Our Senses (sight, sound, touch and smell) can change how we think and feel. Have you ever felt sensory overload from technology, information, notifications, or even numbness to your surroundings? This can be a sign of sensory imbalance from too much of the same repeated senses every day, which also causes numbness to our surroundings at home, affecting our mood, productivity and energy. Not only can sense hacking your living spaces impact your well-being and enhance your home lifestyle, but it can positively impact others you have over to your home, whether it's family, friends or even potential buyers if you're trying to sell.
At the University of Oxford, professor Charles Spence says sense hacking can be defined as using the power of the senses and sensory stimulation to help improve our social, cognitive and emotional wellbeing. By learning to recognize our senses and learn about their unique abilities and how they guide our feelings and behaviours, we can hope to hack our own sensory experience most effectively. Learning how to best take care of and activate our senses can improve the quality of our life. No matter whether you want to feel more relaxed or more alert; more productive or less stressed at work; sleep better or figure out how to look your best, or get the most out of your workout at the gym, the science of sense hacking can help you achieve your goals and aspirations.
The Power of Sent:
Did you know throughout COVID-19, when people spent so much time at home, many of us lacked emotional engagement with scents? We began to lose something called the olfactory channel of communication. Being such an emotional sense, when lacking it, we can experience consequences such as having trouble with transitioning between roles taking place in the same place to feel productive or energetic. We can also become numb to certain smells in our home, and what we may not notice are in the background and potentially impacting us.
Step one: If you want a lovely smelling home check out our previous blog ‘Things That People with Nice Smelling Homes Never Do.’
Step Two: Did you know you can smell your way to a better mood when you inhale essential oils?
Essential oils transform our mood and change how we feel by stimulating the neurons in our olfactory bulb, directly connected to the limbic system responsible for our emotions. For example, lavender is well known to calm and relax our minds, while citrus essential oils are known for their mood-boosting effects. Something we can do to reset our mental capacities is to sense hack through scent, colour scheme, lighting levels and music choice. If you want to pick up your energy at home for a workout, try spraying a pick-me-up blend of citrus, bergamot and eucalyptus essential oils pre-workout to get energized, or calm down in the evening with a room mist of ylang ylang and lavender when you need to relax.
Step Three: Sensory Stimulation through Nature in Your Home.
You can do little things to create positive sensory stimulation in your home, through plants, potted plants, wall plants, flowers or cactuses and allow fresh air into your home. While bringing nature into our homes from living plants, we can use natural soundscapes and the idea of digital nature from our tv or laptop, playing nature sounds or scrolling through scenic images in the background building a scenic environment.
Bringing Music Into Your Home.
Research has shown that listening to music can reduce anxiety, blood pressure, and pain and improve sleep quality, mood, mental alertness, and memory. Music substantially impacts our moods, such as when we go to the gym or head out for a run. We all have specific music or even podcasts we may watch that fire us up and release energy to exercise. The same can be brought into our homes; chill, happy vibe music playing in the background creates a cheerful, upbeat environment. Finding different music, tv channels or podcasts to listen to during various activities during the day can help our mind shift between roles and engage us more in what we focus on.
Everything we do to learn how to hack and train our senses can help us improve the quality of our lives. It’s about figuring out what works best for us, as everyone has different experiences with how we can experience life around us through our senses.
Our senses are potent, through which we can set the tone and create the atmosphere and environment we want in our home. Sometimes we hear a particular song that makes us remember someone special, or we have a meal that reminds us of when we were young, or we get a whiff of a candle that smells like the holidays. Our senses build emotion and life around what we experience. They have the power to transport us to different times and ultimately impact how we feel at that moment. Learning what works best for you to hack your home spaces can enhance your life. Think about how you can play into these feelings by creating a unique and memorable experience in your home through creative and subtle senses that others subconsciously feel drawn or connected to.
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