Relaxing Using Each of Your Senses 

by | Dec 12, 2022 | Personal Development

Relaxing should be an important part of your daily routine. Taking a moment to intentionally unwind and destress has amazing health benefits, like lowered blood pressure, healthy weight management, improved digestion, and so much more. Why wouldn’t you want to have that? 

There are lots of popular relaxation techniques, like deep breathing and exercise, but what about techniques that target one of your five senses? Sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell are how we perceive the world around us. Choosing relaxation methods to target a specific sense is a fun way to mix up your relaxation routine.  

An image of glasses looks out into an alleyway.

Sight 

Sight is one of the senses we rely on most and use from the moment we wake up until we go to bed. Relaxing using your sight might seem counterintuitive. The principle here is to let your eyes be the gateway to emotional relaxation. Look at things that make you happy, like loved ones or nature. 

Relaxing your sight also means putting down your screens and dwelling in real life for a moment. There is a place for electronics in relaxation, but this isn’t it. Blue light emitted from screens causes strain on our eyes, and anyone who works on a computer all day can tell you all about it. So put your phone down and choose to relax without it for a while. 

A pair of pink headphones is lying on top of a rectangle that is half pink and half teal.

Sound 

Sound can be a huge cause of stress for many of us. Think about the sounds of traffic, construction work, or screaming kids … did you get a little irritated? Taking time to tune out sound or replace it with something you like better (like your favorite music) can be a big stress reliever.  

Having a great pair of headphones helps with this, especially if they cancel out ambient noise along the way. Put on your headphones, sit in a comfortable place, and play calm music, ambient noise, or try out binaural tones. These are tones specifically designed for calming your body and mind. Read more about them here!

A closeup of hands holding a bunch of purple flowers, likely lavender.

Smell 

Smell can be the biggest trigger of feelings on the list of senses. Have you ever smelled something that took you right back to an emotional memory? It’s a powerful sense and is great for relaxation. 

Aromatherapy is exactly how it sounds … using smells as a therapy of sorts. Many people enjoy their home smelling nice, but there are some studies that show some scents can help your body perform tasks better. When your nose receptors pick up scents, they send the message along your nervous system to your brain. 

There are lots of blends for relaxation, but some of the biggest players in the relaxation game are: 

lass jars of herbs are lined up. Two are knocked over with beige and rust-colored herbs coming out of them.

Taste 

The food we eat plays a bigger role in our lives than just the nourishment it gives us. Many people use food to self-soothe negative emotions like anger, anxiety, or sadness. We aren’t going to tell you what to eat to relax, because that’s different for everyone. But if you want to relax with your sense of taste, focus on how you eat. 

Instead of scarfing down your meals or zoning out while eating, savor your meals. Take intentional bites and chew slowly. Experience your food and note the textures, flavors, and how much it fills you. If you tend to be a naturally quick eater, put down your fork or spoon between every bite to slow yourself down. When your body is full, stop eating. You don’t need to finish your food to be finished eating, no matter what anyone else may say. 

This type of mindful eating is a great exercise to practice relaxation, especially if you’re eating something you enjoy. As you focus your mind on the task of eating, you can release all the other stresses in your life, if only for a moment. 

An arm is outstretched and running over some weeds.

Touch 

Our sense of touch often gets taken for granted as we use our hands for just about every task throughout the day. But extend the sensation of touch beyond just fingertips. 

Getting a massage is a traditional relaxation method (for good reason) that falls under the category of touch. Some other great “touch” relaxation methods are: 

  • Going for a run and feeling the pavement under your shoes. 
  • Walking barefoot in grass, or other ground outside. 
  • Having your hair brushed or styled. 
  • Hugging a loved one or holding hands. 
  • Playing with a fidget spinner or other similar toy. 
  • Deep breathing exercise.
  • Doing a great yoga flow. 

The Wonders of Relaxing

Relaxation is so important to your general well-being, so make the time to get it in every day. It has the potential to change your life. Any kind of relaxation is great, but targeting specific senses is a fun way to mix it up and find your new favorite way to chill out. 

Are you planning a vacation to get away from your daily stresses? Read about why you should add an extra day, here.