A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to spend the morning with Aromatherapy Associates and Dr Tara Swart talking about how to use aromatherapy and the sense of smell to revive and reset your brain, a title in itself which absolutely fascinated me.
I have long been fascinated with aromatherapy oils and how they can change your mood, your outlook and your wellbeing with just a few drops. Brand Ambassador for Aromatherapy Associates, Neuroscientist Dr Tara Swart, whose book I am currently reading, explains that the sense of smell is linked to the deepest parts of the brain, known as the limbic system, unlocks our basic instincts, feelings and memories.
Starting the day with and following little daily rituals using specific essential oils can rewire our brains, according to Dr. Swart.
‘Rituals are really important and recent discoveries about neuroplasticity [the adaptability of the brain] show that we can change our neural pathways through, for instance, using a mindful sensory ritual that includes aromatherapy to start your day,’
Rituals such as this can help you feel brighter in the mornings, or to help you be much more focused and efficient throughout the day and for some, a more relaxed evening. For me, starting the day feeling awake and alert is a must, especially as I am prone to bouts of insomnia. From Aromatherapy Associates we have the Revive blend and it can be used to alert all of those senses.
The five senses - touch, smell, sight, taste and sound are all incredibly important to our being, whether they work alone or with one another. Revive as a blend uses Juniper Berry which is not only uplifting but it helps relieve anxiety and tension. Then we have Neroli which as a fragrance I absolutely love, within this oil, it is used because its properties include bringing about a notion of relaxation and calm. Finally, we have Grapefruit essential oil which not only has an uplifting effect on the mood and helps with stress and depression. It is also used to help combat muscle fatigue and stiffness whilst at the same time stimulating the lymphatic system and thereby clearing the body of toxins. Together these essential oils create a reviving aroma which works to shrug off lethargy and help you jump into tackling the day ahead.
So with Revive and those five senses, Aromatherapy has put together a little routine to help you get the best out of using their products and I was kindly gifted the Bath and body oil, a body brush and a rollerball.
We start with Touch - Start your day with a feel good ritual that also promotes healthy skin circulation. The Aromatherapy Dry Body Brush uses natural Agave Cactus bristles to ensure your skin is left feeling incredibly smooth to the touch. To get the best use out of dry brushing, it is advised that you start at your feet using short, lifting strokes in the direction of your heart to stimulate circulation and eventually work the brush all over your entire body for maximum effect. The bristles on the brush are quite abrasive but I am informed that this is how your bristles should feel for dry brushing and redding of the skin is quite normal after use. Then using a capful of Revive Morning Bath & Shower Oil massage it onto your torso before stepping into the bath or shower and really take in those aromas.
Next, we have Smell - Each morning, or evening, depending on your preference, take just 5 minutes to focus on you. Again, using Revive Body Oil, poor a few drops into the palms of your hands, cup to your face and inhale deeply three times to help restore inner emotional balance. Once you have completed this ritual, you can then apply that oil to your body for soft, moisturised and nourished skin.
Your Sight is incredibly important and Aromatherapy Associates advise paying attention to your local surrounds, nature, the trees, your local park, flowers and wildlife, all of which are proven to lower stress and your wellbeing.
When it comes to Sound, take a moment to be still. Find a quiet place and use the Revive Rollerball. Apply it to your wrists and close your eyes, in doing so, bring your wrists to your nose, take some deep breaths and pay attention to the sounds around you, allowing your mind to wander. It is said that by stopping what you are doing and allowing your body to reboot will naturally help you to recharge. This is something which is perfect for that mid-afternoon slump when a disco nap in your office chair calls!
Finally, we have Taste - Food is our natural source of energy and as well as choosing it wisely, enjoying it is equally important. Instead of sitting at your desk on your mobile phone, move to a new place, a different room and leave your phone on your desk. This allows you to think about something other than your emails, social media and the news and instead concentrate on the task at hand - your food.
Aromatherapy call these actions - Easy Actions to Revive Every Sense and they are all really straightforward, something we can all learn to do and they serve as a timely reminder that we all need to take time to reflect, pay attention to what is around us and to our bodies and in doing so, these moments of reset can really make a difference.
I would love to know if you have any daily rituals which you complete to get you through the day?
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