How to Choose Calm Before Life’s Storms Hit
By Caryn Gehlmann
The last couple of years have taught us to expect the unexpected — like this massive tree that landed recently on my brother and sister-in-law’s house in Port Huron, Michigan! So I decided to focus this Just for the Smell of It post on how to choose calm, especially when you’re not exactly feeling calm!
Last month my sister-in-law was standing on the porch watching a storm roll in, they call it a “Northeasterly” back east. She turned around to go back into the house and within 15 seconds the big tree blew over and crashed right through the enclosed porch. They’re safe, no one was hurt, thank goodness, but wow were they rattled!
It got me thinking about how important it is to know how to choose calm before a crisis or disturbance occurs. This proactive approach puts you ahead of the game rather than trying to chase after a calm that’s been hijacked by panic, anxiety, or overwhelm. Let’s take a look at some empowering options for choosing calm.
Of course, here at essential 3, we believe that aromatherapy can help! But it certainly isn’t the only thing that we can do. I also got some great tips from one of e3’s most experienced aromatherapists, Lakita Dunkers, on what’s helped her recently.
Tip #1 — Have Quick Calming Strategies Ready to Use Throughout the Day
It helps to be proactive and find simple strategies to refocus on what you know makes you feel good. For example, Lakita uses Post It notes with positive messages like “Appreciation & Gratitude” and places them on her kitchen cupboard, bathroom mirror, car, and computer. The gentle reminders can make a difference! You can even put these as reminders on your phone.
One of the best reminders you can give yourself throughout the day is to breathe!
Yes, we know that you breathe all day long. However, it’s easy to default to shallow, rapid breathing, especially when you’re under stress.
Breathing exercises help you involve your body, rather than just your mind, to do the work of calming. Research studies have shown that this diaphragmatic breathing lowers your stress by stimulating your parasympathetic nervous system. I loved the two 5-minute breathing exercises recommended by breathwork facilitators in this article, ‘I’m a Breathwork Practitioner, And This Is the Calming Exercise I Swear by When I Only Have 5 Minutes.’ (Psst… Lakita and I are sharing our favorite breathing exercises in our next DIY blog. If you’d like to receive this as an email, sign-up for our newsletter and make sure you check the DIY box.)
If you need a gentle reminder to breathe, why not try one of our aromatherapy inhalers you can keep in your pocket or purse. Or you can get one of e3’s aromatherapy bracelets which includes a charm with sayings like ”Just Breathe” or “Inhale Exhale” as a visual reminder.
Tip #2 — Have Calming Strategies Ready When You’re Restless at Night
It can be even more challenging to choose calm when you’re feeling restless and agitated at night. Lakita says when she feels that way, particularly with 3 am non-stop brain chatter, she doesn’t fight it. Instead, she recognizes the state she’s in and consciously chooses to feed her mind on something positive.
She focuses on visualizing her favorite things that make her smile. If she’s particularly restless, she has a book she always finds inspiration in that she keeps by her bed. So instead of randomly scrolling through social media or YouTube, try taking 5 minutes to read a favorite poem, listen to a favorite speaker, or get up and do some stretching. Take conscious action to guide your inner state of being.
For more tips on how to use essential oils to focus on calm on restless nights, read my blog, Essential Oils for Insomnia Soothe Sleepless Nights.
Tip #3 — Find an Essential Oil Aroma That Helps You in the Moment
I had a customer who’s experienced a tremendous amount of stress recently ask me: “Which essential oil should I use for comfort?”
If you know me, you know how I answered, “The one that smells best to you!”
Each of us is special and unique so there is not a one-size-fits-all essential oil or blend. And here’s the thing, you can respond differently to different aromas depending on what’s going on in your life at the moment. So listen to your body in the moment. You’re looking for an essential oil or blend that brings a nice deep Ahhhhh — this is the physical and emotional response you’re looking for.
With that in mind here are a few of the essential oils I’ve noticed many customers gravitating to recently as they proactively choose calm:
As far as our e3 essential oil blends, many are finding these options to be supportive to them right now:
Again, your body may respond to another essential oil or blend. Take a look at e3’s sample policy if you want to experiment on a few new singles or blend along with your next order! Sometimes it takes a little time and effort to find the perfect one, but it’s worth it!
If you’d like to learn more about how essential oils can help you proactively choose calm, download e3’s guide, “Listen” to Your Nose – An Introduction to Aromatherapy.