In any given day, our senses are assaulted by the glare of city lights, the sounds of traffic and the smell of fast food. We touch a hundred different textures before we even leave our home. In a single meal our taste buds register sweet, salty and bitter with every bite.
So is it any wonder that we have such short attention spans? We are stimulated for every waking second of every day. This sensory overload is part of what stresses us out. We can never relax because there is simply so much to see, smell, hear, taste and touch. That is why we need relaxation techniques that take control of our senses and engage them in a soothing way.
Engaging the senses in meditation
The best way to circumvent sensory overload might surprise you. You don’t need to submerse yourself in one of those sensory deprivation tanks. Meditation on a single object that can stimulate all or most of your senses will quickly and efficiently still your mind and calm your entire nervous system.
There are a lot of old-school meditation aids out there, such as incense, chants and chimes that can provide a point of focus. However, none of them really grab your attention and hold it in the face of a hectic modern lifestyle. Good meditation tools will engage as many senses as possible, blocking out distractions and helping you get centered.
Tips for calming overloaded senses during meditation
o Choose a meditation tool that can engage at least four of the five senses in order to keep your attention on the task at hand.
o Use a repetitive physical activity, such as throwing and catching your meditation tool, to quickly focus the mind.
o Use the same meditation tool each time you practice relaxation techniques. Soon, just holding or looking at the object will bring your mind to a peaceful state.