Lighting a candle used to be a necessity if you wanted to see in the dark. The advent of electric light has turned candles into tools of ritual and well-being. Once you light a candle, your brain can relax from the soft lighting and scent.
What is mental health?
Mental health is comprised of our emotional, social, and psychological well-being. Even with a healthy body, poor mental health will take a terrible toll on your life.
Stress and how we handle it is part of our mental health. If you find that the pressures of life make it hard to fall asleep or keep you from enjoying time with loved ones, it is time to learn new stress management tips. Lighting a candle and learning to meditate can help.
How candles can help your mental health
The right candle can help you focus your mind. If you have a hard time building a meditation practice, lighting a candle to start your session can help.
Scented candles can be especially evocative. If you love gardening but are locked into a cold winter at the moment, light a Georgia Peach candle and let your brain carry you to a sunny orchard.
Candles can also help you reconnect with your circadian rhythms. We have the technology to be bathed in light 24 hours a day. Many of us struggle to sleep well or deeply due to this overexposure to light. An hour before bed, turn off all the screens. Turn down the electric lighting in your home and light a few candles. Let your thoughts settle and your body relax as you settle in for the night. Before you stretch out under the blankets, blow out your candle.
Other ways to help your mental status
There are many scents that are quite invigorating. If you find that times of little daylight leave you feeling mentally sludgy, try a lemon-scented melt or soap. As your brain perks up, get out a notebook and write down what you need to do. As you accomplish them, cross them off.
Perhaps you feel overwhelmed in your living space and can’t find the energy or sense of purpose to tidy things up. You may want to invite the company over but feel embarrassed by the condition of your home.
Light a candle that smells like orange blossom or clean cotton and stand in the doorway of your space. Work your way around the room counter-clockwise, picking up trash. Discard it. Now work your way around the room clockwise, putting things away. In two short trips, your home will feel tidier and more enjoyable. Your energy will rise and you will be ready to tackle the next area of your home that needs attention. As your reward, you can make plans to invite people over.
Building better mental health doesn’t have to mean a focus on constant happiness. Instead, a sense of contentment is a more logical goal. There are going to be days when things don’t work out. You’re going to put in effort that offers no reward. However, if you can create a ritual or space that offers you contentment, your stress levels will drop and your mental health will improve.