The Calming Effects of Candlelight

The Calming Effects of Candlelight

A simple flame can soothe and center you—learn how to use candlelight as part of a relaxation ritual
We tend to associate candles with festive occasions—gathering around a birthday cake, or enjoying a meal with someone special—but there are many calming effects of candlelight. One of the more powerful ways to enjoy the beauty of candlelight is during a moment of stillness and solitude, when you turn off the world and tune into yourself. There’s a reason candles are integral to religious and spiritual ceremonies the world over—the flame’s soft illumination touches the soul. Some people even find they can achieve a meditative state more easily by focusing on candlelight than on a mantra or a mandala. “I don’t know anyone who is not mesmerized by a flickering flame,” says April Amstutz, Massage Manager of Canyon Ranch in Tucson. The calming effect of candlelight can be a simple yet sacred tool to help reduce stress and increase self-awareness. Bring the tranquil and restorative light of candles into your daily life.
learnthecalmingeffectsofcandles

Choosing Your Candles

Here are a few things to keep in mind to create the ideal safe, healthy and tranquil atmosphere:

  • Opt for soy or beeswax. Long-term exposure to emissions from petroleum-based paraffin wax candles may pose a health hazard, according to a South Carolina State University study. Not only do paraffin candles release such unhealthy chemicals as alkenes and toluene (linked to the development of cancer and known to aggravate allergies and asthma), petroleum products are not a renewable resource. Instead, choose soy or beeswax candles, which are renewable, free of toxins and biodegradable.
  • Add your own aromatherapy. A pleasing scent can be extremely soothing, but skip artificially scented candles (which contain petroleum-based synthetic compounds) and go for those infused with natural essential oils. “Studies show that the molecules of essential oils [in candles] are small enough to penetrate through the olfactory system,” says Amstutz, meaning you’ll get the soothing benefits from a whiff of essential oils, with none of the chemicals you’d find in an artificially-scented candle, with none of the chemicals. Since different essential oils trigger specific reactions, pick those that have been shown to reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol, such as ylang-ylang, bergamot and lavender.
  • Consider color. Candles come in a rainbow of hues, which are perfect for dressing up a dinner party or backyard barbecue, but when it comes to using them to help calm and center you, stay neutral. Pastel or plain white candles can help you to remain relaxed and to focus on the flame itself.
  • Take care. You certainly won’t benefit from the calming effects of candlelight if you’re worried about starting a house fire. Accidental candle fires cause hundreds of millions of dollars in direct property damage, according to the National Fire Protection Association. To stay safe, keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything flammable, use sturdy, tip-proof holders, and avoid burning candles all the way down.

Incorporating Candlelight Into a Relaxation Ritual

Once you’ve chosen your candles, add them to various aspects of your daily routine to create a moment of peace and calm whenever and wherever you need it.

  • In the morning or evening. Create your own altar using a shelf, table or other surface in a well-ventilated area. In addition to one or two candles, you may want to include objects of relevance that inspire or relax you—crystals, seashells, figurines, flowers and/or plants, personal mementos, photos or other images, written affirmations. Spend a few moments each day, either as soon as you wake up, or just before bed time, sitting quietly in this space. As you sit, focus on the flames: Notice their beauty as you relax and breathe through your nose. Inhale for six counts, hold for three and exhale for six. If your thoughts begin to stray, gently return your attention to the candle. For stress release, turn your attention to the melting wax and imagine it as tension melting and dripping away.
  • In the bathroom. The next time you are preparing to soak in the tub or take a shower, turn out the lights and rely on candles instead. By combining the known stress-relieving activity of soothing yourself with warm water with calming candlelight, you give yourself a double dose of relaxation.
  • At work. Consider lighting a candle on your desk at work, and spending a few minutes focusing on its flame when you need to take a quick break from the stressors of your job. Just be sure to never leave it unattended and don’t place it too close to paperwork, plants or anything else that could be a fire hazard. Check with your employer to see if lit candles are allowed in your office.
  • While exercising. If you practice yoga, tai chi or qi gong at home, try adding a few candles to your routine. The calming effects can help you relax both your mind and your body, allowing for deeper stretches and better concentration. You may also find that sitting quietly or lying down in a candle-lit room is a great way to unwind after an intense workout.

 

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this post was written by:
Khim
Neang
Canyon Ranch,
Reference(s)
Mayo Clinic
National Fire Protection Association
National Institutes of Health
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Daily To-Do List of what’s really important

Hey Friends!!

