Enhance Your Meditation with Essential Oils
One of the best ways to double down on the benefits you get from meditation is to combine it with aromatherapy!
Both of these techniques tap into powerful physiological and psychological processes to improve wellbeing. And when paired together they can work synergistically—each enhancing the effectiveness of the other.
And while the idea of combining olfactory stimulus with meditation has been around for millennia—there are still a few best-practice tips you might not yet be aware of!
How to Maximize the Benefits of Meditating with Essential Oils
Step 1: Choose an effective scent
While it’s true that your brain could be trained to use almost any scent to help you meditate effectively—you are likely to find better, and faster, results if you follow these tips:
Tip #1: Choose a distinctive scent.
Choose a scent that is both recognizable and that you are unlikely to encounter outside of your meditations.
You’re going to want to create a unique relationship with this scent—a relationship in which the presence of this scent always leads you into the meditative state you are reaching for.
Tip #2: Choose a scent that matches with your meditative style and goal.
Find an oil that lends itself towards your meditative style and goal.
What meditation style should I use? Take the quiz here!
You could consult popular essential oil literature, friends, the historical profile of the oil, or simply your own feelings. Just make sure you choose your oil with intention.
*It may be useful to note that certain brain waves, called theta waves, are characteristic of deep meditative states. To date, the following oils have been tested and found to help increase theta wave action: Lavender, Jasmine, Lemon, Valerian, Neroli, Grapefruit.
Tip #3: Choose an oil that your body has a strong biological reaction to.
Whether through your own experience or an iTOVi Scan, choose an oil that your body reacts strongly to. A weak-response oil won’t do you as much good.
Step 2: Be Regular
The greatest benefits of combining meditation and aromatherapy will only come as you are able to forge within yourself a powerful mind-body association between 1) a true meditative state and 2) a particular scent.
And the only way to build up that association, in both your mind and in your body, is to be regular.
Tip #1: Meditate with your chosen scent at regular intervals.
Beginners may want to try meditating for 20 minutes, 2-3 times a week. Have a plan for exactly when you will meditate and stick to it.
Tip #2: Be consistent in your meditative style, purpose, posture, and place.
The more regular you are in these things the better-trained your brain will be to quickly and easily find that ideal meditative state.
If eventually, you want to explore a new style of meditation with a different purpose, choose a new scent.
Tip #3: Meditate for at least 20 minutes.
The human brain is trained to adjust to any scent in about 20 minutes. You can meditate for longer if you want, but meditating for at least 20 minutes will help you condition your brain most fully associate the scent in question with your meditation practice.
Step 3: Take full advantage of the scent.
At the start of every meditation session, take a brief moment to breathe in the smell of your chosen essential oil. Don’t stay focused on the smell too long—you’ve got meditating to do!—but noting the smell at the beginning will help bring you into the meditative mood.
Meditation and aromatherapy are both wonderful tools to support wellness. But, as with many tools, they need to be used regularly and correctly to get the most benefit out of them.
Use the tips above to get the most out of every drop of oil and every minute of meditation!