One of the surprising ways to boost energy and happiness is through the sense of smell. Every time one indulges in a lovely scent, it ties them to the present, with a feeling of being transported into the past. Scent memories can be powerful, prompting a person to remember the most loving moments of their past. Enjoying lovely fragrances helps people recall happy times. “With a scent, you can’t bookmark it, rewind it, stockpile it, or save it for later. It ties you the present moment,” says the author in the book.
Utilize Your Sense of Touch to Alleviate Stress
Another sense that people can tap into to calm their anxious selves is the sense of touch. Holding something cuddly and warm can be comforting in anxiety-ridden situations, such as medical facilities. “My aunt works in palliative care, and they recently put in a big order of light, cuddly throws. It’s comforting for people to touch something soft and warm,” the author explains. Similarly, the author has her way of using touch to address anxiety-ridden situations involving public speaking. She says, “I hold a pen when I’m in a situation that makes me anxious, like being backstage before giving a big talk.”
Boost your focus and productivity by harnessing the power of sound
Those distracted and feeling unproductive can use their sense of sound to help focus. One way to address the challenge of controlling the surroundings is to take breaks from enclosed spaces in a quieter and more serene atmosphere. For instance, one could work in a coffee shop or similar bustling environment while secluding oneself to a private space at the library or other areas designated to promote quiet workspaces.
Boost your creativity with your sense of sight
On the other hand, those seeking to boost their creative inspirations can use their sense of sight. Rather than getting lost in thought during a walk, the author suggests looking for small details. For example, during the daily walks, find small details such as colors, tree types, or materials on buildings. Notably, the author advises looking closer each day for the more beauty and surprises that likely exist. The author gained insights into mismatched details on a street she had walked on hundreds of times before.
Want to feel more connected to people? Tap into your sense of taste
Lastly, for those seeking to connect better with others, she recommends using taste. Sharing unique foods and flavors brings people together, as it is an ancient human custom. In creating shared sensory experiences, people loosen up and feel closer. Thus, the author organized a “Taste Party” event where her guests examined various flavors and rated them. They explored the five basic tastes of sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and umami, asked each other about childhood candy, and continually laughed throughout the evening. It was a tremendous experience, made their conversations feel unusually warm and intimate.
The five senses can help people to live healthier, happier, and more fulfilled lives. The author’s journey to find ways to enhance the quality of life led to her inspirational book “Life in Five Senses.” By tapping into the power of the senses, individuals can connect to the ordinary moments of life that they want to experience and remember.
(Gretchen Rubin is a happiness researcher and bestselling author of “The Happiness Project.” Her most recent book is “Life in Five Senses: How Exploring the Senses Got Me Out of My Head and Into the World.” She’s also host of the popular podcast, Happier with Gretchen Rubin, and founder of the award-winning Happier app.)