Have you ever had someone in your life remind you to “stop and smell the roses”? Perhaps this particular phrase had an impact on you. Maybe it inspired you to slow down during a time in life where you were moving too quickly.
As you reflected on all the days you had spent confined in your busy reality, you had everything yet nothing to recall. This happened because when we fail to stop and smell the roses, we fail to show up fully in each moment. We fail to notice the sights, lights, colors, smells, and noises – all the elements that stand out and turn moments into memories.
The body’s tactile memory of its environment plays an intricate role in imprinting our mind. In other words, our senses give us a unique way to experience the world and remember it. Engaging your senses with purpose can bring a greater sense of purpose to your life.
Through vision, our experience of the world becomes like a story. The different colors around us elicit certain moods and responses. Whether a color energizes or calms us or evokes creativity, colors play a role in our moods and the actions we take.
Our vision is responsible for most of the information we absorb every day, helping us better understand it all. With sight, it is not just about what we take in but what immerses us. Our visions allow us to capture the beauty and magnificence of everything around us.
To understand the positive connection between hearing and mental health, think about music and its ability to uplift us. Music can alleviate the stress within our bodies and minds. There is a reason why music can make us feel happier or ties us to a moment in time.
Hearing music stimulates neurons in the brain that trigger the release of dopamine. Music provokes emotions without conscious effort, and we experience or release them just the same – it’s an effortless outlet.
You’ve likely heard before how scent is the strongest sense tied to memory, which makes sense when you think about a smell that takes you back to childhood.
Our sense of smell is powerful because there are over 1,000 receptors for smell in the nose. These receptors send messages through our nervous system, making smells recognizable and inducing certain emotions. This is why aromatherapy (essential oil therapy) has healing powers. For example, taking in the scent of lavender can make you feel calmer, while citrus can make you feel energized.
Taste performs a few important functions for us, like detecting toxins in our food to keep us safe. Taste is about more than influencing what we eat and how well we digest it. Taste is what links our internal needs to our external environment.
Human touch is an important element of emotional health. Whether it’s hugging, cuddling, holding hands, or self-massage, touch is a way of connecting inward through external sensations. The positive effects we experience through touch include a drop in cortisol and an increase in serotonin, which means less stress and greater happiness.
There are many elements of our mental health and wellness, where no one is more or less important than the other. The same could be said about our senses, which work to bring these elements together. When we tap into our senses, we tap into what already exists within. We don’t engage our senses to gain more from life – we use them to see, hear, smell, taste, and touch the quality of the life we already have.
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