Do you remember when you were a child and everything around you felt so alive? The world was filled with so many colors, textures, sounds and you were out to explore every one of them. Does it still feel this way?
As infants and toddlers, we engage our senses constantly. When you observe a child under the age of 3, you’ll notice they touch, listen to, look at, smell and often attempt to taste everything around them. Their senses are how they gather information.
Returning focus to we as adults, how often on an average day do we pause to connect with and engage all five of our senses? This isn’t saying that we return to gathering information solely by our senses as we did when we were children. But, to go to the opposite side of this spectrum and not engage them regularly creates equally as much imbalance. Like all tools, our senses need to be maintained to be at peak performance.
A few moments of mindful engagement each day to stretch our sensory muscles can make a world of difference.
When we move from task-to-task or multitask without pause or being mindful of our senses, these senses begin to become desensitized. We have no time to process all of the input before moving on to the next stimulant. As a result, our senses become overwhelmed and eventually shift into a neutral state to handle the flow of activity. Suddenly everything feels the same because this is how we’ve chosen to experience the world. It’s simply one activity to the next – we’re floating through life.
How often do you eat while doing another activity versus focusing on the taste and texture of your food? Or listen to three things at one time versus focusing on listening to one of them and fully experience it?
>>> Today, be mindful of your senses and how they engage in the world <<<
Pause to see, hear, smell, taste and feel each individual thing to its fullest. Take in the rich sound of a bird singing, the brilliant colors of the trees, the scent of flowers in the air, the comfortable feel of the blanket against your skin as you settle in for the night, the sweet taste of your afternoon snack. Moments taken to be mindful in this way allow your senses come alive – to reignite and rebalance. At the end of the day, take notice of any shifts in your body and/or perspective.