Have you paused recently to check in on your wellbeing?
Every year on the 10th of October, World Mental Health Day gives us an opportunity to raise awareness about mental health conditions, and to reach out with compassion to people affected by mental health — including ourselves.
This year’s event comes at a time when our daily lives have changed significantly as a result of the pandemic, including many of us experiencing even greater social isolation than before. With the challenges faced over the months of lockdown, prioritising our mental health is one of the most important things we can continue to do.
Taking Care of Our Mental Health
Whether we have a mental health problem or not, we should all be taking care of our wellbeing.
Mental and emotional wellbeing describes how you are feeling in the moment, and can change day to day. Though it is important to embrace our emotional lows, there are practical steps we can take to improve and maintain our wellbeing, including making more time for ourselves and building inner resilience.
Neuroscience shows us that it is possible to increase our positivity.
The brain is shaped by our life experience, but also responds to training. By adopting a ‘growth mindset’, or habitual behaviours, you can train your brain to think more optimistically and experience greater positivity.
Strengthening our wellbeing requires practice: it is the multiple repeats and rituals that form the neural connections to make a habit out of optimism.
Optimism is one of the most important positive habits, which protects against depression and has a major impact on psychological wellbeing. It is also something you can learn to do, even if you have always seen the glass half empty.
Training our Minds to Cultivate Positivity
Neuroscientist and Aromatherapy Associates brand ambassador, Dr Tara Swart, advocates using daily self-care rituals to elevate our optimism, so we can direct our actions and emotions to manifest positive days.
The connection between aroma and channelling the power of your brain is incredibly strong, since the olfactory nerve connects the nose directly to the limbic system: the intuitive, emotional pathways of the brain. Triggering your olfactory system can alter your overall wellbeing in a positive manner, both emotionally and physically.
We can use smell alongside visualisation to trigger the brain to create positive associations, or what I like to call “the smell of success”.
When we start to align smell with positive habits, positive change can come. I have been using Aromatherapy Associates new Rose Reimagined range to set my day up with the best intentions.
The essential oil blend works on a therapeutic level to transform your mind and body. When you inhale Aromatherapy Associates’ Rose blend, the act of inhalation stimulates the olfactory nerve, which travels into the part of the brain associated with emotion, triggering feelings of optimism and boosting your mood.
Our Rose Reimagined Blend
Long known for its uplifting and anti-depressant properties, Rose is one of the most powerful oils in the aromatherapist’s palette – making it the perfect essential oil with which to navigate an uncertain, and at times difficult, world.
If we find our mental health being affected by these complicated and unsettling times, the therapeutic properties of rose include antidepressant and sedative properties (*Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine), with a warming and relaxing scent to help reduce stress and tension, calm the nervous system and uplift our senses when we are in need of emotional support.
Our blend of oils also includes Geranium, a tonic for the adrenal cortex: a gland that regulates the release of hormones. Geranium essential oil helps to balance the hormonal system during times of hormonal change, relaxing the mind, calming agitation and easing mood swings (*International Journal of Preventative Medicine).
Our optimistic blend is designed to uplift us in times of need, helping us feel empowered and resilient, and giving us the inner strength to cope with whatever life may bring.
Our mental health should be prioritised every day.
While it might come as effortless to check in on friends and family, it is always important to think of yourself and your own self-care. Are you making time, however short or long, to check in with yourself?