‘Olfactory conditioning’ is a method through which you can use incense now, when you’re confined to your home for most of the day. “Instead of having that gin o’clock that switches your brain from day to night, you can use incense,” Hannan tells us. “If you light incense every day at the same time, and you genuinely try and relax at that moment, just the scent will start to relax you after a week or so.”
Here’s how to create your own self-care, anti-stress incense ritual:
Choose the right time: Incense can be burned at any time, but it’s nice to give it a dedicated slot in your daily routine so you can take the time to really embrace its benefits. Try and stick to the same time each day, whether it’s early in the morning or as a mental note to log off and relax after work.
Pick the best scent for your needs: As mentioned, high-quality incense cones are typically infused with essential oils, so this is a good opportunity to select one that suits your mood—or the mindset you’d like to evoke. Try incense cones or sticks that include cedarwood oil for calmness and confidence, bergamot oil for a burst of energy, or clary sage oil for stress and anxiety relief.
Remember to set your intentions: Take the time to really appreciate and embrace the aroma around you. Take a deep, considered breath, be present in the moment, and really think about the frame of mind you’d like to be in for the rest of your day or night.