A Beginner’s Guide to Essential Oils


If you've wanted to get into essential oils and learn all about how to use them, you're in the right place. Essential oils can have lots of health benefits - they can help with pain management, skin issues, and even stress. They are also in many cosmetic products and perfumes. In this Beginner's Guide to Essential Oils, you'll learn the basics as well as tips to get you started. 
What are essential oils?
Essential oils are directly extracted from plants and are known for their pleasant smells and amazing properties. Some of the most common include lavender, peppermint, tea tree, or rose. Unlike the oils you might be thinking of, essential oils evaporate without leaving behind a sticky residue.
They're commonly used in aromatherapy and have lots of health benefits. You might have heard of aromatherapy, a holistic treatment that relies on essential oils to help with pain, skin irritation, digestive issues, or even anxiety. This centuries-old form of treating medical and mental problems relies on natural remedies and avoids processed ingredients.
Some people even claim that essential oils can help cure severe illnesses. However, the scientific evidence is primarily inconclusive. Whether you believe in the power of essential oils or not, no one can deny that they smell incredible and can have many benefits.
What’s the history behind them?
Thousands of years ago, the ancient Egyptians extracted cedar oil and other plant fragrances in complicated distillation processes, and the Romans loved to use essential oils for their elaborate perfumes. There is evidence of many ancient cultures in countries such as China, India, Persia, and Greece using essential oils, although the exact oils they utilised and for what purposes can be hard to trace.
Aromatherapy is, therefore, a centuries-old tradition perfected in different areas around the globe. Its history is what convinced many users of essential oils of their effectiveness.
Why are they now popular?
Essential oils are very versatile and can be used in different ways depending on their type and properties. The most common use of essential oils is probably for fragrances in the cosmetics and perfume industry but the medical use of essential oils is also not to be underestimated.
Since many synthetic medications can have harmful effects on organs and the body in general, more and more people are turning to essential oils because they are 100% plant based. In addition to that, essential oils can reach the bloodstream and human tissues through skin contact or inhalation, while other medications often require time to take effect.
Aromatherapy is steadily becoming more and more popular and is said to have benefits for many types of issues.
What are some of the most common ones, and what ways are they used?
The most common essential oils include:
  • Peppermint to stimulate digestion
  • Tea Tree Oil to strengthen your immune system and can also help with infections
  • Eucalyptus to help with respiratory problems
  • Lemon Oil, a popular choice, to help with headaches and mood swings
Lavender oil which can help you relieve stress, and rose oil which can be helpful for anxiety, are also commonly used.
What are some other benefits of using essential oils?
Essential oils are said to have many medical benefits, but you can also use them as a pure fragrance for your home or laundry, for example. High-quality cosmetic products often contain essential oils and use them as a natural scent.
Citronella oil can, for example, act as a natural insect repellent; thus, it's a great alternative to a traditional mosquito spray, which is usually full of toxic ingredients. Plus, it smells much better, so it's a win-win!
What should you know or watch out for when buying them?

Always make sure that the products are labeled "pure essential oils" to avoid processed ingredients. High prices don’t always ensure high quality, so do your research on different brands and only buy essential oils from reputable stores, especially when shopping online.
Before you buy your first essential oil, you should, of course, consider what problem you're trying to solve. There are so many different ones to choose from, and each will have varying effects.
Always consult a doctor or medical professional before you begin using essential oils. If you're taking other medication alongside them, you might encounter unexpected side effects. You should also patch-test before applying essential oils to your skin to ensure you're not allergic to any ingredients.
Avoid buying oils labeled "essential oil of..." which won't be a pure, natural product. Also, remember that essential oils are not a replacement for certain medications you might be taking. Before trying an essential oil, speak to your doctor and don't try to self-diagnose without a trained professional's opinion.

I only ever use Young Living essential oils which I know are very pure. Contact me if you want to try them out
Ready to give essential oils a try?
Essential oils can help with many different issues such as anxiety, headaches, nausea, and mood swings. Their effectiveness is not without controversy, but they are often praised for being all-natural and an excellent alternative for avoiding medicine with many side effects.
They can be used and applied safely if you consult a doctor first. While medical usage is common, essential oils can also be a great item to have around the house to help with laundry, cleaning, and making everything smell amazing
Want to learn more about essential oils? Reach out to me at marie@mariedohertywellness.com or leave a comment below.

