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Our 5 senses getting us through tough times :)

Hey peeps! Robot wink
I was recently lucky enough to attend a professional development workshop through my work. It was hosted by an excellent youth psychologist who spoke to us about different techniques to dealing with anxiety, depressive thoughts and trauma.

One technique which has really stuck in my mind was one called "Self-soothing with the 5 senses". After hearing and reading about it I realised that a lot of us probably do it without even realising it. It’s basically the method of smelling, listening to, touching, tasting or looking at something that reminds you of a specific time when you felt calm and happy.


For me “smell” is the most effective. My favourite example being the smell of horse feed which takes me back to when I was younger and my dad and I used to feed his horses together, this was a time long before my parents split up and things got more complicated.
Another is the smell of freshly baked banana bread and peppermint tea- a more recently lost tradition I had with one of my closest friends before she had to move away.

HeartRandom cute unrelated fact: When I’m really missing her I’ll send her a photo of my tea on snapchat and 9 times out of 10 she’ll send me one back exactly the same because we always seem to be doing the same things at the same time even though she’s hours away from me. Heart

Wondering who else uses their 5 senses in this way to calm themselves down and if you do, what are your favourite examples?Cat Very Happy

Re: Our 5 senses getting us through tough times :)

From what you say, i can confidently say mine is touch.

I'm a type of person who easily gets lost in everything and goes with the flow, then suddenly find myself not happy with how everything is going, so for me touching something that means a lot to me, or like a hug or something from someone i care about is enough to ground me in the here and now.

Re: Our 5 senses getting us through tough times :)

@GingerSnowflake I love this idea, because it's actually amazing. When I am feeling down I generally go for senses to help me get back up, but I wouldn't really use any of those senses, I try and focus on a little more, it could be touch, but without touching anything. I try to imagine more of a spiritual state, and breathe, in a way take my mind to a different "realm", it works quite well for me, because I feel like when I'm able to focus on things like that, I will be able to in a way, see Pop, on a little more of a stage that, really, he is still here.

So yeah, I must say mine would most probably be more of a spiritual sense! ^_^

Re: Our 5 senses getting us through tough times :)

This is a cool idea @GingerSnowflake Smiley Happy
I have to say that I'm more with @Fearocite and use my mind to help me, rather than something physical.
I do sometimes use touch though, like holding onto something, squeezing it between my fingers (I should really get some kinetic sand...)

@Whix it's great that you can use touch to help ground yourself. Do you use any other strategies to help?

Re: Our 5 senses getting us through tough times :)

Hi @GingerSnowflake

I have to admit that I have never even thought about this before!

It makes complete sense though. Do you think in a way that it is a form of mindfulness? 

I think that my sense that soothes me is probably touch! 

If I hug someone or cuddle with my puppy then I feel so much better. 



Re: Our 5 senses getting us through tough times :)

Hi @GingerSnowflake and thanks for sharing this coping strategy!


I think for me the most effective sense would depend on my mood. Sometimes when I'm feeling lonely, I crave human contact and will hug my mum or brothers, or even my dog and it helps, just a little. Generally though I'd say smell and sound are strong ones for me. The smell of certain teas especially, because I drink tea with a lot of my friends and so drinking/smelling certain flavours will remind me of them and times we have spent together.

// Spiral outward, keep going. //

Re: Our 5 senses getting us through tough times :)

Oooooooh I love this post!


For me, I strongly resonate with smell and it's impact on managing my anxiety. I burn lavender oil at home (which is my ultimate safe space and cozy nook). I bring a tiny bottle of essential lavender oil everywhere with me, and sniff it when I need a moment of calm.