Today is Celebration of the Senses Day!  We are bombarded by an overwhelming and diverse combination of sensory experiences, every minute of everyday. So many in fact that our appreciation for the human body’s amazing sensory abilities often gets muddled. This day is an opportunity to remind ourselves of what we are missing and a chance to step aside from our distracted lifestyles, in order to appreciate the qualities of the simple things we often overlook.

Humans have five basic senses: touch, sight, hearing, smell and taste. The sensing organs associated with each sense send information to the brain to help us understand and perceive the world around us. Here’s how they work…

Sight

We as humans are primarily sight-oriented beings, nearly everything we interact with, from the clothes we wear – to the food we ingest.  Even our interpersonal relationships, show signs of visual influence. With our sight, we take cues from visual stimuli and absorb the new information into our brains, then use that information to help process advanced decisions.

Hearing

Our sense of hearing works via a complex labyrinth that is the human ear.  An ear is made of two separate parts: the outer ear and the inner ear. The first which catches sound, and the second which translates vibrations sending sound information to the brain. Sound stimulation is all around us and while it can act as a distraction, it also acts as a vital aid. It helps many of us learn associations, with visual stimuli, like the sound of a pine tree swaying in the wind, fire crackling in a fireplace or the sound of birds chirping in the treetops. Our sense of hearing even plays a part in helping us to retain our balance.

Touch

Touch is thought to be the among the first senses that develop in humans. Touch is a powerful sense that is spread throughout the whole body where nerve endings in the skin send information to the brain. Touch can release a series of emotions and memories that aid in learning. It is also linked to our sense of well-being, more specifically in the way in which we convey compassion from one to another.

Taste

Our sense of taste comes from the taste buds on our tongues. Not only can your tongue taste, but it also picks up temperature and texture in food. Our sense of taste works in concert with other senses like smell and touch to help build perception in the brain, with smell affecting taste and touch translating texture.

Smell

Much like touch, the sense of smell is also very powerful, seemingly transcending its own confined sensation. Humans have 400 smelling receptors and may be able to smell over 1 trillion scents. Even the slightest odor can trigger a memory – a 2012 study even suggested that scent activated more parts of the brain than sight did!

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We have a chance today to choose to stop and fully perceive our environment and the world around us! Let’s try and utilize our senses to experience things in a new way, today, and renew our appreciation of our 5 senses!

  • Want to celebrate your senses today? You can try any of the following suggestions to get started:
  • Go outside and close your eyes; listen to the sounds, feel the breezes and try to pick up on outdoor scents
  • In a safe part of your home, close your eyes and try to navigate to different rooms
  • Listen to a piece of music in a pitch black room. Try to pick out the different instruments. Or try dancing around in the dark.
  • Close your eyes and have someone take objects from the refrigerator and see if you can guess the items by their smell.
  • Mix up your food experience by mashing, freezing or coloring different foods to create new and surprising sensory variations.
  • Look at things around you with a magnifying glass.
  • Close your eyes and experience everyday items by feel and texture.
  • Look up ASMR videos on Youtube and experience the sounds made by everyday objects in a whole new way.
  • Taste a type of food you’ve never tried before.