I often talk about our minds and ways for us to think differently to help ourselves and others. But our senses have a significant effect on our emotions, memory and task performance. We often overlook them. Our body is truly amazing so let’s use it to assist us in our daily lives. I read the following in an article and thought these were great ideas:

Smell Your Way – A few drops of peppermint essential oils on our wrists or pulse points give us a burst of energy to help boost performance. The scent of jasmine can also do the same. It is believed these smells activate a part of your brain that makes you feel more alert. The smell of lemon is refreshing while lavender has a calming effect on us. When you need a little stress relief, have a whiff of ylang-ylang or sage to alleviate anger and anxiety.

Taste the Health – Since taste and smell are so closely connected, a pep-o-mint lifesaver or minty gum can also provide you with some energy. Wholesome foods are great but spices have more antioxidant power than fruits and vegetables. So add those aromatic herbs to your foods for overall well being.

Hear the Cheer – The sound of music blocks nerves from signaling body fatigue and perception of effort. If you want to boost your effort, listen to upbeat tunes. And if you want to soothe your soul, nature sounds and slow, calming music can help put you in a state of peaceful bliss (or assist you in falling asleep).

Touch the Light – Feel the wind and sun against your skin. Curl up in your favorite soft blanket. Walk and feel the earth, plants, flowers and trees. Pet your favorite dog or cat or furry friend – this can lower blood pressure and calm your being.

A Sight for Sore Eyes – Beauty is everywhere. See it. And if you have a hard time, close your eyes and visualize an image that brings you pleasure. Look at photos or artwork that bring you joy. Color brings forth feelings of brightness and contentment so look for a rainbow. Watch a flower grow. See the sun burst from the sky!

Trust Your Gut – Our sixth sense gives us the ability to know things beyond our instant reality. We have our very own individual intuition which can be a guide. But how do we hear it if too much is going on in our world? “Just sit. Sitting in silence allows the self to settle.”- Charlotte Beck, Everyday Zen. Listen to yourself, believe and follow your gut.

Each person is sensitive to some senses more than others. We typically favor one over most others. What is yours?

Have a wonderful month!

Portrait of CC DeGraff , Executive Director at The Kensington Sierra Madre assisted living community in Southern California.

CC DeGraff, Executive Director

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