Take a moment to visualize what an ideal calming night in your home would entail. Does it involve a home-cooked meal? A Netflix marathon? Or a warm bath with bubbles and wine? Whatever your ideal self-care night-in might include, we’re 100 percent sure that you’re going to a light a candle (or five) to set the mood for an evening of relaxation and chill.
For centuries, candles have been used in sacred ceremonies to bring a peaceful ambiance into a space. But while their minimal light sources and aroma smells can create a serene sanctuary, there are actually a bunch of other reasons why you should burn candles in your home that can actually help with your mental state and well-being
So before you put the flame to the wick, we’re gonna get down to the nitty-gritty about all the benefits burning candles in your home can provide and why you need to drop hard, cold cash to add more to your collection (we suggest starting with Chillhouse’s new candles that just launched today). You can thank us later.
Can Increase Focus
If you ever needed a reason to place a handful of candles around your desk for “decorative” purposes, you can now give the excuse that surrounding yourself with candles while you work can actually increase your focus and help you become more productive. According to Apartment Therapy, there are certain scents that can stimulant your mind. Aromas like mint, lemon, orange, rosemary, and cinnamon can invigorate your senses and give you that extra boost you need to stay on top of your work and off your phone.
Help You Remember Positive Memories
There might be a reason why you want to burn a particular candle and cuddle on the couch when you’re feeling a little blue and want to remember a good time. Memories and emotions can easily be triggered by certain scents and provide a feeling of happiness if it coincides with a particular time in your life. According to Psychology Today, there are plenty of behavioral studies that indicate that smells are more likely to trigger vivid emotional memories and can instantly lift your mood if you’re feeling down. Whether you’re experiencing sadness, grief, or simply had a shit day, lighting a candle that reminds you of a happier time can make you feel better and not focus as much on little details of what you’re currently going through.
Can Improve Your Mood
If scents can help you remember positive memories in your life, they’re more than likely to have the same properties to increase your mood as well. According to ELLE Decor, a Japanese study was conducted on 12 participants who were depressed that later stated the smell of lemon helped lower their dosage of antidepressants, boosted their immune function and regulated hormone levels. The next time you’re feeling a little down and want to instantly lift your mood, try to use a candle with citrus or rosemary scents while you meditate in the dark to focus on the invigorating scent while you’re trying to clear your mind.
Allows You to Set a Morning or Nightly Ritual
Candles have been used for centuries during certain rituals, whether religious or not. Nowadays, though, candles have been brought into homes to help set the mood during certain times of the day to get the mind in the right frame of mind. For instance, while you can light candles any time of the day, it’s a good idea to use them for particular moments (i.e. bathtime, meditation, prayer, yoga) to enhance these meditative thoughts so you can begin or end the day on the right foot. Creating rituals in your own home sets the tone for how you want to unwind or start the day. Pro tip: light a candle or two when you’re doing your nightly skin-care routine or when you’re drinking your morning cup of coffee. Keep your phone away during this moments so you can be more mindful and focus on the small amount of time you have just with yourself.
Can Provide a More Restful Sleep
As we’ve mentioned before, using electronics right before you head to bed can disrupt your sleep hygiene and provide long-term negative health effects because you’re not getting your recommended 7-9 hours of sleep. The blue light that is admitted from the screens decreases your magnesium levels, which can make you feel less tired and more anxious.
To combat this, shutting your light off earlier and living by candlelight can actually help you feel calmer earlier in the evening and reset to your natural sleep rhythms. When you’re not being disrupted by technology, it’s easier to listen to your body and know when to shut down for the night without being distracted. Also, living by candlelight during the evenings can allow you to be more mindful with your thoughts and actions and provide a more restful night’s sleep. Plus, this will save some cheddar on that monthly electric bill.
Known to Alleviate Stress
It’s easy to point out that everyone most likely includes a few candles during their self-care rituals to ease stress and implement calming properties into the atmosphere. Certain scented candles are used during aromatherapy to help with anxiety and depression, improve quality of life and sleep, and even ease some of the side effects of cancer treatments like nausea and pain. When life feels too overwhelming and throwing your computer out the window is not an option, light a candle with notes of chamomile, bergamot, lavender, and frankincense, and pray to the gods above that your stress will go down so you can go about your day.
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Feature image via Emma Craft