How to Meditate for the First Time

So, you’ve decided to begin your journey of meditation, but where do you start? Meditating for the first time can feel chaotic and anything but peaceful if you’re not used to it. While it takes time and practice to see the benefits of meditation, there are some things you should know before you make your first attempt at it. Here are some common questions and tips for how to meditate for the first time.
How do you start a meditation habit?
If you want to start meditating regularly and incorporate the habit into your routine, you should consider why you’re doing it. Having a goal in mind, such as feeling more relaxed or easing anxiety, will help you stay accountable and keep you motivated to meditate regularly. Make your meditation environment comfortable and welcoming so you can look forward to your sessions.
Choose a time for meditation that you can stick to. Your meditation time could be in the mornings, right before you have breakfast, or in the evenings after you brush your teeth. By meditating at the same time every day, you will create a habit that you can actually include in your daily routine.
How do I meditate, being a beginner?
As a beginner, you need to find a way that makes meditation work for you. This might include trying out different types of meditation to see what you enjoy most. As time goes by, you can move on to another kind which might be more challenging to master. Here is a sample meditation practice you can get started with today.
  1. Sit down in a place that feels comfortable to you. You could choose your favourite chair or a cushion on the floor. Try to maintain good posture while still feeling relaxed.
  2. Close your eyes and pay attention to how your body feels. Make sure to wear loose clothes and get rid of any discomfort you might be experiencing.
  3. Breathe normally and turn your thoughts towards your breath. Acknowledge any sounds you might be hearing, but don’t let them distract you. Instead, put them to the back of your mind. If you feel your mind wander, refocus your thoughts on your breathing.
  4. Try to avoid feelings of frustration if you feel your thoughts drifting. Wandering thoughts are perfectly normal. Just refocus on your breathing and strive to still your mind as much as you can.
What are some good tips for getting into a meditation routine?
In the beginning, set a goal to meditate for only a few minutes at a time. That way, you can easily include this new habit into your routine without worrying about finding the time. Slowly increase your meditation time until you can truly focus your mind.
Meditation is all about being consistent. You might feel like it’s not working or blame yourself for being unfocused, but you’ll start to notice a difference in your meditation sessions over time. Don’t give up and keep working on your mindfulness.
What is the best time to meditate?
There is no one time of the day that is better for meditation than another. But a good rule of thumb is to meditate when it feels right to you and when you can commit to the practice. If you usually get up in the morning and rush to work, this might not be the best time to sit down and meditate as your mind will be busy with hundreds of thoughts. Feeling too tired isn’t the best for meditating either, as it will make it difficult to focus. Instead, find a moment where you feel calm and ready to spend time on meditation.
What do you think about when you meditate?
Meditation doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think. It’s quite normal to have thoughts in your mind, and not thinking anything isn’t necessarily the goal of meditation. Rather than banning all thinking during meditation, try to focus on something else instead. Depending on the type of meditation you’re engaging in, this could be your breath, a sound, or a physical feeling.
Any thoughts that pop up during your meditation sessions should be gently dismissed without any feelings of anger or frustration. You can picture your thoughts as clouds in the sky. Don't get involved with them, picture them drifting by. Thinking is normal during meditation, and only practice makes perfect.
What are the best tools to buy for your meditation practice?
Anyone can meditate anywhere, and as a beginner, you don’t need much to get started. If you want to meditate regularly, you might benefit from a meditation chair or cushion to help make you comfortable during your sessions. If you enjoy auditory stimulation during meditation, you may want to buy a high-quality gong or a singing bowl. For guided meditation, find an online group or use an app like Insight Timer. You can also look for items that will make your meditation space peaceful and comfortable such as a nice rug, paintings, or some essential oils. 
Find Your Zen
Now you’ve got everything you need to get started with meditation. Don’t overthink the process too much, but rather enjoy the moment of calm and let go of any unnecessary thoughts weighing you down. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, meditation should be an enjoyable and relaxing habit. So, take the pressure off yourself, dismiss any high expectations, and you’ll find your Zen. 

