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MINDbannerI’ve never really been into incense. The only people I knew who used incense with stoners or hippies, or stoner-hippies — basically that one dude with dreads in the dorms who everyone wished would stop using “earthly oils” and finally just take a damn shower.

Andy Samberg. Spot on brother.

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However, my views on incense changed after my cousin gave me this pack of Tibetan Sandalwood incense as a Christmas present. $14 on Amazon for 30 sticks.

The product description is hilarious. Check it out and you'll know what I mean.

The product description is hilarious. Check it out and you’ll know what I mean.

This stuff works.

More than just a scent, it soothes the mind and body by helping melt away anxiety.

How I use incense to bounce back from an anxious state. 

Whenever I feel any tension or anxiety, I like to retreat to my meditation cushion for 10-15 minutes. I light one of these babies, plug in headphones and listen to either soothing classical or meditation music. I give myself permission to just sit, breathe, and observe my current undesired situation without any judgement.

Within minutes, my initial short shallow breaths transition into deeper, relaxed breaths. With each deep inhalation, I absorb the calming effect of the incense and music, and find my way back to the stillness that comes with full acceptance of my reality as it is.

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Continued from Part 1

Step 2. Accept reality as it is.

To accept reality as it is means to be 100% tolerant of how things are, good or bad, without judgment or the desire for it to be any other way. Judgment of your current reality creates separation from it, because you are condemning it as bad and unacceptable. Judgment also creates resistance. Hating how things are and wondering why it isn’t a different way prevents you from living in the present, because you are fighting against the truth of now. Fully accepting reality, no matter how painful facing your fear may be, will give you the mental clarity and emotional strength to grow and move on.

I’ve found meditation to be a very powerful healing tool here. When you can get yourself into a deeper state of consciousness, you can begin to experience the more subtle sensations of your body and discover where the roots of your pain lie. Our minds like to exaggerate things through imagination. If we have pain, it will blow it up to be bigger than it actually is, adding mentally created pain to the initially independent physical sensations of pain. We can greatly reduce the suffering that we experience by isolating the self-created psychological pain from the physical.

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