When was the last time you really stopped to smell something?
Freshly cut grass. Your boy’s hair. Freshly made bread.
How about your last touch?
The warm hug of a friend. The soft velvety flow of that scarf in the shop. Your cat’s fluffy hair just behind her ears.
And have you heard the birds sing good morning to you lately? Or the trickle of the little stream behind your house? Or the breathing of your kid sleeping in his bed?
We seem to use our eyes so much that we sometimes forget we have other senses too!
Using our 5 senses is how we learn. As babies we touch everything and want to put everything in our mouths. We ask our kids continuously: how does that taste? How does that feel? What do you hear/smell/see…
Later on in life, we have learned most of the simple things, nothing is new anymore and we are often only reminded of our other senses when something throws us back into childhood (like the touch of wrinkled hand, the sound of combine harvester, the smell of hay…)
We can more actively integrate our senses into our daily life to experience it more fully.
Here are a few examples.
Ask sensory questions
Whenever you are working on something, questioning a project, making a decision, ask yourself these questions:
- What do you see? pretty/ugly – dirty/clean – big/little – colours (red ball) – numbers (two dogs) – shapes (Everyone holds hands. Form a circle.)
- What do you hear? loud/soft
- How does it smell? nice/stinky
- How does it taste? sweet/salty/sour – good/bad
- How does it feel? hot/cold – rough/smooth – soft/hard – wet/dry – comfortable/uncomfortable
This will make us more aware of our instincts, of our subconscious wisdom that is not in our brain but comes through our whole body.
Choose multi-sensory experiences
Apparently (and not surprisingly), we remember things better or tend to buy things when we have experienced them with more than just one sense. When all senses are engaged, our brain lights up and connections are made. This is why there is a rise of places that do engage more than one. Escape rooms, Sensoriums (walking through a universe where you smell, feel, hear…), product sampling (testing the bed before you buy it etc), virtual reality apps allowing you to experience the car etc.
When you are tuned in to all your senses, you will be more creative. Whenever I am somewhere, I am always touching things, I am alert to smells and hear sounds that often other people don’t even notice.
So next time you are anywhere (shop, forest, work, etc) try to describe what you are experiences in all 5 senses.
There are quite a few simple ways to fine tune your senses. Like with everything, your sense of smell, your feeling of touch or your hearing will become more attuned the more you practice and are aware of it.
It is easy to get lost in the noise of today’s busy life. But tuning into your sense, even just one at a time, more often, will make life deeper and much more interesting.