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Creating a Mindful Bath

Five tips for a healing and immersive experience.

Sherise VD/Unsplash
Source: Sherise VD/Unsplash

Mindfulness is a new term for an old experience: conscious awareness. When we engage in being mindful, we try to get in touch with the textures of our inner thoughts and feelings—as well as the outer experiences we feel in the world.

Immersion, an experience that heightens your awareness but also offers relaxation, is an ideal way to practice mindfulness. Be it a quiet walk in the rain. Yoga. Meditation. Breathing deeply before you wake up or go to bed. When you want a moment to relax and be mindful, taking a warm bath can be a great tool to add to your mindfulness repertoire.

When practicing mindfulness, the goal is to be relaxed. To clear your mind. To quiet the noise that distracts you. Mindfulness can be used to physically and emotionally relax by just thinking about nothing and being in the moment. Or it can be used to help you find healing ways to problem solve issues in your life. Mindfulness can help you accept thoughts and feelings that are beyond your control. Mindfulness can also help you reach understanding of deeper things in life.

Scheduling a Mindful Bath

Set aside time to linger in a hot soak. Schedule it if you have to. Once you have the time to take a mindful bath, plan on soaking 20 minutes or more, so your brain waves can reach an alpha level or theta level. These are brain waves that promote healing, relaxation and peacefulness.

As you step into your mindful bath, make sure you're comfortable. Then close your eyes, breath deeply and focus on your breath. Take in the sensorial experiences you notice and see where you mind goes. Put away distracting thoughts if they arise. Choose to be focused on the sensory experiences of your mindful bath. Doing all of these things will help you reflect and feel restored.

5 Tips for a Mindful Bath

  1. Sight: First, create an environment that includes soft lighting. This can be done by dimming bathroom lights or using flameless or unscented candles. Avoiding real flames minimizes some of the dangers like candles going out, sparks leading to fires, or wax in the water moments.
  2. Smell: Aromatherapy is an ancient healing art with medicinal benefits, so invite scent into your bath. More specifically, deepen your relaxation by using essential oils, mineral salts, milk baths or soaps - but make sure they're hypoallergenic. Also, refrain from bubble baths as they tend to irritate skin and can be harsh on our more delicate areas. When it comes to essential oils, you'll need to use what's called a carrier oil first, so the essential oil doesn't stay floating on top of your bath water. A good rule of thumb is to run your bath water and step into it before you add any of your oils. Then add 5-10 drops of your carrier oil (coconut or jojoba oil) and follow that with your aromatic essential oil thereafter. Research shows that chamomile, lavender, rose and vanilla oils are calming. Need a pick-me-up? Use oils like orange, rosemary, or lemon. For mineral salts and milk baths, you won't need a carrier oil. So, feel free to spill in your favorites at any time. Mineral salts not only help relax you, they also improve breathing, circulation, and digestion. Milk baths do things like hydrate skin, reduce inflammation, and help exfoliate.
  3. Sound: Further your mindful bath experience by inviting soothing music or soundscapes. Or you can choose silence and take in the sounds of the water as it flows into the bathtub or how it laps around your body.
  4. Touch: Deepen your bath experience by adding fresh rose petals or citrus rinds for texture - and don't forget a cushy towel to dry off. Use a bath pillow or roll up a towel to rest your head as you soak and relax.
  5. Taste: If sipping a glass of wine, cup of tea or a cold drink helps you linger in your soak, don't hesitate to include this in your bathing ritual. If you don't have a bath tray, consider using shatterproof glassware or go by the way of pretty plastics. Sip slowly and savor the taste as you relax and unwind.

Remember that a mindful bath can be a healing way to self-care and self-soothe.