At a very young age we learn about our different senses: hearing, seeing, smelling and taste. I can almost picture in my mind a Sesame Street clip talking about the different senses. When we are babies and little children, engaging our senses is new and exciting. From the moment we exit the womb and open up our tiny little eyes, everything is brand new. We talk about the concept of "new born" or "baby" but what we fail to remember is that it is not just a size or age of the baby that constitutes "new", but it is everything that that baby experiences. Have you ever experienced a toddler realizing that he has a tongue, and all the different things that tongue can do? Or a child who tastes ice cream or sugar for the first time? There is a delight, a wonder, and an amazement. As we age, we engage in sensory activities all the time. Generally it's just a part of our day to day routine, but it seems that we lose the understanding of the importance of engaging our senses.
When we engage in our senses, it helps us feel more alive; more in touch with ourselves, other people and life in general. Most of us ( myself included) just seem to be running so fast in life, and the only thing sensory related that we tend to engage in is seeing how fast time goes by and a quick whiff of your morning coffee. Below I've listed some sensory experiences, in a hope that you will be challenged to intentionally add this element to your life.
- The next time you go to Menards or Home Depot, spend some time briefly walking through the garden center. Allow yourself to take in the fresh smell of soil, flowers and plants. Often times they also have those yard fountains with those lovely trickling and flowing sounds. ( Obviously an idea that is not for the allergy sufferers!)
- Purchase a shampoo and/or conditioner with mint. I recently have discovered the Suave Professionals Rosemary and Mint shampoo and conditioner. I was hesitant at first, as I never purchase Suave, but I have been won over. The shampoo has this delicious, invigorating mint scent that makes your scalp tingle, creating a super clean feeling. My hair has never been more soft and manageable. And, it's less than $5 for both of the products!
- Along with the shower theme (we all spend an adequate amount of time a week in one!) I like to switch out scented body washes, and mix it in with an unscented, less expensive one. If you aren't into some of the scents from higher end stores like Bath and Body Works or Philosophy, you can always buy an aroma therapy oil and add that to the body wash instead. Citrus and mint based scents tend to invigorate and energize, lavender, some floral's, cinnamon, vanilla and other "cozy" based scents tend to help you relax and comfort.
- Bake some chocolate chip cookies or baked apples with cinnamon, brown sugar and butter. Kill two birds with one stone with this idea :)
- Coffee lovers: branch off your regular blend/brew, and take a little extra time to breathe in the aroma before you sip it. ( or guzzle it for some!)
- Make some homemade bread. By kneading the dough, baking the bread and eating the bread, you engage all 4 of your senses! (sight being a given)
- Spend some time going onto google images or make some time to go to an art museum to take in beautiful paintings and photos.
- Get a massage or a pedicure. If you don't have the funds to do either, another idea is to soak your hands and/or feet in warm, sudsy water and massage them with a therapeutic lotion afterwards.
- Listen to some instrumental music.
- Hug! Kiss! Snuggle! Obviously someone is needed for this sensory experience, but one cannot deny that it is simply the best and not engaged in enough. :)
Remember that God gave us all of our senses to be able to engage and live in His world that He created. It is so easy to take for granted simple things like our senses, but seriously, who needs any more of an excuse to eat a chocolate chip cookie or make out?! I hope that my post has inspired just a few of you to add a little more sensory to your life.