A Beginner's Guide to Meditation

Getting started with meditation can seem overwhelming. Maybe you’ve tried it before and couldn’t concentrate, or you just can’t see yourself getting through more than five minutes without being distracted. This beginner’s guide to meditation will give you the tools you need to get started and incorporate meditation into your daily routine.
What is meditation?
Mediation is a set of techniques and practices that encourage mindfulness and focusing your attention. People commonly meditate through breathing techniques. Beginners can get started with mediation by sitting as comfortably as possible and closing their eyes while focusing on their breathing. Meditation isn't about emptying the mind, it is about noticing the thoughts but not engaging with them. It is about noticing when your focus is distracted and bringing it back.
Why should you meditate?
Meditation has many benefits. Research shows it has positive effects on both mental and physical health. It's no wonder so many people practice it to lower stress levels and heighten awareness and balance in their daily lives.
It can also help with anxiety, mental health, self-esteem, and self-awareness. Additional research shows meditation can lower blood pressure and heart rates, help with chronic pain, and improve sleep patterns.
What does your brain do when you meditate?
By practicing an activity repeatedly, your brain improves neural connections between different regions of the brain. Studies on the effects of meditation are still ongoing but research shows it increases grey matter density which can improve memory and speed up learning processes. Neurologists have seen changes in brain structures after six months of meditation if practiced regularly.
Mediation also deactivates the sympathetic nervous system, a network of brain structures responsible for many stress and anxiety triggers. It can help prevent a fight-or-flight response and instead allow your mind to react calmly. When you translate this into your real-life situations, it means meditation can help you think before responding. So, the next time you're in a stressful situation, you can have a well thought-out reaction instead of an emotional one.
When do you know that your meditation is successful?
Meditation is not something you can learn in one session. When you first start meditating, it’s completely normal to feel your mind wander as you attempt to take control of it. Having wandering thoughts doesn't mean that your sessions will be ineffective, though. Don't feel discouraged if you're struggling to concentrate initially. Instead, gently try to focus your mind again and ignore intrusive thoughts.
Any meditation session is successful, and there is no use in comparing one to another. Once you let go of any judgment, you’ll find yourself wanting to meditate more often, and focusing will become much more manageable.
What are the best mediation techniques?
Meditation is actually an umbrella term and there are in fact lots of different techniques you can try. Here are some of the best ones for beginners.
1. Mindfulness Meditation
When you think of mediation, you probably think of mindfulness techniques. These are some of the most popular forms of meditation for beginners and can have many benefits. Mindfulness meditation is all about  focusing your thoughts. You can easily practice it at home without any need for equipment or training.
2. Focused Meditation
Focused meditation techniques are similar to mindfulness meditation, but they differ in that they also include focusing on the five senses. You can do it through breathing techniques, listening to a repetitive sound, or even watching a candle flame. All of these can help calm your thoughts and focus your mind.
3. Movement Meditation
Movement meditation most commonly refers to yoga. However, it can also involve practices such as tai chi, qigong, or even just taking a slow walk. Letting the mind wander is more common in this form of meditation and can be great for beginners who struggle to focus.
4. Mantra Meditation
Meditating through the help of a mantra can be a fantastic way to focus your thoughts and clear your mind of distractions. Mantras can be short sentences or even sounds you repeat over and over again until you reach a relaxed state.
Make Meditation Work for You
Meditation doesn’t have to be difficult, and even complete beginners can enjoy benefits after just a few sessions. You’ll begin to notice how your thoughts start to slow down and how meditation can help your body feel relaxed and at peace.
Make sure to try different types of meditation to determine which one is the most effective for you. At first, it might take some time to get into the habit of meditating regularly but once you’ve included it into your routine, you’ll be excited to keep working on your meditation practices.

Final Blog in Peaceful Summer Challenge

 Ordinary Ways to Invite Peace into Your World


Hello, and welcome to the final blog in our Peaceful Summer 10-Day Challenge. 
Today we will review all that we've learned about living a peaceful life and sharing peace with others.

Ways to help ourselves feel peaceful on the inside:
  • Have a daily stretch. Exercise your muscles. Do yoga. 
  • Get outside. Take a walk each day. Lose yourself in the wonder of nature.
  • Engage in peaceful pastimes. Craft, build, create.
  • Be with peaceful people. Emulate their gentle way of being.
  • Live as a peace maker. Speak and act with peaceful purpose. Guide others to understanding and compromise.
  • Find peace in music. Play a song, if you can. Listen, sing, be carried away.
  • Take time to reflect. Give yourself space to just think and be. 
  • Choose to respond peacefully. Offer others benefit of the doubt. Contain your moods.
  • Dine together in peace. Savour your meal as you share a peaceful space with others.
  • Have a peaceful heart. Respect others. Live humbly, and love simply. Treat others the way you'd like to be treated.

