You know that feeling when you close your eyes and suddenly are able to see more clearly? When you are able to tune out all the noise, and yet be in perfect alignment with the sound of your environment. Humans have an uncanny sense, actually 5 that if applied more tactically can unleash tremendous power – a power that is almost inhuman. Out of the 7.4 billion people on this planet, only a handful are known to have unique abilities such as; superior memory, strength, eyesight, etc. What about the rest of us, the 99.99%? I’m here to make a case, that if you tap in to your 5 senses, you will be able to realize the power closeted within.
The 5 senses we possess are sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell. I know these abilities are not as cool as propelling yourself through air at will, swinging from spider webs, or turning into a 600 pound green monster, but these senses provide reasonable means of becoming our own unique superhero.
“For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.” – Vincent Van Gogh
Every morning, as we make our way hurriedly to work or school our eyesight is fixated on the dull and mundane concrete floor. Even I am a victim of this act. One day, I imagined as if though my eyes were the lens of a camera filming a movie that the whole world would see. With this in mind, my eyes widened with joy allowing the scenery around to captivate my excitement. Suddenly, I was able to capture every moment of my environment; everything became visible as I focused my sight towards it. With my perception altered, I began seeing things in a different light – the beautiful architectural design of a building instead of a pile of cinder blocks staked onto each other.
Aside from the personal change one can implement, sight has a huge impact on the way we conduct ourselves in a professional setting. In any conversation, whether a one-on-one or in a boardroom with numerous people, I try and make eye contact with the person I am conversing with. Doing so, will deliver the message I am trying to convey more effectively and portray the empathy protruded through my sense of focus, energy, and effort.
“When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.” – Dalai Lama
The old saying; you were given two ears and one mouth for a reason, never gets old! Yet, very few people put it to good use. It is important to remember that just because you are present amongst someone who is talking, does not necessarily mean you are retrieving the correct information. When you do not allocate full focus to that person, the message he/she is conveying will often become diluted and consequently misinterpreted. These misinterpretations are often what cause fights to break out during talks, or even barricade positive momentum from occurring in meetings. The difference between hearing and listening is that hearing a sound is accidental, involuntary, and effortless. Whereas, when one listens, focus is intentionally warranted to the person talking. Enhancing our sense of sound by listening effectively, will enable us to formulate more coherent/knowledgeable answers while remaining in a rational state of mind rather than one that is emotional and hot-headed.
On the flip side, it can be just as advantageous to deprive yourself of noise and meditate/reflect in silence. Unfortunately, being still and relaxed in total silence has become almost non-existent in modern society. We fill up our days with constant noise, which we use to keep our minds occupied and distracted. Personally, I enjoy a bit of silence before going to bed. Even if it’s 5 minutes of silence, the act of shutting down my brain unwinds the day’s pressure gradually before drifting into sleep. Similar to an overheated computer, where in such case it is necessary to shut down the processor for a while and let the computer remedy itself back to good health.
“Cleverness has left us hard and unkind. We think too much, but feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity and more than cleverness, we need kindness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost.” – Charlie Chaplin
The act of touching or being touched has huge psychological benefits. Touching is a mode that is essential to humankind. Through research, we have come to know that an act as simple as hugging releases a hormone known as Oxytocin which is disbursed by the part of our brains associated with love and affection i.e. the hypothalamus.
Although the physical aspect of touch is essential, the intangible element of touch must also be considered. There is a rippling affect to our methods of conduct. Through simple acts of kindness we are able to ‘touch’ people’s hearts, by resonating on an emotional level – the level that humans first connected with prior to the creation of language. Just as actions can have an impact, our words too can create positive or negative consequences to the livelihood of other people. We have the power to use words that inspire, motivate, and impact lives. Through the use of social media and other technological platforms, we have the capability of spreading wellness and positivity to the globe at large. Yet, some of us choose to reside in anguish and transmit the disease of negativity, adding nothing more but suffering to those who need nothing less than brightness, hope, and support.
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your bodies.” – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
There is both confusion and contradiction between wanting and needing something. This, although true in many aspects of life i.e. shopping, is even more prevalent with food. We no longer follow the biological alarm our bodies harness to alert us when we require nourishment and when enough nourishment has been provided. We have damaged the voice of our willpower and abused our bodies with indulgence of large quantities of food and little to no quality of nutrients. This can also be thought of as an evolutionary trait, whereby prior to the advancement of machinery, humans relied solely on either killing or growing their own food. Our primitive sense dictated that we overeat today as the assurance of food tomorrow was not certain. Although it was a necessary survival mechanism in the days of Neanderthals, people nowadays consume excessive calories and expend less energy.
Here, I encourage you to eat smaller portions, drink more water, eat more vegetables/fruits, and intake less artificial substances such as packaged foods containing high-fructose corn syrup. Not only will your physical appearance significantly change in a good way, but so will your physiology – the way in which your organs function. You will feel more confident, happier, and less stressed. As a result, even your skin will become clearer, eyes brighter, and teeth whiter. Just as a Ferrari should not be fuelled by the cheapest form of oil, your body should not be nourished by low-quality foods.
“No man can taste the fruits of autumn while he is delighting his scent with the flowers of spring.” – Samuel Johnson
Our ability to smell, is a fascinating superpower. We, as humans, are able to make direct visual associations with various scents. Try and recall the scent of your mother’s perfume, and what emotions it sparks – the feeling of love, nurture, and warmth. Now try and recall the smell of the evaporating sweat that covers your shirt as you struggle on important questions of your final exam – the feeling of anxiety, stress, and fear. Each smell is attached to an experience, and each experience can represent a positive or negative situation that occurred in your past life. Understanding how scents affect our psyche can enable us to consciously create positive associations to scents that leave us feeling happy, relaxed, and calm.