How to Use the Five Senses to Calm Anxiety
Our five senses may help bring anxiety in our lives if we hear, see, touch, taste, and smell something that can bring us into a panic. Our senses can also do the opposite as we explore the world around us using our five senses to distract our minds and bring us to a relaxed state.
We can use our ears to listen to calm, soft, or smooth music in order to relax our nervous system. Take in the sounds of the instruments going in sync so that your brain can switch modes from being into a panic to becoming relaxed. It also helps to listen to the sounds of nature whether it is the birds singing, the wind moving through the air, or the sound of raindrops hitting the ground. It can also help listening to audiotapes or having someone read you a story as you listen to the sound of their soothing voice.
Our smell can help relieve anxiety not by quickly sniffing something and then leaving but by slowing sniff an aroma that makes you relaxed and by letting it be a breathing exercise. Take a bath or a shower and smell the soap or shampoo before bathing yourself with it. Bake your favorite dessert so you can breath it in and calm the senses. It can bring you back to a time when your parents would make you home-cooked meals. Scented lotions to help relieve anxiety from Bed, Bath, and Bodyworks can also make you calm as well as bringing with you lavendar oil or tiny soap if you ever get nervous when out of the house.
Touch can make you calm like when you are a little kid and you play with sand or playdough in order to occupy your mind as well as stress balls and fidget spinners. When you play a music instrument, it is not just about listening to the sound but to feel the vibrations going through your fingers. Going to the beach or the pool and let the water surround your body. Wearing clothes of soft material can feel comfortable as well as petting an animal or a stuffed animal.
Using your eyes to watch the sunrise or sunset can help relieve anxiety or using your taste like sipping chamomile, chewing gum to work your jaw, or eating your favorite meal. Trying using these methods whenever you need to feel calm.
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Page last reviewed and medically fact-checked | November 17, 2017