Ease Your Stress by Soothing Your Senses.
Aloha, Hola, Bonjour!
Dream of vacationing on an exotic beach in Kauai, Cancun, or Côte d’Azur. Imagine the sight of a shimmering blue ocean dotted with lush palm trees touching a brilliantly clear sky. Immerse yourself in the sound medley of soothing waves, native birds, and tropical music. Savor the scent of coconut suntan oil wafting amid the gentle aroma of ocean salt water. Experience the soft touch of a warm breeze as you allow velvety sand to slip through your hands. Indulge in the tangy, sweet taste of a slushy pineapple concoction topped with a bright paper umbrella skewered with juicy cherries.
When a tropical vacation looms out of reach, you may want to try a fretaway (brief getaway at your home or office) that soothes your senses – sight, sound, scent, touch, and taste. A fretaway is a simple practice of easing stress by engaging all five senses simultaneously with tangible objects and media found on your smartphone. It yields exceptionally calming results when you use sensory elements that have research support for easing stress and anxiety.
- Find items or online media to engage each of your senses.
- Enhance the calming effect by using sensory elements that have research support for easing stress. See sample suggestions and research support below.
- Simply relax, and engage all five senses simultaneously, allowing your attention to focus mindfully among sights, sounds, scents, touches, and tastes.
- Remember to breathe deeply allowing your tummy to move freely.
- Ten minutes is a good start. 20-30 minutes will ease stress more effectively.
Nature Scene (window with a view, artwork, YouTube video).
Sample Suggestion: YouTube Video of Nature Video of Ocean Waves
Research Support: Nature Video
Soothing Music (Native American flute, Celtic, Classical) or sound (ocean)
Many YouTube videos offer stunning scenes, nature sounds, and music.
Sample Suggestion: YouTube Video of Native American Flute
Research Support: Soothing Sound
Candle, cologne, or aromatherapy using essential oils like lavender.
Sample Suggestion: Sample of Lavender Oil.
Research Support: Lavender Essential Oil
Tangible item with a smooth texture (fleece, satin, wood, your pet)
Sample Suggestion: Satin Eye Pillow (can be held in hand)
Research Support: Physical Touch
Your favorite treat (dark chocolate, fruit, calming tea like chamomile).
Sample Suggestion: Healthy Dark Chocolate
Research Support: Dark Chocolate
Of course, you may personalize your fretaway to suit your own tastes. See some ideas below.
Sight: YouTube video or photo of a beach
Sound: Ocean waves or Hawaiian Music
Scent: Coconut Suntan Lotion
Touch: Sand stored in a container with a few seashells.
Taste: Tropical Jelly Beans or fruit salad served in a pineapple half
Sound: Favorite Christmas Music
Scent: Gingerbread or Pine Scented Candles
Touch: Plush Santa Stocking
Taste: Homemade Christmas Cookies with Hot Cocoa
Sight: YouTube video of a Favorite Childhood Place
Sound: Favorite music that was popular that year
Scent: Cotton Candy, Flowers, Koolaid
Touch: Playdough, Finger Paints
Taste: Retro candy from that era
Sight: YouTube Footage or photo of Fall colors
Sound: Native American Drums
Scent: Burning Leaves
Touch: Fresh Mums, Black Cat,
Taste: Apple Cider, Pumpkin Spiced tea, or Coffee
(This may bring healing tears as well as calming effects)
Sight: Photos of your dearly departed loved one
Sound: Loved one’s favorite song
Scent: Loved one’s cologne
Touch: Something your loved owned or made
Taste: Loved one’s favorite recipe or treat.
Image is under license from Shutterstock.com
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