Using your senses to create calm
Are you stressed out? Exhausted? Drained? Well the answer to your problems may just be at the end of your nose, literally. It is commonly know that we have senses that allow us to create a perception of our surroundings, our ability to see, hear, smell, taste and touch. These senses play a vital role in keeping us safe.
But did you know, that this perception of safety is extremely dynamic and reflective of the state of our personal internal beliefs, thoughts and systems.
You see, our sensory organs communicate directly with our nervous system to ensure that the body understands exactly where it is, how safe it is and what it’s priority is in this moment of time.
If we feel unsafe our sympathetic nervous system becomes active and because of the perception of danger our senses are heightened. They are on the look out for danger, every noise becomes more obvious, the power cord on the floor makes us jump as if it were a snake.
When we are actually in danger, these senses keep us safe and alive. However if we have experienced a trauma, are constantly fearful, stressed or anxious our sympathetic nervous system works in overdrive and our senses remain constantly heightened.
Living this way, in the ‘heightened’ state is extremely depleting and tiring for our body. Because the primary focus of the body is to be on the lookout for danger, life loses it’s vibrancy, we can’t hear the sounds of nature, we don’t become immersed in our food when we eat, sexual arousal becomes less likely and many dis-ease conditions can manifest.
Through taking time to focus and ignite your senses when you are doing simple daily tasks you can encourage your body to switch into the parasympathetic nervous system where the ‘high alert’ function is not active.
When you are doing these daily tasks focus on any of the senses that seem relevant and really allow yourself to become immersed in it. When you are eating your meals, pay attention to the smell, tastes, textures, let the food take all of your attention. When you are walking to the car open your ears and eyes, take note of the colours, the trees. When you hug someone you love, embrace the smells, the touch, the feelings triggered.
Practising this regularly trains your sympathetic nervous system to relax, creating a greater sense of calm.