using essential oils in meditation
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William Grey

Enthusiastic Essential Oils User

Using Essential Oils in Meditation: The Synergy of Scent and Stillness

using essential oils in meditation
Elevate your meditation practice with essential oils for meditation, crafted to calm the mind and foster a serene, stress-free environment.

If you’ve dabbled in meditation, you know transforming a restless monkey mind into stillness can be quite the challenge. I’m still working on not getting distracted by every little thought that pops up! Luckily, I discovered a hack that makes achieving meditative presence much more doable – essential oils.

Turns out, certain scents have an incredible ability to dial down stress, elevate mood and promote relaxation. Aromatic compounds interact directly with smell receptors sending calming or energizing signals to the brain. This biological pathway allows essential oils to actually shift our consciousness more easily into mindful awareness.

I’ve spent the last few months experimenting with different essential oils and application methods during my regular meditation practice. The impact has been really amazing! I can drop into a meditative headspace much faster while anxiety dissipates. I also experience fewer distracting thoughts which allows me to extend my sit times.

If you’re new to blending aromatherapy and meditation, no worries! Many fellow meditators have lots of questions on how to use essential oils effectively and safely. Let’s explore the top 10 FAQs so you can begin enhancing your own practice with scent.

What Are the Best Essential Oils for Meditation?

Great question – with lots of options! Some of my personal favorites include:

Lavender: The gentle floral aroma instills instant calm and relaxation. Studies show lavender decreases heart rate, blood pressure and skin conductivity which helps drop into meditative stillness.

Frankincense: Used for thousands of years in spiritual ceremonies, frankincense seems to tap into consciousness-elevating energy. It’s also emotionally grounding and protective.

Sandalwood: With its rich, woody scent, sandalwood essential oil connects us to nature and earth energy – perfect for mindfulness. It also reduces anxiety and nervous system agitation.

Bergamot: This refreshing citrus oil boosts mood while reducing anxiety and stress. Bergamot creates emotional balance and motivation making it easier to sit through meditation sessions.

Ylang Ylang: Known as an “aphrodisiac” essential oil, ylang ylang slows breathing which helps achieve meditation more easily. Its floral notes also inspire positivity and self-love.

Of course patchouli, rose, clary sage, neroli and cedarwood are other excellent options too. Most plants offer unique aromatic molecules that shift our awareness beneficially. Follow your intuition choosing oils that feel uplifting or soothing to determine your favorites.

How Do Essential Oils Enhance Meditation?

On a biological level, essential oil molecules interact directly with smell receptors in the nasal passages which stimulate olfactory nerve pathways. Signals cascade to the amygdala and limbic region of the brain that influence emotions, hormones, heart rate and blood pressure among other bodily processes.

Stimulating these pathways artificially through aromatherapy can encourage relaxation, positivity, alertness or even sexual energy. This biochemical response primes us mentally and physically for having a more successful meditation session. Essential oils enhance meditation by:

  • Inducing calmness
  • Alleviating anxiety/stress
  • Boosting mood
  • Deepening breathing
  • Enhancing spiritual awareness
  • Slowing heart rate
  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Improving focus/clarity

So rather than struggling to achieve a zen state, essential oils transport us there much more easily!

Do Essential Oils Reduce Stress and Anxiety In Meditation?

You bet! Many plants contain aromatic compounds like linalool in lavender oil called “excitatory antagonists.” These molecules basically switch off stress and anxiety responses at receptor sites in the brain.

So for those facing distracting worries or discomfort when meditating, inhaling mood-regulating essential oils can minimize unwanted mental chatter greatly.

Some of my top anxiety-inhibiting oils are lavender, Roman chamomile, bergamot, cedarwood, rose and frankincense. Even just a few deep inhalations can promote profound relaxation through anxiety-reducing neurological stimulation.

How Should I Use Essential Oils to Meditate?

