Bring your mind and body into balance by nourishing your senses
Our senses play an integral part in creating wholeness of mind, body, spirit and environment. They’re the sacred gateway to our consciousness. When feeling dis-ease or imbalance, our senses modulate the energy field that permeates and surrounds us, creating pacifying influences for our nervous system.
In every moment, we are matter on the verge of becoming energy, and energy on the verge of becoming matter. With this constant transformation going on, make certain that your mind-body physiology takes in high-vibration nourishment via the senses.
Sound Sound is vibrational nutrition. Breathing, chanting, toning, drumming, mantra, the sounds of nature, music and even the “sounds of silence” are profoundly healing. They nourish the nervous system, create greater brain wave harmony and release healing chemicals into the bloodstream.
Pleasant sounds boost immune system function. Vibrating sounds create resonating energy fields that can alter our breath, pulse, blood pressure, muscle tension, skin temperature and other physical changes.
Think about the soundscape you travel through every day. And ratchet down the decibels in your environment to honor a contemplative mood as well as safeguard the health of your ears, to ensure a lifetime of melodic bliss.
Touch Touch serves as a metaphor for deep and soulful connection with others. Touching others (even a pet companion) with loving intent releases oxytocin—our body’s “love hormone”—into the bloodstream.
Stroking the skin releases a pharmacy of natural feel-good chemicals into our bloodstream: natural pain relievers, antidepressants, immunity boosters, circulation promoters, growth hormones and more.
Taste Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin said, “Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are.” Be fully present while eating nutritious organic whole foods. See eating as an agricultural and a sacred act and you will connect with one of the deepest human pleasures, as you build your body, mend your moods and stoke your energy.
Eat slowly and gratefully. This will activate important enzymes that keep your cells healthy. Plus, it takes a full 20 minutes for your brain to register satiety. If you rush quickly through your meal, chances are you will take in more calories than you need.
Smell The nose has millions of scent receptors that bind with aroma molecules to send electrical impulses onto the brain’s limbic system—the seat of our emotions, memories, intuition and sexual response. With aromatherapy, we can use scents to modulate our emotional and physical experience. We can diffuse these aromas into the air, our bath, or massage them directly into our skin.
Aromatherapy can help de-stress, detoxify, soothe and energize everything from inflamed emotions to aching muscles. Whether looking to enhance metabolic and other bodily functions or purify our environment, there is an essential oil for whatever the need.
Sight Consider creative visualization (imaging positive experiences in your mind’s eye) or surround yourself with beautiful sights in real time and know that this can engender a deep sense of peace and joy that is quite healing.
Tap into the power of color. Chromatherapy is regularly used in the healing arts to affect mindbody vibrations: reds, oranges and yellows give energy and strength; warm and/or muted colors such as gold and umber calm restlessness or anxiety; purple induces lightness of being and enhances intuition; greens and blues are cooling, cleansing and balancing.
Lessons Learned One of the most important lessons I’ve learned is to simply breathe and be here now. Meditation is powerful for connecting us to our source. But we also do this so that we may pay exquisite attention to everything that’s swirling around us—and be able to hone in on the beauty. Witness and surround yourself with a world that is touching, easy on the eye, tasty, music to the ears and heavenly fragrant. When you do, you’re nurturing the life-force energy that flows through and around you.
MARY BETH JANSSEN is a certified mind-body health educator for the Chopra Center for Well Being and author of five books. Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.