Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Awakening Your 5 Senses

One way to remain youthful is to keep our five senses alert. But too often rather than opening, we shut ourselves down. As a result our internal and external environments lose their vibrancy and in the process, our own zest for life can be dulled. The good news: with these sensory exercises you’ll give yourself a boost and be able to more fully tune into the world around you.

Try it:

This means listening to the whole range and variety of sound vibrations that surround us. It’s not just music that affects mood; every noise that enters us leaves its mark. If you train yourself to appreciate all sound, you will be less likely to regard noise as an irritation and more likely to stay open and embrace it as a living experience.

Try this exercise: sit comfortably near an open window. Close your eyes, and remain very still until you hear the noise in your head. Now open up your listening to include sounds in the room. Follow this by including the sounds in the street and outdoors and finally more distant sounds.


Although we possess a wide field of vision most of us focus on one small area at a time. Begin to pay attention to your outer or peripheral vision, which will lead you to a wider perspective. Also, pay attention to the behavior of other people and their body language, which may send you subtle messages beyond their verbal clues.


Prepare a meal for yourself, but keep the ingredients separate. Begin to eat the food slowly, savoring the flavor of each mouthful. Pay attention to how your teeth and tongue feel against the textures of the food. Swallow slowly.

Gather together some strong smelling objects like flowers, herbs, fruit, or scented soap. Close your eyes and pick up the objects one at a time. Allow yourself the opportunity to absorb the fragrance of each item.


Select some objects as different in weight and texture as you can find. The collection might include a shell, silk scarf, pumice stone, and piece of ice. The selection is entirely your personal choice but keep it varied. Place what you’ve chosen on a tabletop. After closing your eyes, pick up each item in turn, and explore it thoroughly, noticing any differences in textures and temperature. Our sense of touch provides a vital source of information about our “state of being” and is major source of pleasure. Even everyday tasks like washing your hair can be enriched by attuning to the “feel” of the whole experience rather than doing it mechanically.

Robin Westen is the author of “Ten Days to Detox: How to Look and Feel a Decade Younger."

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