There are three primary methods for leveraging aromatherapy benefits before/during meditation:


  • Direct palm inhalation – Place drops in hands, rub together, cup over nose/mouth
  • Diffuser nearby


  • Drops on pulse points – inside wrists, side of neck, behind ears, temples
  • Blend with lotion/oil to massage body


  • Simmer pots on stove
  • Scented candles around space
  • Drop onto cotton balls

As far as specific oils or blends, experimentation is key! Try out different applications and aromas until you discover your optimized combinations. Pay attention to how scents shift your mood, relaxation, spiritual awareness and clarity.

Safety first – be sure to dilute stronger oils before applying directly to skin. Start slowly as well. Just 1-2 inhales until you know an aroma works for your system.

What Essential Oil Blends Are Good For Meditation?

While single note essential oils rock meditation on their own, combining synergistic oils can really elevate the experience. Blending not only merges aromatic effects, but capitalizes on plant wisdom and natural energetic resonance.

Here’s an empowering oil trio to try:

The Clarity Blend:

  • 2 drops frankincense
  • 2 drops lemon
  • 1 drop peppermint

This sharp blend stimulates the mind reducing mental fog while uplifting mood. Peppermint and lemon add focus and concentration while frankincense deepens spiritual insight.

For straight up stress relief and relaxation, you can’t go wrong with:

The Zen Blend:

  • 3 drops lavender
  • 2 drops sandalwood
  • 1 drop sweet orange

This sweet, floral and woody aroma tells the body to relax while quieting worries and mental chatter. Try massaging onto temples and inhaling deeply pre-meditation.

Feel free to mix and match your own custom blends too. Trust your intuition on which essential oils combine well!

meditation space

How Can Essential Oils Benefit Meditation Beginners?

Just starting out with meditation and feeling frustrated? Enter aromatherapy! Scent is one of the fastest ways to shift mood and alter state. Essential oils can help newbies overcome common obstacles like:

  • Anxiety around “doing it right”
  • Discomfort sitting still
  • Boredom or agitation
  • Distracting thoughts
  • Self-judgment

Try rubbing a couple drops of minty basil oil for energy or floral neroli to elevate mood. Inhale calming cedarwood before sitting down. Diffuse uplifting wild orange during your sit.

The beauty lies in finding scents that make you feel focused, optimistic, relaxed or more open. Experiment until you discover what smells help release resistance to meditation. Oils literally scent your way to feeling peaceful and relaxed even as a beginner!

Can Oils Help Achieve Deeper Meditation?

With regular practice, seasoned meditators often experience frustration around plateauing – especially amidst busy modern lifestyles. Luckily aromatic oils can facilitate sinking into subtle levels more easily.

But which scents specifically encourage deeper meditation? The most transcendent oils derive from plants associated with spiritual ritual like frankincense, myrrh, sandalwood and lotus. These elevate consciousness inspiring inner reflection.

Anti-anxiety oils also remove limitations to sitting longer such as lavender, bergamot and patchouli. And don’t underestimate the power of aroma to tap into long-forgotten memories or new perspectives!

Basically essential oils act as a shortcut to meditative stillness we might otherwise struggle to reach through mental effort alone. So those unable to sink as deeply as desired will benefit greatly from a little aromatherapy assistance.

Are Essential Oils Safe In Meditation For Everyone?

Meditators ask excellent questions about essential oil safety. While most aromas are perfectly safe especially when used correctly, individuals with allergies or sensitivity should proceed cautiously under the care of an aromatherapist or allergist.

Certain oils may cause issues for people with asthma, epilepsy, blood pressure abnormalities, skin disorders and children. Pregnant women should avoid stimulating oils that could trigger contractions.

To test whether an aroma works for YOU:

  • Inhale cautiously from bottle opening before diffusing
  • Apply small amount diluted to inner arm
  • Monitor body’s reactions – headache, nausea, skin reaction?
  • Start with minimal inhalations/applications

Trust your body wisdom and discontinue any oil causing worrisome symptoms!

Can Using Oils in Meditation Improve Sleep?

Ah yes…lack of quality sleep sabotages life in so many ways. Racing thoughts at bedtime means another restless night ahead. Happily, incorporating essential oils into meditation potently better sleep by:

  • Establishing calming pre-sleep routine
  • Quieting mental chatter
  • Reducing anxiety/rumination
  • Promoting hormonal balance
  • Uplifting mood overall

I spritz linen spray with relaxing lavender, vetiver and marjoram around my bedroom after nighttime meditation. This scent association sends a clear memo to my brain that it’s now time to unwind.

