Reconnecting with your body and senses is key in mindfulness. What better way to do this than lighting an incense stick? Close your eyes and breathe deep.
Chamomile, lavender, and clary sage are your best bet against stress and anxiety.
The olfactory system or your sense of smell works differently from your other senses.
When you smell something, it immediately evokes emotion even before the brain identifies what you’re smelling.
We remember about 65% of scents or memories associated with scents.
You can trigger joy, relaxation or arousal just by smelling scents associated with a previous positive sensual or sexual experience.
When you’re homebound and need to pamper yourself or your partner, incense sticks can create the right ambience.
Natural aphrodisiac scents are warm, woody, sweet, spicy or earthy. They awaken sexual desire and increase pleasure. Some of these sensual scents typically found in incense include:
Patchouli (no wonder it was so popular in the ’60s!)
Channel Your Inner Divinity
For most people, incense calls to mind chanting robed priests, prayer and places of worship. The oldest written record detailing how to make and use incense is from the Veda sacred texts dating back to 1500 BCE.
The symbolism of incense smoke as prayer rising to the divine lives on today. It helps to heighten the senses, focus the mind and uplift the spirit during meditation.
Whether it’s a dedicated, lockable space in your house or a wall shrine, it’s highly beneficial to set aside space for your spiritual practice. Here’s what to include in your home altar:
Incense holder (fire-resistant)
Incense plate (fire-resistant for increased safety)
Natural altar surface (wood, stone, clay, marble)
The elements: water, burning candles (fire), burning incense(air), fresh fruit or nuts (earth), bells or chimes(ether)
Altar cloth (bright coloured or white)
Sacred images or symbols that represent your spiritual aspirations
Purify the Air
Our homes can sometimes be exposed to pollutants from the environment. Careful selection of what we bring into our homes is the best place to start in purifying the air.
Proper ventilation is a given; however, medicinal smoke can also purify the air of pathogenic bacteria.
We’ve played, prayed and put our feet up to the lovely accompaniment of incense scents. But, sometimes, you just want to put your nose to the grindstone and get work done.
When you’re chasing the creative muse, you want your theta waves augmented. For cognitive performance, alertness, problem-solving and memory, you want to increase alpha, beta and gamma waves in your brain.
Studies have shown that jasmine and citrus scents will increase your creativity and alertness (theta & beta). Eucalyptus, incense and rose oil increase alpha waves (coordination, integration, learning).
Remember, the perception of scents is highly subjective. So, experiment with different incense sticks and choose what works for you.
Organic Routine and Time Management
There has been a recent shift towards working from home or being a digital nomad. That said, squeezing work and recreation into a single space can wreak havoc on your well-being.
Productivity tools, time blocks and alarms contribute to the overwhelming sense of being hemmed in. The solution? Simplify it.
Don’t watch the seconds tick by or set jarring alarms. It’s less demanding to take a break or change activity halfway through the incense stick or at the end of it.
An incense stick will burn for 30-90 minutes depending on its length, thickness, components and the room’s airflow.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you should throw out your calendar! Just ease up on the minute-to-minute time tracking, especially for straightforward tasks.
It can also be a mental trigger to change activity. If you’ve been hard at work all day, you’ll want to decompress with a lovely book in your favourite nook. Burn a sandalwood incense stick to tell your brain to switch gears.
HEM masala sandalwood INCENSE STICKS
A beautiful hand rolled incense that is specially crafted in India by HEM.
The benefits of burning incense sticks in our homes are myriad and time-proven. There is a caveat: you have to do it right.
Natural incense is the best to avoid toxic emissions from synthetic ingredients
Look out for handmade incense sticks from verified suppliers
Incense sticks that blend complementary scents are most effective
Are Incense Sticks Bad for Your Health?
Incense sticks are not bad for your health. They have been used for thousands of years to promote good health. Remember, safety is key:
Always light incense in a well-ventilated room
If you’re asthmatic or have respiratory problems, consult your doctor before burning incense
Observe fire safety by using flame-resistant holders and plates
The important takeaway is that burning incense sticks is a simple and effective way to nourish all aspects of your life, from physical to mental to spiritual. Incense sticks help to create safe, happy and inspirational spaces within our households.