your body feels and clearing your head from distraction: all of these things engage the senses and help you be present in the moment. It’s no surprise that introducing elements of aromatherapy—by engaging your sense of smell—can make your meditation practice even more effective.

 

The serenity of scent

If you meditate to bring a sense of inner harmony to body and mind, adding a calming fragrance into the mix will increase your relaxation. Gently massaging your temples with oil that contains lavender gives your meditation practice an extra dimension. Lavender has been scientifically proven to slow down the sympathetic nervous system, otherwise known as the stress centre. When you smell it, both your brain and body go into relaxation mode.

 

If oil isn’t your thing, scented candles can be a great alternative. There’s something about the ritual of lighting a candle and watching the flame: throughout history, this has been a way for people to signify a sense of peace. If the candle also emits a pleasant scent, even better. While focusing on your inhalation of breath, you are also breathing in a relaxing scent, a signal to your smell receptors to calm down. Inhaling peace and exhaling negativity is an important aspect of meditation, after all.

 

Fragrance to help you focus

Sometimes meditation can be a useful tool to raise your level of concentration. Imagine you have an intense project at work, so before going in, you decide to meditate. The powerful and minty scent of eucalyptus is known to sharpen your senses and make you more alert. If you surround yourself with it while meditating, you’ll be more focused on the day’s tasks.

 

Scent has a considerable impact on our emotions, but it also triggers our brains and bodies to react in a certain way. Next time you find yourself in your meditation space, don’t forget the fragrance.