Turn On Your Senses
We can create a greater connection to the world around us, by enhancing our perception across all senses.
Did you know? Intuitive flashes or insights are more likely to come from a state of being open to receiving rather than from a state of intent pursuit. A relaxed and grounded state of mind becomes fertile ground for insight and intuition.
See how your brain is wired and discover whether you translate the world primarily through your auditory, visual, pro-prioceptive or kinesthetic sense. Our bodies, personalities, inclinations and temperaments all differ in varying aspects making up the unique individuals we are. This article looks at four of the sensory channels through which we interpret the world. Within these four channels you can understand yourself better by noticing which one you spend the most energy in. You might use your visual or auditory sense more than your pro-prioceptive or kinesthetic sense.
Someone who says: I hear you, is obviously set in his auditory channel, whereas someone who says: I see what you mean, might be more rooted in the visual. Subtle hints in our choice of words often indicate where our brains spend more time. Most of us have a more developed visual sense. This is the place we see patterns and it is where we develop ‘insight’. It tends to be enhanced by the amount of visual input we have around us, television and on screen interaction makes us more visually aware.
In the auditory channel we focus on sound: verbal communication, music tone, tempo, pitch and volume . It is also the channel we use when we self-talk. Notice people who often say, Sounds nice, or Listen here, they are processing input in their auditory channel. Depending on an individual’s dominant channel, someone might say, Nice to see you, (visual) while another may say, Nice to speak to you (auditory).
Then we have the pro-prioceptive. Think of expressions like, My heart is fluttering; I have butterflies in my stomach, or He’s a pain in the neck. These phrases all relate to sensations and feelings. Pro-prioceptive is active when someone speaks of being turned on or off, feeling depressed or feeling pain or joy.
The kinesthetic sense looks at body movement and position. Educationalists have identified people classified as kinesthetic learners. These people learn better through moving their bodies or by doing rather than merely listening. Kinesthetic also determines how much we know about where our body is in space and in relation to other bodies or objects. Some people tend to use their bodies less, hardly ever moving certain body parts while others use them a lot. Think of people who speak with dramatic hand movements.
The brain has numerous centres dedicated to sense perception and we all have the ability to sense across a broad spectrum. Our bodies are like antenna with the capacity to pick up input on many different levels but sometimes we are more in tune with certain frequencies than others. Technology also primes us more towards the visual, we are bombarded with hours of screen time everyday through computers, televisions, smart phones and Ipads. This makes us skilled in pattern recognition and spatial awareness. But it may also suppress our ability to recognise and appreciate our other senses. To create a greater connection to the world around us, we can enhance our perception across all senses rather than experiencing mainly from one or two channels. We can explore and cherish our senses, celebrating their function and application. Practise sensory awareness by focusing or developing an awareness of each different sense, one at a time.
5 Sensory Tips to Train Your Brain:
1. Pro-prioception: Practice your balance by standing on one leg. To challenge this exercise try closing your eyes. If you can master that, lift your hands to the sky and ground your legs until you balance. Using dance to move all parts of your body is also a great way to evolve pro-prioceptively.
2. Audioception: Take a trip to the forest or your nearest park and listen to the sounds of nature. Close your eyes and meditate on one particular sound. Listen to a piece of music and isolate the different instruments you hear.
3. Tactioception: It is one thing to go for a massage to feel the skin you are in. But try sitting quietly and sensing different parts of your body without having tactile cues. The easiest place to start is the hands and feet. Master that then see if you can locate your internal organs by naming each one and focusing on them individually.
4. Gustaoception: You should always eat slowly to aid digestion. This exercise gives you an excuse to slow down. Rather than mindlessly swallowing, feel the textures, switch on your taste buds and turn up the volume on flavours and taste.
5. Olfacoception: Take a trip to Kirstenbosch gardens and spend time appreciating the different scented plants or switch on to your sense of smell by noticing the smells around you, the smell of paper, of a passageway, the upholstery in a car or bottles of aromatherapy oils.