Using Candles For Mindfulness
If you've made it to our blog one thing is for sure: you're a candle person. And candle people are our kinda people. As a fellow lover of of those warm, wonderful smell goods, we know you've caught yourself admiring the soft flickering glow of your favorite candle as you relax after a long day, or breathing a sigh of release when you walk by and catch a whiff of your favorite fragrance, but have you ever considered that your candles could actually be a used as a tool for achieving peaceful presence in your life?
In my own personal journey to living a mindful life I've come to practice grounding as a way to clear my head and come back to the present moment. Grounding techniques are tools that we can use to still the mind of any stress, anxiety, or distractions and ground ourselves in, or "come back to" the present moment by focusing on sensory information; allowing us to feel rooted in the earth, in our bodies, and in the present. Focusing on sensory information such as touch, taste, smell, and sight reduces reactivity in the brain and can help to pull us out of the stressful thoughts that are constantly swirling around in our heads - those pesky thoughts of that weird thing we said yesterday, what we're going to wear to the party next week, or what time we have to pick up our kiddos from soccer on Thursday night and allow us to be fully present in this very moment, finally stilling the mind and evoking a sense of peace and calm. Practicing grounding techniques is such an important tool in slowing down and cultivating mindfulness in your life, which in turn creates more space and freedom to cultivate the life you've always dreamed of.
Today we're going to be sharing a few tips on how you can use candles to practice grounding throughout your day to help you lead a more peaceful, mindful, and present life.
Create A Ritual When Lighting Your Candle
How often are you rushing about during your busy day, lighting your candle up without a second thought? Our first step in using your candles to cultivate mindfulness is to take a moment to be very present and intentional when actually lighting your candles. Hold the vessel in your hand, take a few deep inhales and breathe in the beautiful aroma of your favorite fragrance, notice the matches or lighter in your fingers as you light your candle pay attention to the sounds made when you strike the match or ignite the lighter. Then take a few moments to watch the flame flicker and inhale in a few more deep loving breaths as you really ground into the fragrance, noticing the warm glow, and practicing gratitude for this sweet, intentional moment. Simply slowing down and giving your complete attention and intention to something even as simple as lighting up your favorite candle is a wonderful way to create space between your thoughts, relax your busy mind, and become present in your life.
Grounding Into Fragrance
Now that you've lit your candle and are going on about your day, use the fragrance as a reminder to slow down, take a breath, and come back to the present moment. Whenever you notice yourself catching a whiff of that beautiful fragrance, take a pause to really focus on and appreciate the scent. Deepen your breath, relax your body, sit up a little straighter and just notice what is going on around you. This is my personal favorite way to use candles to promote mindfulness and peace in my life, as it provides a beautiful opportunity to come back to the present moment each and every time you notice the beautiful fragrance of your favorite candle throughout the day.
Deepen Your Practice With Candles
If you already have a yoga, meditation, or mindfulness practice (or if you're brand new to all of this and looking to start one!) candles are a great way to create intentionality within these practices. Before pressing play on your favorite yoga flow or guided meditation, take a moment to light your favorite candle, take a few deep loving breaths inhaling the beautiful aroma, and set an intention for your practice. This is such a beautiful way to create an added layer of presence and intentionality in your practice, and when you're finished you can either blow out your candle signifying the close of a beautiful practice, or enjoy it's warm glow and wonderful fragrance for a while longer.
Appreciating The Light
Our final tip for using candles as a tool in your mindfulness practice is to notice and appreciate the warm glowing light of your favorite candle as it flickers away. Similarly to our tip on grounding into the fragrance of your candle, you can use the sight of this glowing light as a reminder to come back to the present moment - notice not only the soft light of your favorite candle, but the way it illuminates the space around it. Take a few moments to deepen your breath, relax your body, and consider how you, a vessel of light and love, illuminates those around you. Just like your favorite candle, you have the power to be a light in a world that can be dark at times - you have the power to bring light and warmth to those around you, to uplift and inspire. Each time you notice the warm flicker of your favorite candle, take a moment to breathe and reflect on the ways light has been brought into your world, how you yourself have brought light into this world, or on ways that you can bring light into this world.
The next time you reach for your favorite candle, we hope you'll take a moment to pause, deepen your breath, and apply some of these grounding techniques to help you to cultivate a more peaceful present awareness.