In case you didn’t know, aroma goes straight to emotional processing centers including regulating hormones that control sleep cycles. Pretty powerful therapy!

Consistency also matters – aim to meditate around the same time each evening. Over time your body links this routine to initiating restful sleep. Make use of those natural biorhythms with aromatherapy assist. You’ll be catching Zzz’s like a zen master in no time.

How Do I Choose The Right Meditation Oils For Me?

Great question! With so many options available, selecting personal oils feels super confusing. But remember – trust your nose! Make choices based on scents that feel enjoyable or appropriate to YOU.

I also recommend observing how different aromas shift your mood. Some questions to ponder:

  • Does this oil relax or stimulate me?
  • Am I feeling more or less anxious?
  • How is my breathing impacted?

You might use sweet orange for a morning meditation boost then unwind with lavender at night. Or just need frankincense daily for spiritual grounding. There’s no universally “right” oil – only what serves your practice best in the moment.

When in doubt, experiment! Record impressions in a journal and refine from there. Over time you’ll discover which specific notes and blends magnify your meditation experience most optimally.

In Conclusion…Trust Your Nose!

Adding essential oils as meditation “co-anchors” leverages potent aromatherapy benefits ranging from relaxed calm to elevated spiritual states. Follow your nose to find the perfect scents. Tune into emotional and physiological responses dialing in ideal oils for your practice.

Soon you’ll be reaping rewards of both stillness AND specific aroma advantages like reduced stress, clarity or confidence depending on the plants you choose. Now if you’ll please excuse me, my sandalwood/frankincense diffuser blend awaits!

Which essential oils you inhale during meditation? Have an “aha aromatherapy” moment to share? Leave a comment below!


What are the benefits of using essential oils in meditation?

Essential oils enhance the mind-body connection, promote relaxation, and support a focused meditation practice. They create a tranquil environment, aid in grounding, and contribute to a deeper sense of peace.

Which essential oils are recommended for meditation?

Highly recommended essential oils for meditation include lavender, frankincense, sandalwood, and patchouli. These oils are known for their calming and grounding properties.

How can essential oils be incorporated into the meditation space?

Essential oils can be added to the meditation space using a diffuser, sprays, or cotton balls with oil drops. These methods disperse the aroma throughout the space, creating a calming and peaceful environment.

How can essential oils be used during guided meditations?

Guided meditations that incorporate essential oils are available on platforms like YouTube or meditation apps. These meditations combine visualization exercises with the use of essential oils, enhancing relaxation and mindfulness.

How can essential oils be used during yoga or exercise?

Applying a few drops of essential oil to the wrists or temples before a yoga or exercise practice promotes focus and a profound sense of calm. As practitioners move through their practice, they can breathe in the aroma of the oil, further grounding themselves and staying present.

What are the different ways to use essential oils for meditation?

Essential oils can be used in meditation rituals by diffusing them, applying them topically, or adding them to a bath. They can also be used in blends, sprays, or as part of a meditation altar.

What are the benefits of using essential oils during meditation?

Essential oils enhance the meditation experience by promoting relaxation, focus, and overall well-being. They support the mind-body connection, create a tranquil atmosphere, and aid in grounding and spiritual experiences.

What is the science behind essential oils and meditation?

When inhaled, the aromatic compounds in essential oils interact with olfactory receptors in the brain, affecting mood and emotions. This interaction triggers the release of neurotransmitters that promote relaxation and reduce anxiety. Essential oils also activate the parasympathetic nervous system, inducing a state of calm and relaxation.

How can essential oils be personalized for the meditation experience?

Each individual can choose essential oils based on their personal preferences and meditation goals. By selecting oils that resonate with their mood or intention, practitioners can tailor their meditation practice to suit their unique needs.

Can essential oils be combined with other relaxation techniques?

Yes, essential oils can be combined with other relaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, and yoga. These techniques create a comprehensive relaxation practice that promotes calmness, mindfulness, and overall well-being.

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