EXERCISE: Make time for peace.

Make a plan to be outside, enjoying the peace in nature, this summer. Where will you go? Will you swim in a lake? Hike through the woods? 
Commit to a simple activity that will bring your heart peace during those warmer days. Think of that cool room with the cosy couch. What will you enjoy in that peaceful space?
Get in the practice of stretching your muscles each day. Begin with a few simple poses. Remember that slow, mindful breathing is key. Start and end your day with a good stretch. 
Share with your family your intention of becoming a more peaceful person. Consider what you'll say to them so they might take you seriously. Talk about ways you can show more peace to each other.


Write down 10 things you plan to do in the name of being more peaceful for the rest of this summer. 
It can be small gestures, big changes, or both.

For the Future:

Make a plan to patch up a friendship. How will you make peace with this person? What will you say?
Practice being peaceful toward people in passing. Start with a smile. 
Other ways you might show peace to strangers could be…
  • Giving a random compliment.
  • Expressing gratitude.
  • Offering up your seat to someone else.
  • Letting another car ahead of you on the road.
  • Buying coffee for the person behind you in line.
  • Tipping generously.
  • Listening to a stranger share their troubles.
  • Saying "please," "thank you," and "have a good day."
  • Helping an elderly person carry something heavy.
  • Holding the door open for someone else.
To really make a difference in your life join the Simplify your Life course. In this course you will learn new tools to help reduce stress and live more peacefully. This course will also help you create new habits in your life so you can make the tools you learn part of every day. For more details and to register click here

Day 8 Peaceful Summer Challenge

What Does it Mean to Have a Peaceful Heart?

Thank you for being here on Day 8 of this lovely, Peaceful Summer that we get to share, together.
Today we will ponder what it means to have a peaceful heart.
A peaceful heart is a happy heart. 
A peaceful heart is an optimistic heart.
A peaceful heart is a forgiving heart.
A peaceful heart accepts others in all of their perfect imperfection.

Does your heart feel peaceful today?
Does your heart know peace every day?
We can't possibly feel peaceful all the time. But surely we can focus on ways to bring more peace to our minds and hearts, so that others may know peace through us.
Love is patient, love is kind. Peace and love… a cliché for sure, but they're natural companions.
Where there is peace, love abounds.
Let's think of ways we can be peaceful toward friends and family.
We can show peace by…
  • being patient.
  • listening without judgment.
  • offering a kind word.
  • forgiving each other.
  • silencing our complaints.
  • not criticising.
  • offering benefit of the doubt.
  • practicing humility.
  • showing others politeness and courtesy.
We live peacefully when we do to others as we would have them do to us.

EXERCISE: Seek a peaceful heart.

Think of someone in your life who embodies the picture of a peaceful heart.
What about them feels peaceful to you?
Is it their quiet manner?
Do they speak softly, and choose their words with care?
Does your peaceful friend show a mild expression?
What else does this person do that makes them peaceful to you?
Think of someone with whom you may have lost touch due to a conflict or misunderstanding.
How can you extend peace to this person? 
Will you reach out to them in a gesture of peace and forgiveness?


Write down ways that you showed peace to other people today. 
Describe peaceful moments that you shared with family.
Describe the ways you offered peace to strangers.
If there were times you did not feel peaceful today, what happened? What did you do or say?
What can you do differently next time, in the name of living more peacefully?
Write about the falling-out you had with a friend if there was one.
What can you do to make peace with them going forward?

For the Future:

Set an intention to shift into a more peaceful way of being with everyone you meet.
  • Consider how you can grow in wisdom by practicing peacefulness in all of your encounters.
  • If you have an exchange with someone who doesn't seem peaceful, how can you help to soothe them?
  • If someone takes away your peace, what can you do to return to inner harmony?
  • If you see someone being unkind to others, how can you intervene peacefully?
Practice being peaceful toward others while respecting boundaries. 

To continue the work you've started in this challenge, register for the Simplify your Life course. Click here for details.

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