6 Benefits of Burning Candles
Who doesn’t love candles? They’re a staple of most households, often for a variety of uses.
Not only are they practical, but candles are also deeply connected with ways that our minds and bodies work. While it’s not hard to find an excuse, there are a ton of great reasons to burn candles.
Here are just a few benefits to reap:
- They help set the scene for a higher quality of life. The environment has a huge impact on our overall sense of well-being. The flickering flame of a candle creates a distinct, calming ambiance to a space. It encourages you to slow down, take a deep breath, and relax. The tone of a room changes when it’s filled with candlelight and your mood follows suit. When you’re in places that make you feel more at ease, you’re lowering your level of stress. In turn, you’re improving your quality of life. This stress-relieving practice leads to a whole host of well-known health benefits. Your heart will thank you.
- Candles are a vehicle for powerful essential oils. Aromatherapy is a subtle but strong tool for altering the mind and body. Candles can improve your physical health along with your state of mind. Many essential oils used in candles have impressive physical healing properties to go with their aromatherapy benefits. For example, some essential oils like these have been shown to improve immune system function. While it’s true that you can’t get away with replacing the contents of your medicine cabinet with an arsenal of essential oils, you can still enjoy their health-boosting benefits. Candles are a fantastic way to do that.
- Smells are, well… pleasant. Of all the smells you deal on a given day, you’re probably going to have the most appreciation for the ones you choose. Walking into a room full of lovely fragrance lifts your mood and makes you want to be there. It’s a nice reverie from the random odors of the world, and taking that little aromatic break is a sigh of relief. It’s no wonder that wandering around smelling candles in a shop is so much fun. Enjoying scents is a lot like taking a walk through a beautiful garden or listening to a great song. You’re giving your senses some well-deserved stimulation.
- They make you “scent-imental.” Bad puns aside, the sense of smell is very well-linked to memory. Have you ever stumbled across an aroma that took you back to a memory you thought you’d forgotten? Scent takes your mind places, no matter how obscure. See this. That’s because the part of your brain that analyzes smell is directly connected to the areas associated with memory and emotion. </a> Memories are a precious thing, so being able to access them so directly is worth cherishing.
- They connect us to our humanity. Fire has a lot to do with what makes us “human.” See this. Harnessing the power of fire is unique to human beings, who are the only animals that intentionally create and use it. Not only is it unique, but it’s also a longstanding source of security. It keeps predators at bay and warms us as we bond, even now. Human beings owe a lot to fire, and for that reason, it inspires a comfort that is much more ancient than we are. Candlelight brings that gentle sense of safety into the home, helping us to tap into a very “human” part of ourselves. It’s the reason we still gather around campfires. It’s the reason we make wishes on them each year. It’s the reason we light candles to honor the deceased as we are grieving. Rituals like these are all powerful demonstrations of our humanity.
- They’re special. Candles are a hallmark of “special” occasions. We light them for just about everything: weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, funerals, memorials… to name a few. The act of lighting a candle is intentional. You’re going out of your way to light the candle, which gives your mind a reason to stop and focus. Lighting candles is a sacred act, done in joy and in sorrow, alone and in groups alike. More primal than putting out the nice dishes, you’re taking the time to acknowledge the significance of a moment. This use in ritual, ceremony, and celebration is a union of the benefits candles bring us. It shows us that while lighting a room, we can curate a whole host of different mindsets. They’re an enduring sign of humanity’s harnessing of fire, a window to the memory, and a simple way to relax.
Ultimately, they’re whatever you need them to be. Let the light of candles illuminate whatever you choose.