The current financial crisis has been very devastating to many people. Most of us are seeking ways to tighten our budget even if we have not been directly effected by the current recession. We are all planning for hard times. This can be a cue to simplify our lifestyle, to get in touch with our spiritual center and to let go of attachment to material connections. This, however, does not mean we cannot enjoy ourselves. Reconnecting with life’s simple pleasures can be of greater reward than material splurges. One can achieve this balance by using what I call the seven senses: seeing, touching, hearing, smelling, tasting, breathing and laughing.
A lot of this you may do anyway, but when it is done consciously and with an intention it can lead into an actual shift in your mood. A heightened awareness. This is about taking control of your mood and circumstance. The old saying “money can’t buy happiness” is true. Sometimes it takes a simplification of one’s life to “own” one’s state of being.
1. Seeing- The visual sense is used in Color Therapy. Each color has a vibration it can give off to help our mood. For the cost of a few gallons of paint, you can brighten your living space using warm colors – such as paprika, aqua or apple green to impart a feeling of coziness in a room. A museum is a great place to stimulate your visual sense through the incredible use of color and light. This will help lift your spirit and improve your overall mood.
2 Touching- Nothing feels more comforting than a warm, loving touch. Massage, hugs, dance and exercise are vital ways with which to stay happy and connected. Even petting your cat or dog has been documented to reduce stress.
3. Hearing- Music is known for its miraculous ability to better our mood. From Arias to Zytego, music soothes the savage beast within us all. So, don’t forget to reconnect with your favorite music.
4.Tasting- Cooking for someone you love is one of life’s simplest and often forgotten pleasures! Certain foods have joyful properties such as fruits and of course, chocolate in moderation.
5. Smelling-Aromatherapy is a fantastic healing option. The scents available are so intoxicating! Jasmine, Bergamot and Geranium are very romantic and uplifting. for more on the healing qualities of aromatherapy, read A Simple Guide to Aromatherapy.
6. Breathing- though not an actual sense, is a great way to enjoy whatever you are doing. Correct deep breathing helps stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, bringing the body back to a resting state. Many forms of meditation are based on the way we breathe.
7. A sense of humor-the seventh sense! What can make you feel better than true, unbridled laughter? Laughter is known to reduce the level of stress hormones like Cortisol, Epinephrine and Dopamine . It also increases the level of healthy hormones such as endorphins. Consciously spend time with people who really make you laugh and share in your sense of humor!
It doesn’t take a lot of money to feel more positive and uplifted. Try getting in touch with the simpler pleasures in life and see how much more centered and gratified it can make you feel. Simplicity is a necessary luxury and feeding our souls is the most nourishing action we can take in troubled and chaotic times.