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  • Writer's pictureMyranda Wolfe

Your 5 Senses as a Grounding Tool

I have recently decided that, for the time being, these blog posts are better off for me and for you, to be short, semi-sweet, and to the point. This post is going to test that theory.

I fucking love playing on my five senses when I am anxious, panicked, stressed, depressed, uninspired, unmotivated, exhausted, whatever. I am going to ask an important question to you now. If you had to give up all of your senses but ONE, which one are you keeping?

  • Sight

  • Smell

  • Taste

  • Touch

  • Hearing

Which one...?

My first thought, and probably everyone else's, is sight. In this scenario, how can you choose to give up sight? It feels like EVERYTHING. I am regularly impressed by those who were born without sight or have lost it in an accident. I have said on my blog before that I would never be an inspiring disabled person.

When I think of giving up sight, the number one thing that comes to mind is that I can no longer drive my car. Driving is my favorite activity. I mean I can drive for hours, and sometimes choose to drive with no destination. I thought, why is that my favorite thing to do? The reason is because I am completely alone, in control, and listening to my music as loud as I can. I always feel in control if I have music on, so is it really about driving at all? And driving the car in silence is fucking stupid to me, I would never choose to drive if that was the scenario. So it turns out that I value my hearing much more than my sight.

If I went outdoors and could not hear birds chirping, hear the wind chimes I just hung over the weekend in Serenity's memory, hear my parents voices over the phone, hear James telling me goodbye every morning before I ever open my eyes, or hear Brandon Boyd of Incubus singing to meet him in outer space - THAT is when I would feel lost.

Music, audiobooks, nature sounds, wind chimes, the voice of someone I love - those are the first to be called on when I'm not functioning and need to come back down to earth. After I call on my hearing, that is when I layer on the aromatherapy, seek out the color green, pet my dog, and put in a piece of gum.

  1. Hearing

  2. Smell

  3. Sight

  4. Touch

  5. Taste

My personal order of what senses I play on when I need to be present.

This is an intentional practice, and I will show you what I mean by that:

  1. What am I hearing? I am inside, but I do hear wind chimes. I also hear birds chirping and the sound of my refrigerator.

  2. What can I smell? I smell maple syrup from where I made myself fried mush with butter and syrup this morning. I also smell my roll on aromatherapy - it's a lavender blend on my wrists and I am breathing it in deeply now.

  3. What can I see? Many things, but I am choosing to look at my calendar right now. There is a photo of Mt. Rainier on it at sunrise. The mountain is white snow capped, and yellow flowers are blooming at ground level.

  4. What can I feel? I can feel the leather barstool in my kitchen, it's cool to the touch. I also feel our AC blowing down on me and now I am realizing I am actually cold.

  5. What do I taste? Coffee, and I don't love it but I don't know why. Something about it is bitter today.

Which is the most important of your senses? Dig deep, don't stop at the surface level with this question. This is all part of how we ground ourselves, and it is my favorite tool. I highly suggest trying it out this week as a way to come back to earth and create mental clarity for yourself. The affect is stronger than you think.

You are more than physically alive in this process, you are present and in control of your thoughts and reactions. You are here on earth. No one else can be you. Maybe that feels like a curse because no one can fully understand you - but is it? No. It is the coolest shit in the world. Billions of us human beings walking the planet and not one of us is the fucking same. Think about that.



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