free your mind: aromatherapy and mindfulness meditation

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Free your Mind: Aromatherapy and Mindfulness Meditation. Chestnut Hill College Health Services. Stressed out?. Long-term stress can cause:. Weight gain Getting sick more often Bad mood / temper Anxiety and panic attacks Headaches Difficulty concentrating / poor memory - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • Free your Mind: Aromatherapy and Mindfulness MeditationChestnut Hill CollegeHealth Services

  • Stressed out?

  • Long-term stress can cause:Weight gain Getting sick more oftenBad mood / temperAnxiety and panic attacksHeadachesDifficulty concentrating / poor memoryUpset stomachPoor sleepHeart attack and stroke

  • Stress is all around. So what can we do about it?We cannot prevent stressful moments from happening.We CAN decide how we will react to stress.


  • Your Do-It-Yourself Relaxation Kit:Chamomile TeaAlmonds and BlueberriesMindfulness MeditationAromatherapy Eye Pillow

  • Mindfulness: Live in the MomentBe aware.Be present.Be exactly where you are.Experience all the sensations of right now.

    An Exercise: A cup of tea

  • Mindfulness: Live in the MomentMindful MeditationBe aware and present in the momentShort, easy breathing practicesFocus on your breathing to quiet the mindTake a moment for yourself to relax Can be used any time of the day

  • Mindfulness Meditation PracticeAn Exercise: Three BreathsDr. Michael Baime, Penn Center for Mindfulness

    As soon as he rings the bell:Close your eyes or look down at the floorListen closelyTry to take it seriously

  • Mindfulness Meditation PracticeAn Exercise: 3-minute guided sitting meditationDr. Michael Baime, Penn Center for Mindfulness

    First 30 seconds: Notice what is happening right now in the mind and bodyNext 2 minutes: Bring attention to the breath and moment to moment sensationsLast 30 seconds: Return to the sense of your whole body

  • Where to find more informationAudio: Guided Mindfulness Meditation (Jon Kabat-Zinn)Borrow 4 CDs for free from Health ServicesUpload from CD to iTunes and mp3 playerClasses: Penn Program for Mindfulness (Michael Baime) Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness (Jon Kabat-Zinn)

  • AromatherapyLavenderCalms the nervous systemRelieves anxietyLifts moodPromotes deeper, more peaceful sleep

  • Make Your Own Eye Pillow Place about 3/4 cup of dry rice into a snack size resealable bag. Seal it closed.Place about 1 teaspoon of dried lavender blossoms into tea bag. Tuck the flap inside.Place the snack bag and tea bag into clean, low cut sock.Apply sticky velcro to sock cuff and seal it closed.Apply to eyes, lie down, breathe, and relax!

  • Make Your Own Eye Pillow Can be placed in refrigerator for cooling effectCare of eye pillow: Machine wash sock after periodic use (remove contents prior to washing)Keep rice away from moisture. Replace rice if it gets wet.Replace lavender when it loses its aroma. Try other scents such as peppermint for a more awakening sensation.

  • If you don't like something change it; if you can't change it, change the way you think about it. -Mary Engelbreit There is more to life than increasing its speed. -Mohandas K. Gandhi

    Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look once in awhile, you could miss it. -Ferris Bueller

    Ask participants to bring: pillow to sit on, mug

    Setting: Dim lights, quiet, warm space

    To begin: Serve hot water and Chamomile tea, possibly a snack (almonds and/or dried blueberries)

    Ask participants to sit on their pillow on the floor, or find a comfortable seat somewhere in the room where they can comfortably sit upright.

    *Stress happens daily:- Especially with deadlines and demands of school and work exams, papers, presentations- Balancing relationships with friends and family dating, keeping up with everyone on Facebook, being away from family and friends at home, making new friends in college, etc. Inundated with information all the time smartphones are great, they give you access to internet, news, FB, Twitter. Too much information all the time can be overwhelming. Used to being busy all the time, and often dont live in the moment we are currently in.

    Often tend to be focused everywhere but here, worry or plan for the future, dwell about something that happened in the past.

    Example: driving somewhere: radio, phone, thinking about all the things you have to do that week, all while driving!

    Constantly busy, distracted, or thinking about something. Very rarely do we get a break from thinking or being in the now.

