Hello, I’m Robin!
I am excited to have joined the Inherent Strength team! I am looking forward to meeting you, and helping you triumph over challenges in reaching your personal goals!
Did you know the impact your environment has on your mental well-being? I want to share with you some information about powerful influences in your life and how they can affect your mood. Understanding how our senses can help improve mental health can be a valuable tool. By using our senses we can identify positive multi-sensory triggers. These positive influences can help to create a positive environment and induce healthy thoughts, behaviors, and emotions.
Sight has consistently shown to provoke positive reactions of emotions, thoughts, and overall well-being. Improvements in health have ranged from reduced anxiety and stress to lowered blood pressure. Many hospital rooms, hotels, retails shops, and more have chosen specific décor to improve health, comfort, or provoke buying responses of the public. Even specific colors for wall paint are carefully chosen to sooth or stimulate depending on the desired response. Studies have shown that product branding and the use of specific colors heavily influenced buying behaviors. People were motivated to purchase suntan lotion because of the vibrant orange colors on the packaging.
Nature also provokes positive responses in mood and thought process. We see gardens placed in hospital setting for relaxation and fish tanks placed in various environments to help reduce stress. Ocean and mountain views tend to bring about feelings of relaxation and positive thinking.
Another influence using sight is Art Therapy. It has been used with positive results in reducing anxiety in post-stroke patients, PTSD, substance abuse patients, children with disabilities, patients with chronic illness, depression, and other mental health conditions. By doing something as simple at painting or coloring, it distracts us from our ruminating thoughts and greatly reduces stress levels.
Resolving to what sounds may reduce stress or provide happiness can vary according to each person’s preference. A baby can hear in the womb and will find mom’s voice to be comforting. Nature sounds have been found to reduce stress and promote relaxation. Nature and ocean sounds have also been used in healing from surgery and chronic illnesses to meditation and relaxation methods.
Music can also ignite happiness and reduce anxiety. However, choice of music may vary according to what each person finds to be relaxing or soothing. Some people may find heavy metal music relaxing, where others find it to be disturbing. Music is certainly a sound that is specific to each person’s preference, so find what works for you!
In a study conducted by Abrahan, Jaramillo, and Justel in 2019, showed that music can benefit the quality of life in older adults. Of their study conducted, 86.6% of older adults who participated in the study showed an improved quality of life and happiness overall by listening to music daily.
Smell is one of our weakest of senses but can be the most powerful with effect on behavior, mood, and cognition. Nature is full of pleasant smells, like flowers, foliage, trees, ocean, and more. We spend much of our holidays trying to create the perfect smell to reflect the appropriate season. Think of the happiness and pleasantry associated with the smell of a fresh Christmas tree, home baked cookies, turkey, and pumpkin pie during the holidays. Spas and salons use scents and oils to induce relaxation, and retail stores use scents to stimulate the desire to purchase. Many individuals spend a great deal of money just to create “happiness” associated with smell. Bath and Body Works sells candles, lotions, soaps, and body oils to the tune of 4.63 billion dollars a year. And not only does smell induce pleasant thoughts but is also directly associated with our memories.
There is no doubt smell is related to memories. Even the smell of seasons when there is a change in the air. The smell of spring may bring about memories of Easter or baseball, summer of the beach or social gatherings, fall of Halloween or football, and winter of Christmas or snow skiing. Spices or foods can also induce memories. Cinnamon may evoke memories of Christmas and pumpkin pie may bring about memories of Thanksgiving. Everyone can relate to some sort of memory associated by a particular scent.
Touch is a powerful sense that can relate to happiness, relaxation, and healing. Before any of our other senses are developed fully, our first experience upon entering this world is touch. Specialists have come to learn the power of connection between mother and baby with immediate contact and skin to skin touch. Studies have shown that skin to skin contact within the first hour of childbirth provides enhanced short-term and long-term health, bonding, and comfort in both mom and baby.
Touch is also used commonly used with animal therapy. We see pets used in healing patients through hospital visits, trauma events, therapy sessions, etc. Pets are considered valuable assets in helping to improve the mental and physical well-being with tremendous success. A study conducted using a canine-therapy program and university students showed a significant decrease in stress by utilizing a self-drop-in canine organization, attending once a week for 35-90 minutes over a six -seven weeks time period throughout the semester.
Taste can bring about happy memories and satisfaction. Taste is tied to food which is important to our survival. Since our food comes from nature, taste is an important sense that deals with our health and is associated with nature. Emotional responses to flavor are displayed early as we see infants respond positively to sugar and negatively to sour foods. Today, doctors recommend infants exposure to as many foods as possible beginning at 6 months to induce a wider pallet in adulthood, as well as promoting less food allergies.
Emotional eating has been tied to happy and sad emotional responses. It can lead to weight gain and some leading to obesity or depression. This can be a vicious circle with taste and pleasure eating which initially brings about happiness, but over time can lead to health or depression issues. Learning to control taste pleasure, eating and keeping things in moderation is important for a healthy well-being.
It is important to understand how our senses can influence behavior and cognitive abilities in driving our emotions. These emotions can profoundly affect our well-being. Finding the right sensory stimulates can be powerful in promoting positivity and production, so Be Sensational and surround yourself with all of the things that make you happy! If you have any questions or would like assistance exploring these techniques, please reach out. I will be happy to help!
All my best,