Indulging your senses
Intellectually we all know that our bodies and minds need time to relax — but emotionally we often don’t give ourselves permission to top up our flagging energy levels. Engaging our senses is a fast and powerful way to unwind and many people find that the sense of smell has an important part to play in getting us in the ‘chill out’ zone.
So what works for you? The key is truly understanding what it is that makes us feel great — and it’s definitely a case of ‘different strokes for different folks’. We asked the Earthwise fans how they choose to indulge their senses and a wide range of answers came flooding back.
Fresh linen on the bed, a clean house, the smell of chocolate ganache, baking bread or cookies warm from the oven do it for some. From others, it’s essential oils, candles and diffusers (best enjoyed while relaxing in a hot bath or shower). Fresh flowers in the house and the fresh air outside were also popular choices, along with open fires, wine and cheese.
Our fans are definitely onto something — and it’s backed up by science! A few years ago, an English university created ‘the world’s most relaxing room’. The room was the brainchild of the Health and Human Sciences Research Institute at the University of Hertfordshire. People were invited to enjoy 15-minute sessions where they lay down on soft matting and rested their heads on lavender-scented pillows. The room was bathed in calming green light while a soothing soundtrack played quietly in the background. Up above them was a completely clear, artificial blue sky.
The subtle green lighting enhanced dopamine production in the brain – creating a sense of calm. The blue sky helped to ‘create a mild form of sensory deprivation’ which encouraged people to turn their attention inwards, away from external distractions and stresses.
Sadly, we can’t all go to that extreme, but research shows that spending around thirty minutes outside in nature will make us feel significantly more relaxed. Soothing music can also help us unwind — and the right sounds can help to lower our blood pressure.
It’s also useful to know that helping others, even if it’s through a small act of kindness, can help to decrease our stress. With Random Act of Kindness day just around the corner on September 1st, there’s no better time to start!
So, the next time you have a spare 15 minutes, have a soak in the bath with essential oils or our beautifully smelling Nourish body range, take a walk outside in the fresh air or maybe just buy a coffee for a stranger. No matter how you choose to do it, spend some time on yourself. Then you’ll have the energy to turn around and invest it back into the ones you love.
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