using your senses to de-stress and improve mood

We use our senses of sight touch, taste, smell and sound to receive information. Since our senses are a highway to our emotions, we can also use them to change our emotions, lower our stress, and improve mood. 

Here are a few simple ways to use your senses to de-stress:

  • Sight: Viewing the sights in nature can definitely improve mood, but studies show that even looking at beautiful pictures of nature, can have similar effects. Reading a great book, posting a mantra on your wall, or simply browsing inspiring pictures can manage stress and improve your mood.
  • Touch: massage is my personal favorite way to de-stress and improve mood. Even if you don't have someone to massage you, using a foam roller or laying on tennis balls can release tension in your muscles. putting your hands in sand, playing with clay or silly putty, petting a dog/cat, or cuddling with a loved one are all ways to use touch to improve your mood.
  • Taste: chocolate always makes me feel better ; ) No but seriously, you may have a food from your childhood that makes you feel at home, hence the term "comfort food". Herbal tea, or drinking a green juice with the intention of cleansing your body and soul can also be helpful.
  • Smell: this is one of my favorites. Scent is a powerful tool! Lavender, eucalyptus, and citrus are scents known for uplifting your spirit. Rubbing essential oils on your pulse points, diffusing them into your room using an essential oil diffuser, or using aromatherapy products are all great strategies.
  • Sound: Whenever I'm feeling blah, an awesome song pumps me up. Putting on great music to pump you up, soothing music to relax, or nature sounds can be a stress management tool. I personally like to sleep with a noise canceller, and I now find the white noise soothing. 

When you need a mood boost, remember that your senses are a tool you can use to change your mood and/or mindset. Give one of these strategies a try and see if you don't feel better afterwards.