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Surprising Benefits Of Aromatherapy You Shouldn’t Miss

Surprising Benefits Of Aromatherapy You Shouldn’t Miss

Aromatherapy and the use of essential oils has been documented for thousands of years; from the Chinese and Egyptians, to the Indians, Greeks and Romans. There are many well known benefits and uses of essential oils and aromatherapy. They can alleviate stress and headaches, help you sleep, aid digestion and inspire you. Some people study and practice this craft and become experts in the field. Aromatherapy is now a thriving profession. However, it doesn’t have to be that complicated and you can easily use aromatherapy and essential oils in your every day life and reap the advantages of their well known properties and the not so well known ones too. Whether you are a novice or a long time user, you just have to think outside the square and learn how to experiment with what they can do for you and how to use them.

You do have to be careful when experimenting as they can be quite potent and many oils for example, shouldn’t be used whilst pregnant. It’s always helpful to consult a professional if you are unsure and use them sparingly. Just a couple of drops is enough and never blend more than two to three at a time. Always use carrier oils if you are using them topically or directly on the skin and never use on small children or babies. It is also good to invest in good quality, pure essential oils rather than the cheaper synthetic ones. Real oils usually have their botanical name written on them and are a little more expensive.

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Here are 5 benefits of aromatherapy that will surprise you:

1. Get rid of bad smells

I love burning oils around the house daily. You can get rid of cooking smells that although smell appetizing in the moment, can linger for days. I often cook with garlic for its well known health benefits, but it can get a bit smelly. Same with cooking fish. Once everyone has eaten and the dishes are cleared up I will blend a couple of oils in an oil burner and let the aroma waft through the whole house. I like to use oils from common cooking herbs for this purpose such as Basil, Rosemary or Ginger. Just a couple of drops of each and the garlic smell is gone. I also do this in the bathroom to get rid of nappy and toilet smells. Oils such as Lemongrass, Lime and any type of citrus can have disinfecting effects and smell amazing. You can bring the garden into your home with floral scents such as Geranium, Jasmine, Lavender and Rose. It’s a wonderful way to create ambiance in your home if you are having guests over or potential buyers if you are selling.

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2. Kill bacteria

You can use aromatherapy oils to kill bacteria and germs around the house. I soak any dishcloths that are starting to smell in warm water and a little bleach and to that I add a couple of drops of my favourite oil. The aroma goes through the kitchen as I wipe down the benches. I make sprays with a spray bottle, some water and a few drops of oils and use this to spray the atmosphere or surfaces and wipe them down. I also do this in the bathroom. Oils such as Pine, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree and Lemon are great disinfectants. If anyone has been sick I will put a couple of drops of Lavender in the wash with the fabric softener to kill any germs that are still lingering. I wash sheets and towels after a bout of flu this way. You can also use Peppermint and Tea Tree oil to prevent head lice. Just a couple of drops in a water spray bottle and spray it on the kids’ hair before combing it through. Using Eucalyptus and Tea Tree oil in a vaporizer can clear up stuffy noses and chests too.

3. Set the mood

We often get so distracted that we forget to tantalize our senses. Aromatherapy oils can be used to calm you down, elevate your mood or get you in the mood. You can use an oil burner, candles, soak in an aromatic bath, put fragrance on a pillow by sprinkling a few drops or making up a room spray. For romance why not try some Rose, Sandalwood or Ylang Ylang to set the mood. If you are feeling lethargic or have been feeling under the weather, Lemon is very energizing. For relaxation Roman Chamomile is perfect. There is real scientific evidence about how aromatherapy works and you can read about it here.

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4. Repel insects

You want to enjoy the great outdoors, but there is nothing worse than being bothered by mosquitoes and worse still, you don’t want creepy crawlies like cockroaches coming into your home, especially near your food. Making an insect repellent spray is very simple. Just fill a spray bottle with some distilled water and witch hazel, add a few drops of Citronella and spray it on your body before you go outside. Getting rid of insects like cockroaches and moths is easy. Just a few drops of Peppermint on some cotton rounds placed strategically in cupboards, drawers and pantries and the critters stay away.

5. Wear it

I love wearing aromatherapy oils like perfume. Some of them are intoxicating alone or absolutely divine when combined with others. Once you get the knack for mixing oils; woody scents with floral tones, citrus bases with sweet compliments, you’ll be able to create unique and signature perfumes that will compete with any celebrity fragrance. You can wear essential oils topically on your skin when they are combined with a carrier oil such as Almond, Rose Hip or Avocado. These oils have their own properties and benefits. Rose Hip is fantastic as a face moisturizer to minimize dry skin around the eyes and mouth and is effective for reducing the appearance of scars. Jojoba is fantastic for scalp care and dandruff. It also leaves your hair feeling silky smooth and repairs damage from over styling. Carrier oils are great for massage also. Just add a combination of aromatherapy oils to the carrier oil and massage the stress away from sore feet, a stiff neck or a tight back. You might have to recruit someone to help you or better still book yourself in for a professional aromatherapy massage. The best oils to wear as perfume are Rose, Jasmine, Geranium and Lavender.

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You can discover aromatherapy and essential oils for yourself. The best part of it is experimenting and using the scents that you are attracted to and that you enjoy. You can find different recipes and guides about how to blend oils. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be blending original combinations yourself and it’s a great idea to write down the combinations you come up with so that you can refer back to them in the future. Note the purpose of your recipe and how the scent made you feel and start your own aromatherapy recipe book. You’ll never look back.

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Diane Koopman

Writer, Author, Novelist, Self-Publisher

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Last Updated on August 20, 2019

How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality. (And here’s Why Your Perception Is Your Reality.)

I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

1. The Inner Critic

This is your constant abuser who is often a conglomeration of:

  • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
  • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
  • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
  • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

The Inner Critic is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

Why else would this person abuse you? And since this person is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

2. The Worrier

This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

The Worrier is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it. Occasionally, this person is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

This is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

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This person can be set off by words or feelings, and can even be set off by sounds and smells.

The Reactor has no real motivation and has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

4. The Sleep Depriver

This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

The Sleep Depriver’s motivation can be:

  • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
  • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
  • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
  • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

How can you control these squatters?

How to Master Your Mind

You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

There are two ways to control your thoughts:

  • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
  • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier; and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

For the Inner Critic

When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

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“Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

  • They rile up the Worrier.
  • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
  • They are often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
  • They are a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
  • They are the destroyer of self-esteem. They convince you that you’re not worthy. They’re a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get them out!

Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

Replace them with your new best friends who support, encourage, and enhance your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

For the Worrier

Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

  • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
  • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
  • Muscles tense

Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

“Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

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For example:

If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

“I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

“Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
  • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
  • Muscles tension

I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

Breathe in through your nose:

  • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
  • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
  • Focus on your belly rising.

Breathe out through your nose:

  • Feel your lungs emptying.
  • Focus on your belly falling.
  • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

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Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

For the Sleep Depriver

(They’re made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

  1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
  2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

You can also use this technique any time you want to:

  • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
  • Shut down your thinking.
  • Calm your feelings.
  • Simply focus on the present moment. 

The Bottom Line

Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

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Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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