I love aromatherapy and mindfulness. Together, it feels almost magical. You close your eyes, inhale deeply an aroma that smells so good, and almost instantly you feel your shoulders relax, and a small smile comes to your lips. Just taking five minutes to be present in the experience of sitting quietly and enjoying the smell of essential oils diffusing is practicing mindfulness.
Adults aren’t the only ones who can benefit from the magic of aromatherapy and practicing mindfulness. You can introduce your child to the empowering practice of mindfulness with Star Essence Sensory Tools and the concept of play with purpose.
What is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils to support health and well being. According to Robert Tisserand, author of The Art of Aromatherapy and international speaker, educator and consultant on the science and benefits of essential oils, “Aromatherapy is a caring, hands on therapy, which seeks to induce relaxation, to increase energy, to reduce the effects of stress and to restore lost balance to mind, body, and soul.”
Essential oils are highly concentrated plant extracts. These extracts can be broken down into the individual chemical components that make up each particular plant. Each drop of essential oil contains all of those individual chemical components.
When you inhale an aroma you are inhaling all of those little chemical components and they will have some kind of impact and effect depending on which essential oils are used.
Supporting Emotional Well Being with Aromatherapy
Why is aromatherapy so effective, especially for helping us to regulate and support our emotional well being?
For that answer let's take a look at the science behind our sense of smell and our brains. Inside our noses is the olfactory membrane, these are specialized nerve endings that recognize and identify scents.
The olfactory membrane physically is located very close to the limbic system. The limbic system is the emotional control center of our brains. It is responsible for emotion, learning, and memory, among other things.
The limbic system establishes your emotional state. When you inhale the aroma from an essential oil, you are inhaling all of those little chemical components that make up that particular oil. The aroma molecules hit the olfactory membrane and the information immediately gets sent to the limbic system and you have a reaction.
This is why the sense of smell can bring back memories so quickly! I cannot smell the aroma of vanilla without thinking of my Grandmother and time spent with her in the kitchen.
What is Mindfulness?
The definition of mindfulness is “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thought, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.”
Mindfulness and meditation are empowering tools that can be practiced by anyone, anywhere, and anytime.
There are many different methods and techniques, and even a few moments of mindful awareness can have a big impact on our mood, our brain function, and our ability to handle difficult situations.
Studies on mindfulness and meditation over the past few decades have shown improvements in everything from memory to pain management.
It can be as simple as placing your attention on your feet when you are walking. How do your feet feel as they take each step? If you keep your attention focused on the present moment and each step as you take it… you have just practiced mindfulness.
Helping Kids Practice Mindfulness
Aromatherapy and mindfulness are two incredibly empowering practices. At Wellnessed, we have worked to combine these two forces into simple, easy to use sensory tools that can be used in meditation practice.
Our Star Essence Line of products are intended for children and combine four distinct aromatherapy blends with sensory tools and a guided meditation. Our mission is that through using the Star Essence sensory tools children and their parents feel empowered, knowing they can immediately affect and support their mental health and well being.
Aromatherapy for Kids and Play with Purpose Ideas
It can be as simple as blowing aromatherapy bubbles for your child and drawing their attention to the incredible aroma as each bubble is popped.
Or as your child is drawing with chalk, take a moment to notice the texture of the paper, chalkboard or sidewalk and how that changes the drawing.
Have your child try using different chalks with different blends of oils, taking time to notice the different fragrances and how those different smells make them feel.
Wellnessed Boutique Mindfulness and Meditation for Kids Step-By-Step
Star Essence Awesome Purposeful Play Set
Sensory regulation and aromatherapy can be combined in fun and familiar play things. We have curated an essential oil blend that is safe for kids and helps them with feeling grounded and balanced – Star Essence Awesome blend.
The Awesome blend is infused into bubbles, chalk, and a sensory putty. Your child will inhale the calming aromatherapy fragrance while squeezing or rolling the putty or creating sidewalk chalk art with the aromatherapy infused chunky and fun shaped chalk.
You can encourage your child to repeat an affirmation while playing: “I am exactly where I need to be.”
Star Essence Relax Putty Guided Meditation
You will have to guide your child through this next exercise a few times, but through repetition your child will learn to practice this type of mindfulness on their own. This short exercise will give them a concrete method of dealing with many different types of stress and anxiety.
1. Have your child take a Relax Aromatherapy Putty and split it in half so they are holding a chunk of putty in each hand.
2. With putty in each hand, instruct them to close their eyes and take three deep breaths – inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth.
3. As they inhale, gently tell them to squeeze the putty in their hands. As they exhale, have them stop squeezing or release their grip on the putty. Take a moment to notice and talk about the sudden feeling of relaxation in your hands, arms, shoulders, and maybe your chest.
4. Repeat this exercise of squeezing and releasing the putty as you intentionally breathe in and out three times. Keep your focus on the sensations of tension and then relaxation in your body.
5. After your final exhale and release of squeezing the putty, end your meditation by saying: “Peace begins with me.”
Each Star Essence Aromatherapy Putty comes with a guided mediation card to help parents teach their child how to practice mindfulness.