I hope this day finds you all happy and in a great state of well-being. It was a snow day here in the DC area so I took advantage of the time to make this handy little to-do list to remind myself of what’s really important in life.

Feel free to download and share it if you like.

Daily To Do Lists

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“No Matter Where You’re From, Your Dreams are Valid”

Heey Friends!!

It should come to no surprise what this post will entail. I, along with the rest of the free world, watched as Lupita Nyong’o received her well deserved Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in ” 12 Years A Slave” last night. Her stunning beauty and poise captivated us all. I wanted to post the replay of her acceptance speech for you to enjoy again but it’s not available any longer on youtube ( the transcript can be found below ). She has motivated the masses and sparked a renewal in pride of being yourself and just as important, to believe in yourself, no matter where you are from.  How can we take this historic moment and apply it to our lives to keep this momentum going?

Lupita Nyong'o

Lupita Nyong’o Best Supporting Actress Oscar Speech 

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No Matter where you're from, your dreams are valid.

No Matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid.

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Soul Kiss:: Is it really a Secret?

Hey Friends,

Its hard to believe but we are already into month Number 2 of this year. Sadly, by now, most folks who made new years resolutions have given up and quit. If you are one of those people, let me tell you that its not too late to get back on track! If jumping in feet first was too much, ease into the new habit you want to create. Begin by reading a new book on goal setting or studying the works of a successful person you admire. Currently, I’m reading and listening to audio stuff from one of my favorite people, Earl Nightingale. Here is a snippet from one of his works, The Strangest Secret.

“Well, it’s pretty apparent, isn’t it? We become what we think about. A person who is
thinking about a concrete and worthwhile goal is going to reach it, because that’s what
he’s thinking about. Conversely, the person who has no goal, who doesn’t know
where he’s going, and whose thoughts must therefore be thoughts of confusion,
anxiety, fear, and worry will thereby create a life of frustration, fear, anxiety and
worry. And if he thinks about nothing … he becomes nothing.”

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This book is a short read but a little treasure. I found this copy from self-improvement-e-books.com and  downloaded it for free >>>>   The_Strangest_Secret <<<<< Feel free to download it, too.

You can change your life when you want to… it doesn’t take a new year and the Auld Lang Syne song to make adjustments! You got it!!

Comment and Let me know your thoughts on the book!

As always,

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Daily Kiss:: Everything works to your good

Everything always plays out for your good

 

No matter where you are or what you are going thru, know that is ALL working together for your good. Keep moving….. head high, Beautiful. You are covered.

Enjoy Your Journey ~ Kristi

Daily Kiss-spiration:: Free Yourself

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This a great quote by Joel Osteen to start the new year. Change your mindset of people pleasing. Free yourself from their opinions because what others think of you is none of your business.

Happy 2014!! 

Love and Light, Kristi

Setting Fitness Goals for 2014? Quick tips to help you really do it!

20131231103944It’s hard to believe we are closing out another year! Many of us are obsessing about setting new goals and things we will resolve to do and not do. Getting fit and loosing weight are usually somewhere on the list. We obsess about our weight, down to the last ounce and we want it to happen fast..…like Now!

Invariably, when we fail to reach our goals in an unrealistic time frame or see instant results, we cast off the shackles of our restrictive diet and exercise plans and go back to the poor habits we resolved to end. Our weight then naturally creeps up, as we opt for ice cream and cookies instead of fruits and whole grains. We eventually reach a point, rather a weight that sickens us.

Then we decide to buckle down, resolutely determined to succeed this time and get to our pre-college weight, repeating this endless, fruitless, frustrating cycle.

A better way to set fitness goals is to avoid this method of setting weight goals, eating next to nothing, and obsessing over long tedious workouts. Instead set performance based goals for each month or season. For example don’t set a goal of losing 10 pounds in a month; set goals like running a race, such as a 5K, completing a certain amount of workouts in a given time period, or taking a challenging class, such as Zumba ®, my personal favorite!

By setting goals like this, you will gain a greater sense of accomplishment, and in the process look and feel better. Naturally, the weight will come off and I’ve found that when you start to really get into the lifestyle of being fit, you will make better food choices, crave exercise, and enjoy the journey. Now, that’s the way to set fitness goals.

English: Maria Moline, instructor, coaches her...

English: Maria Moline, instructor, coaches her Zumba class through the dance choreography in the Patch Fitness Center in U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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