Below you will find examples of how we can all use our main five senses to manage stress. These strategies can be used by individuals of all ages and in most environments. Give them a go and then pick your favourite’s. Draw or list your favourite strategies in the form of a poster for your room, place on your phone or laptop home screen or simply list in your journal for easy reference. We all know that when we are stressed, our memory recall and executive functioning can be impaired so a visual reminder is always helpful.
Here we go:
- Take a visit to your local museum.
- Watch your favourite movie.
- Sit at the beach and look at the waves.
- Make your own Vision Board outlining your SMART goals. SMART goals are goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-based. For more information on how to set SMART goals and to help prevent further stress, see here.
- Read your favourite book.
- Imagine your “Happy Place”. This children’s meditation will help you and/or your child to get started. Happy Place Meditation.
- Picture something or someone that makes you happy and hold that picture in your head.
- Listen to some uplifting music.
- Listen to your favourite meditation.
- See a live band in person or watch online.
- Talk it out with a friend or therapist and listen to their advice.
- Have a sound therapy session. These sessions can include drumming, singing bowls and/or tuning forks.
- Have a chakra chime balancing session. This session involves placing chimes on the main body which reverberate at different levels balancing the body’s seven main chakras. See here for more information.
- Go barefoot on the grass.
- Use Fidget toys or stress balls.
- Have a Massage or Reflexology session.
- Use Hand Mudras (Mudras help to link the brain to the body, changing our mood).
- Have a Reiki session. If you are unsure as to how Reiki can help you or what to expect in a Reiki session then please see here for more information.
- Exercise. Get that heart rate up and feel the heart pumping.
- Progressive Muscle Relaxation. Simply breathe in and tense your feet muscles, breathe out and release the muscles, release the tension. Breathe in and tense your calf muscles, breathe out and release the muscles, release the tension. Continue up the body finishing with a whole body tense and release. A written script can be found here and an audio version can be found here.
- Hug a teddy or a loved one.
- Use Essential oils like lavender for its calming effect. Place a couple of drops on your pillow to aid with sleep or burn in an oil burner.
- Studies show that other herbs like Rosemary can also help to reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression and improve sleep. Place a sprig of Rosemary near your bedhead or workspace.
- Cook your favourite meal.
- Burn your favourite scented candle or incense.
- Our younger kids can sleep with a teddy bear dressed in one of Mum’s favourite tee’s.
- Once again, cook your favourite meal.
- Eat some soul food.
- Drink a calming chamomile tea.
- Chew gum.
- Suck on a lollypop.
- Practise mindful eating. Eat slowly taking your time to identify the texture of the food, the smell and the taste with each mouthful.
18.104.22.168.1 Grounding Technique
By now, I am sure you have heard of this stress management strategy, a mindfulness technique using the 5 senses. Simply look around your environment and take note of 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch/feel, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell and one thing you can taste. This is a simple technique to use for any age and in any environment and one that you can do as a family. Just use your imagination and make it fun! (Great for long road trips).
So there you have it. A wide range of strategies you can use to regulate your own stress and anxiety using your body’s main 5 senses. Let me know which ones work for you or if there are any others you would add to this list.
© copyright. May not be reproduced without acknowledgement to the author. Written by Kim Norton 30th December, 2020.