Let’s talk about habits, essential oils and digestive health. Every Friday, I'm going to bring you some fun facts or interesting information to help you learn more about essential oils and how to use them. What makes this unique, from my other posts, is that I will include a video! You get to choose whether you want to read about it or watch it!
Adopting the essential oil lifestyle is all about retraining your brain to reach for an oil or oil-infused product over something else.
It’s creating a new habit.
Let’s talk about how to do that. I thought I would combine what I’m learning from the book Atomic Habits, by James Clear- really good book by the way- and apply it to developing the habit of reaching for an essential oil.
In his book, James Clear lays out the four laws of behavior change. Make it obvious, make it attractive, make it easy, and make it satisfying.
Let’s take digestive upset for an example. What do you do when your tummy doesn’t feel right? When what you ate just isn’t settling? Or when any part of your digestive system is making you feel uncomfortable?
Name it. Think of your go-to response. Speak it out loud or simply think about what you’re doing. This is making it obvious. It brings awareness to a habit and is the first step in changing that habit.
So, if your habit is to walk into your bathroom and reach for a chalky over-the-counter solution, speak what you are about to do. Talk to yourself. As I say this, I realize it sounds a little corny, but I think the author has a good point. If we want to change a habit that has become unconscious and mindless, we have to bring it back to our conscious thought.
Once you have identified the habit you want to change and made it obvious, the next step is to make it attractive.
There are actually many essential oils you can use to support your digestive system health. Peppermint, Digize, Caraway, Aroma Ease, fennel, ginger, just to name a few. One way to make it attractive is to choose the one you like best. Digize is a blend of some amazing digestive supporting oils, and has become many people’s “aha” oil testimony, but the smell isn’t necessarily the best. It takes some getting used to. So, if you’re just beginning to dive into the therapeutic uses of oils, you might start with the more attractive smell of peppermint.
Another idea behind making it attractive is to pair the use of an essential oil with another activity you enjoy. For example, place a drop of peppermint vitality in your water. Drink. Then, think of how you can reward yourself. “Pair an action you want to do with an action you need to do.” (page 111)
Another great way to make using essential oils attractive is to join a culture where your desired behavior is the norm. That’s where Young Living comes in. They are all about creating community and supporting one another in wellness. That’s why they chose the network marketing model to do business. Instead of being alone, you have a sponsor and a greater network of people to take away the confusion of how to use oils. You have me!
The third step in building the habit of reaching for peppermint or Digize is to make it easy. To me, this means putting oils in places I see them and will use them. My digestive oils go in my kitchen. Makes sense right? The oils I use in the morning go in my bathroom. I’ve got oils by my bedside and oils near the diffusers. Wherever I’m likely to use them, they go.
I’d also encourage you to get rid of your other options and simply have the essential oils around. It makes oils the easy choice.
There is also a way to make application of oils easy. It takes a little preparation, but find yourself an empty roller bottle and fill it with carrier oil and 20 or so drops of your chosen digestive blend. Throw it in your purse or on your desk, again wherever you may need it most, and it will take all but a minute to apply. If you have young kids, this is a great way to let them have control. Let them grab it and apply when their tummy isn’t feeling good.
Make it satisfying is the last law of behavior change, according to James Clear. To be honest, I’ve only skimmed this chapter so far, but from what I can tell, the idea is that in order to make a habit lasting, it needs to hold some sort of immediate satisfaction.
In the case of essential oils, it’s the help peppermint or Digize give to a gurgling tummy or the backed up system. When a discomfort is relieved, that is the immediate reward. The reward of aromatherapy keeps you coming back. It brings satisfaction and makes you like this new oil habit!
So there you go. Make using Digize and other essential oils obvious, attractive, easy and satisfying. Once you do this for one area of your life, it will be that much easier to reach for oils to support other areas of your life. It's all about retraining your brain and creating a new aromatherapy habit!