We are overloaded day in and day out with the conveniences of mobile technology. What is supposed to save us time ultimately saps our strength. 60 Minutes recent segment on the practice of Mindfulness revealed how out of touch we are with the act of living. We will look at how we can alleviate some of the imbalances through Mindfulness, both as a practice and as a healing essential oil.
Why? We are a goal-oriented society with overactive brains, constantly wandering from place to place, and imagining ‘what ifs’ at every turn. We are rarely mindful of being in the moment. Let’s be honest, even while you are reading this you are probably thinking about your calendar, who still needs a Christmas card, what’s on the grocery list, or the next goal in the near future instead of what resides within us and around us in this present moment. These demands we place on ourselves to multitask and the drive to stay constantly connected through technology cause us to access several, often disparate regions of the brain at once.
Anxiety, fatigue and depression are all activated responses from the posterior cingulet region of the brain. When these emotions occur, the activity in this region of the brain increases. When we spend so much time ‘plugged in’ to stay connected or using technology as the governing intermediary of our lives, we are literally feeding the beast. Anxiety, depression and fatigue are undiagnosed side effects of overtaxing our adrenal glands, and overstimulation of the cerebral cortex. Taking time to observe our present state of body-mind, just letting go of everything else and being focused on exactly what we are doing is the simplest incarnation of restorative meditation. Just breathe, live in the moment, be present, let it go.
We know this to be true, but we rarely incorporate mindfulness into our daily lives unless forced. Aromatherapy and olfaction access the hippocampus and amygdala; areas of the brain also related to memory and emotion, but with more complexity. The olfactory response works both actively or transitively (messages passed to and from the regions of the brain) and passively or intransitively (messages are passed one way, from the olfactory bulb to the brain only). The scent that triggers the memory that triggers the emotion that takes us to the place and time where we first felt it so strongly associated in our minds and hearts. This is just one of the healing powers of aromatherapy that brings us fully into a moment, enabling mindfulness.
In the 60 Minutes segment, Mindfulness is described as a “mental workout.” We can train our brains through mindfulness to filter out all the clutter – the future, the past, obligations and commitments – and just be present, and Rest in Awareness. Using Mindfulness essential oil blend, we can balance our overt-tired adrenals with Holy Basil and Bergamot, increase blood flow with Rosemary and Peppermint and invigorate with Lemon and Jatamansi. Furthermore, recent research has shown that d-limonene (active constituent in lemon oil) supports brain health and memory. If mindfulness as a practice is a workout for the mind, Mindfulness essential oil blend can serve as a salve for the practice.