A neighbor of mine recently told me of her natural, essential oil deodorant concoction. “I get compliments all the time,” she said. Hmm…compliments on your underarms? I have never dreamed of envied armpits, but I’ll take a compliment any day! What do underarms have to do with a zen office space? Well, it’s all about the smells and the rest of the five senses we learned about in elementary school. In 2018, it’s time to bring the “zen in.” I begin my top office space must haves with essential oils… and I will spare you the armpits! 

The use of ancient essential oils (2)  is on the rise, so it is only relevant to begin my “ZEN IS IN” countdown with these little drops of goodness. Essential oils are plant extracts that are aromatic. These oils help the plants regulate growth and metabolism and build the plant’s immune system to ward off viruses and bacteria. Just like they help plants, these essential oils can improve our human bodies’ functions. By bringing oils into your office space, you can compose the desired mood in your work zone. With so many essential oils available, your creative side can have a field day concocting recipes and blends. I imagine myself a bit magical when I mix these oils, dripping a little bit here and there from their mysterious amber bottles. Any minute, when mixing essential oils, I could imagine a purple mist of magical glitter forming around my concoction. (I know…Disney has got the best of me). Better than a mythical cloud of dust, though, are the wonderful smells and mood lifting benefits essential oils can add to your office space.

Stacy Mitchell, owner, of The Zen Den in Tyler, uses essential oils throughout her spa. "I love lavender oil for calming and relaxation," she shares. "Peppermint and grapefruit is a great blend for energizing  and cinnamon oil activates your brain and keeps you alert. I love oils!"   The mothership of essential oils, however, is Frankincense. doTERRA, a leading essential oil manufacturer, remarks that Frankincense is “renowned as one of the most prized and precious essential oils …  In addition to its notoriety in the New Testament, the Babylonians and Assyrians would burn Frankincense in religious ceremonies and the ancient Egyptians used Frankincense resin for everything from perfume to salves for soothing skin.” When diffused at your work space, doTERRA states that “frankincense promotes feelings of peace, relaxation, satisfaction, and overall wellness.” This mighty oil is one “must have” for your zen space. I have listed a few of my favorite essential oil blends below:
Let’s backtrack a bit. In order to diffuse essential oils, you must first own a diffuser (4). There are many diffusers on the market ranging from affordable to downright insanely costly. The most important component you need to look for when on the market for a diffuser is a “cool mist” function. Young Living, another top-of-the-line essential oil manufacturer shares why cool mist is the way to go: “Because diffusion distributes essential oil molecules into the air so effectively, it is an excellent way to maximize the beneficial properties of essential oils. It’s important to note that overheating essential oils using aroma lamps or candles can render the oils less beneficial.” Using water and cool mist, you are “breaking a mixture of essential oils and water into millions of micro-particles and dispersing them into the air.” I recently found what I believe to be the perfect office space diffuser from Amazon. My small diffuser can be plugged into a USB and sit in a cup holder while traveling in my car. When I reach the office, I can then plug the diffuser into my USB port at work and create a personalized spa-like atmosphere without invading my coworkers’ space.

Also on the zen-craze list for your office space is a Himalayan salt lamp (3). For starters, Himalayan salt is found in the Punjab region of Pakistan about 190 miles from the Himalayas. Dr. Josh Axe, a well-known certified doctor of natural medicine, states that “This region has one of the richest salt fields in the entire world, and they are very, very old. I’m talking Precambrian Age or over 4 billion years ago when planet Earth first formed! With a history dating back to Earth’s creation, Himalayan salt is believed to be composed of dried remnants of the original, primal sea.” Dr. Axe’s website also claims that this pink salt is found in “salt mines 5,000 feet deep below the Himalayan Mountain Range. The salt from these mines has experienced tremendous pressure over millions of years and is said to be over 99 percent pure.” But what health benefits can a glowing, pink rock have for your work space? My experience with a Himalayan salt lamp is that it produces a warm, ambient glow. It may just be my imagination (I do get carried away quite a bit), but the glow seems to calm and relax me and it brings warmth to any room. Natural Living claims that Himalayan salt lamps deodorize and cleanse the air by “attracting water molecules from the surrounding environment. They then absorb those molecules – as well as any foreign particles they may be carrying – into the salt crystal. As the lamp warms up from the heat produced by the light bulb inside, that same water then evaporates back into the air and the trapped particles of dust, pollen, smoke, etc remain locked in the salt.” This, in return, can reduce asthma, allergy symptoms, and coughing. But here is my favorite claim about Himalayan salt lamps: We are surrounded by “electromagnetic (EM) radiation which flows from our electronics (ie: television, computer, cell phone, tablet, appliances, stereo, etc). While they may be invisible, the long-term effects of EM exposure can be quite serious. Constant exposure to EM radiation is known to increase stress levels, cause chronic fatigue, and decrease the body’s immune response, among other things. As they emit negative ions into the air, Himalayan salt lamps work to neutralize electromagnetic radiation. Keep one next to the computer, television, and any other electrical devices which you use frequently to reduce the potential danger to you and your family.” This statement from Natural Living is so interesting and compelling that I keep my Himalayan salt lamp near me when I am working on the computer to ward off those bad EM radiation bad guys. Stacy Mitchell also keeps them all around her house. She says that the lamp, "purifies the air, adds comfort and a sense of calmness to the home and office." While on the subject of the electromagnetic field, I have found another zen office must have.  Many of us sit in front of a computer, cell phone, or television for extended periods of time which can put strain on our eyes.  The fact is, there is a harmful blue light emitted from computers and other backlit devices we use every day. This blue light can cause eye fatigue, headaches, and possible future damage to your eyesight. Phonetic Eyewear (1) has created a solution to keep our eyes guarded. They claim that: “Our glasses contain a special coating that deflects a portion of the blue light, which reduces eyestrain and improves focus. The other portions of the color spectrum are not filtered, maintaining a sharp image. When these lenses are working, you can see a slight violet-blue hue on the front of the lens.” Personally, I have found that my blue light reduction glasses prevent headaches and excess eye strain.  Some wearers find they help with that pesky halo effect drivers encounter in while driving at night. Best yet, I have even convinced our lovely BSCENE editor of the benefits of blue light reduction glasses!

Of course, none of these zen office items or statements made are meant to cure or heal any disease but they are worth bringing into your office space. If you are looking to bring  peace and calming to your work area in 2018, give these  “ZEN IS IN” must haves a go! Do you have a product that you keep around throughout the work day that eases the daily grind? Please share your office space zen items and testimonials with East Texas by tagging us @bscenemag and #bscenemag.


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