    Ask the group, what stresses you out? Allow for discussion. *Why should you care about being stressed out?-weight gain from increased stress hormone (cortisol) and eating for comfort-colds and other illnesses worsen (psoriasis, skin rashes)-Grumpy and anxious = no fun!-Tension headaches and neck pain-Harder to concentration and remember thingsIrritable Bowel Syndrome, more common in women, often caused by stressInsomnia from worryingStress is often a prominent complaint for those who have heart attacks/strokes*Stress happens daily, all the time. We cannot control how much stress we will endure, when it will happen, or even prevent it from happening.

    Of course, we can try to avoid situations that will be stressful (like being organized and not procrastinating). But when we cannot avoid stress, we CAN control how we receive stressful messages/events and decide how we will react to and deal with stressful events and situations.

    Ask the group: What kinds of things do you do when your stressed (either good and bad habits)?Some examples (to foster discussion) might include: ComplainEat junk foodDrink alcoholDrink caffeineSleepProcrastinateGet angry at others / blame others for situationsClose off from the worldCryTalk to friends or familyTalk to counselorsExercise / Play sportsPost status updatesYogaMeditate

    *Chamomile Tea: Chamomile has been studied to soothe anxiety and upset stomachs. Enjoy a cup of soothing, herbal (caffeine-free), Chamomile tea. Also helps if you want to relax before bedtime.

    Almonds: vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin E, magnesium, and zinc. B vitamins and magnesium are involved in the production of serotonin, which helps regulate mood and relieve stress. Zinc has also been shown to fight some of the negative effects of stress, while vitamin E is an antioxidant that destroys the free radicals related to stress and heart disease.

    -Blueberries: vitamin C and antioxidants, high fiber and low calorie. Eat a small handful of these to give your body the vitamins and nutrients it needs to ward off stress.

    -Were also going to talk about Mindfulness Meditation techniques, Aromatherapy, and show you how to make your own eye pillow to use to relax and de-stress in your room.*One technique you can use to change how you handle stress is with mindfulness.

    What does it mean to be present? -Paying attention to what is happening to you right here, right now. Not trying to change it or do anything. -Not thinking about something else, or playing a game or perusing FB to pass the time. Not worrying about something that happened yesterday, or what might happen in the future.

    Mindful EatingAsk the group: how many people eat while they are doing something else, like reading, watching TV, on the computer, on their phone, etc. Ever get to the bottom of a potato chip bag and wonder where they all went?

    Lets try an exercise with our tea: Three steps: First step: Hold your cup in both hands. Silently ask yourself, How does it feel? Experience the warmth of the cup on your fingers and palms. Feel the heat of the tea as you bring it toward your face. Second step: Now, focus on what it smells like. Is there an aroma? Does it smell like a flower? Can you picture the flower in its true form?Third step: Lastly, what does it taste like? How does the warmth feel as you drink it? Notice the heat on your lips, tongue, throat and down your esophagus into your stomach.

    Being mindful while eating/drinking not only helps you curb weight gain but it allows you to experience your food in the present moment and actually ENJOY what youre consuming.


    Introduce Mindfulness Meditation through breathing exercises (reference Dr. Michael Baime, the Director of the Penn Program for Mindfulness and Stress Management)This first exercise has an example of a brief, basic technique that you can use to quickly change how you feel in the current moment.

    *Lets listen to Dr. Baime. Try to take it seriously. Close your eyes or look down on the floor as he guides you through the breathing.

    Play Intro to Penn Program track (Start at 2:04. Stop at 6:16). You can use iTunes to trim off the beginning or end of a music or sound file -- permanently. First, add the file to your iTunes library. Then select it and choose Get Info. On the Options tab, you will see two fields at the bottom labeled Start Time and End Time. Enter 2:04 in Start Time and 6.16 in End Time. *Play Three Minute Sitting Meditation (play the whole track = 3:57)

    Close your eyes or look down at the floorListen closelyTry to take it seriously

    *If you would like to try more mindfulness meditation, the Health Services office has a set of four longer meditation practices, two have yoga in the practiceIf you like Dr. Baimes program, his program is available locally. Check out the Penn Program for Mindfulness website. *Pass around a small satchel of the lavender for everyone to smell as you demonstrate how to make the eye pillow. ***


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