This past year, I’ve started to think about our five senses in some new ways. Of course, helping fellow Sensuists explore beautiful music, lovely wines, and delicious foods is still one of my favorite things to do! However, this past year I’ve been helping them not only to “taste” with all their senses but extrapolate from this experience and think about how they might engage their senses with more meaning and purpose on a daily basis. So I wanted to share 5 tips for a more purposeful sensory life with you in the hopes it will encourage a more activated and meaningful engagement of your senses in your daily life!
I began to think of this idea as sensory wellness, which I define as the practice of actively engaging our five senses with meaning and purpose. I also think of it as separate from – though of course related to – our physical and mental health.
Consider a hike: we’re clearly involving our bodies in a workout checking off the physical health box but it also supports good mental health by switching off from work and getting out into nature. How exactly do we differentiate these two from the idea of being mindful of our sensory wellness? It’s not as clear, is it? However, I have taken to stopping often on a hike just to smell a particular flower or bush, listen to a distinctive bird call or the way the leaves are rustling above me, tasting the freshness in the morning air by breathing in through my mouth, touching the tough bark and the velvety leaves on a tree. These things stick with me, creating memories and opening my sensory pathways, bringing me joy and calm.
So, with this in mind, I wanted to share my top five tips – one for each of our five senses – for sensory wellness as we head into the last days of Holiday madness and then into the new year, and the new decade.
Here are our 5 tips for a more purposeful sensory life:
Sound: You might think that my tip would be to try music from every country (that’s another tip, by the way) but this first tip is quite the opposite. We encourage you to explore basking in silence! Turn off the TV and the radio and, if you can, turn off any fans, AC units, too. Kill the white noise machine and just listen to the silence of your home or the world around you for five minutes each day.
Touch: Shake someone’s hand with both hands! Extend your right but clasp their hand with your left. The little extra touch is really welcoming and indicates warmth and trust.
Smell: Visit an actual perfumier! Ask them to help you begin to identify the scents you love! You might be very surprised! One of my favorites is Heretic Parfum!
Sight: Give someone a specific compliment perhaps about something they are wearing, how their hair is styled that day, or how much you appreciate a certain gesture they’ve made! This shows them that you have truly seen them! One easy way to engage your eyes: download the SkyView Lite app on your phone and get to know the stars in the night sky!
Taste: Slow. Down. The world has an overabundance of food… it’s not running out so take some time over your meal. Allow your mouth to explore and discover the many different tastes and flavors in the dish in front of you.
We hope you enjoyed our 5 tips for a more purposeful sensory life and would love to hear from you how you are engaging your senses with more purpose and meaning throughout the year.
Let us know by sharing a pic on Instagram and tagging us @fivesensestastings.