Practising Mindfulness

It can be easy to rush through life without taking much notice of our surroundings and even our own thoughts and feelings. However, regularly taking time out or slowing down, even for just a few minutes, can have a positive impact on our well-being.

We have partnered up with home fragrance brand, Candalia to explore the practice of mindfulness and the role that our surroundings play in helping us to get the most out of mindfulness and meditation.

What is mindfulness?

By its simplest definition, mindfulness is the practice of remaining fully present “in the moment.”  This means paying attention to what is going on inside and outside ourselves, moment by moment.

As explained on the NHS website, An important part of mindfulness is reconnecting with our bodies and the sensations they experience. This means paying attention to the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the present moment. That might be something as simple as the feel of a banister as we walk upstairs. Another important part of mindfulness is an awareness of our thoughts and feelings as they happen moment to moment.

Mindfulness is most commonly associated with supporting and improving mental health, but clinical trials have demonstrated that it also has the potential to enhance our immune systems, enhance mental clarity and even contribute to relieving chronic pain.

Can fragrance help to enhance mindfulness?

Whilst it can be practised anywhere and anytime, the practice of mindfulness can be enhanced by our surroundings and by incorporating tools that help guide and focus the mind. A quiet room, natural lighting in the morning, dim lighting in the evening and a comfortable chair are all things to consider, as is fragrance. Fragrance has the power to create ambiance and evoke emotion. It calms the nervous system and brings us into the present, helping us to relax and focus. 

Our friends at Candalia know a thing or two about fragrance and how to use it to enhance mindfulness. This female-founded home fragrance brand from London has curated a range of 100% natural wax candles, scented reed diffusers and room sprays, lovingly hand-made in the UK to help create mindful moments at home.

Candalia uses the power of fragrance to create comfortable environments and to encourage regular self-care, which they believe is essential for navigating the hectic pace of modern life. Candalia's founder, Alia Shah, is highly invested in wellbeing and self-care and wanted to create something so that everyone had the chance to bring a little wellness into their homes. Inspired by her travels and love of interior design, she created a home fragrance range to make wellness accessible. If you would like to discover more about Candalia’s library of scents, click here.

She says:

Scents make a large difference in how we perceive a room we enter and how it makes us feel. Lighting a candle can have a very soothing effect, a scent dispersed through the room can unlock past memories or lift the mood. Our lavender scent, Soie Lavande, was created to do just that. Notes of calming lavender, vanilla, and earthy white tea wash over you as you instantly feel your mind and body relax. It is the perfect way to enhance mindfulness, deep breathing or a daily yoga practice.

Home fragrance diffuser and candle Soie Lavande

You can read more about Alia in our Extraordinary Lives Spotlight.

Can matcha enhance mindfulness?

For over 800 years Japanese Matcha Green Tea has been used by Zen Buddhist monks to enhance their meditation, enabling them to relax their minds but remain energised. At some point, the preparation of the tea became almost as important as consuming it, as they believed it achieved a certain catharsis.

The combination of caffeine and the amino acid L-theanine, which is found in abundance in quality matcha, provides a sustained energy boost and L-theanine has also been shown in scientific and clinical studies to have a direct influence on brain activity, particularly reducing stress and increasing concentration.

These benefits can be enhanced further by creating your own ritual around the preparation and drinking of your matcha, which will help to focus the mind and remain in the present moment. Don’t worry, there’s no need to replicate the detailed Japanese tea ceremony, but creating your own ritual will make enjoying your daily matcha more of a reflective and meditative experience. You can find more information on the preparation of matcha here.