Stimulate Your Senses For Vitality
- Friday, 19 November 2010
Do you feel your life has hit a physical or emotional plateau? Change things up by stimulating your senses.
Feeling alive and being active is easy, as long as you know how to mix things up and get out of your comfort zone. By trying new activities, you will challenge your body and stimulate your brain. You will be surprised with your love of new experiences and the potential life-changing outcomes, both physically and emotionally.
I am not suggesting you take up base jumping – leave that to the adrenaline junkies (then again if that inner part of you is screaming for such extreme rushes, don’t you owe it to yourself?). However, it is important to keep your life experiences new and challenging. By introducing new things into your life, you keep yourself, your lovers and your peers stimulated.
The best way to stimulate you is to incorporate your five senses with feeling. Climbing out of your current routine begins with one word—change. If you want the same results, do the same thing over and over. If you want a new outcome, do more than climb out of your rut… jump into new experiences!
Feeling your Five Senses
In order to visually inspire yourself, start local and visit an art show, gallery or art event so you are mobile and walking around. Or perhaps even film festivals, where foreign films with subtitles will stimulate you by making you read and listen concurrently. Check out your local paper or city-based websites for current and upcoming events. This creative outlet will introduce you to new people and abstract perspectives. It will stimulate your vision and mind – and it may even take you out of your immediate comfort zone!
Take a day trip to the closest National Park—these scenic locations are great for exercise, picnics, and photo opportunities! You can even print and frame these scenic shots for your home or for upcoming gifts. If architecture or interior design interests you, go on a historic walking touring and explore boutique hotels.
Anything catch your eye? Observe something and try it—don’t hesitate! Is it culinary class, wine tasting, or dancing? Do you see the passion behind Salsa, Tango, or the Jive? If you are going to dance, go somewhere with live music. Embrace your fear; you have one life, so live it.
While you are enjoying live music or dancing the Tango, pay attention to what those musicians are playing for you…hearing is important and listening is a gift! If you avoid dancing because you have two left feet, start easy. Pandora is a wonderful and intuitive application you can download to your iPhone, iPod, computer, and even some car stereos. You become the DJ with Pandora—the more you use it and play tunes (for free!), the more the application learns your musical preferences. It is a fantastic way to stimulate the aural senses.
Going to a concert in a park is a wonderful way to engage all your senses. Additionally, be sure to stop and listen to street performers. Show your appreciation for the talent they want to share with you.
A wonderful way to get in touch with yourself, your body and to let go a little is to get a massage. Whether it is Rolfing, acupressure, Shiatsu or Thai massage, treat yourself to one. A Thai massage is sometimes referred to as ‘Thai Yoga massage’ – referring to the various stretches the practitioner will use. Many Thai massage establishments help you relax and detox by offering green tea before or after your session. Look online for local practitioners and reviews.
Stimulate you by stimulating your palette. You do not need to visit fancy restaurants to discover new flavors—often small changes are closer to home. While the majority of the population does not grow their own fresh herbs, grocery stores usually sell them. Incorporate basil, rosemary, thyme, and lavender into your meals. Cut them up and inhale them first before you add them to your appetizer or main dish. Also, try some flavorful truffle oil from the savory fungi. It works well when added to edamame, a green bean and pistachio dish or in mushroom soup. These intoxicating aromas (especially truffle oil and rosemary) will permeate through your cooking space, so breathe them in! To incorporate these new flavors into your meals, look up recipes at book stores or online for tips and meal planning.
Our sense of smell is powerful and is easily stimulated by essential oils. Certain scents have a significant impact on how we feel and we have the capability to distinguish 10,000 different smells. It is believed that smells enter through cilia (the fine hairs lining the nose) to the limbic system, the part of the brain that controls our moods, emotions, memory and learning. Some studies have shown that the smell of lavender measurably increases alpha brain wave activity, which is associated with relaxation. In contrast, the scent of jasmine can increase beta brain waves, which are associated with alertness. Whether walking outside after a rainfall, or through a eucalyptus haven, or even sitting around a campfire on a crisp evening, scents that can stimulate you are everywhere.
Finally, stimulate your senses by exploring new experiences with feeling: Conquer your fears by facing them. Say yes to something you might not normally do. When you encompass all your senses at once, you challenge yourself. Whether you experience a big city, a music festival, or an exercise class—such as power Pilates or trapeze—mixing things up and getting out of your comfort zone is a great way to challenge your body and stimulate your brain. Liberate your life today, not tomorrow.
Written By: Jasmine Sharp, RockIt Body Certified trainer