Feeling overstimulated? You’re not alone. More than ever we are used to keeping our senses fully engaged. For almost everyone, most of the day, all our senses are turned on, ready to receive incoming information. Preferably all at the same time. I cook, while pictures flicker wildly on the TV in the background, loud music, while I surf the net quickly, and the phone rings.
Does that sound familiar? Overstimulation. Also, for our senses. Multitasking. It wasn't long ago that this word was celebrated. Working on multiple channels at the same time suddenly became desirable. A must at work, despite the many burnouts. Our clocks are not ticking a second faster, why are we in such a hurry? I don't care, I love to be in a hurry. And still, no time left at the end of the day. Quite the opposite, I still wanted to….
The Trend? Declining. The Plan? Reduction.
It quickly became clear that we tend to overextend ourselves. Do as much as possible, as quickly as possible, efficiently, and without errors, of course. Certainly, one of the reasons why yoga and meditation have become so popular. In addition, there are of course a lot of other ways to “re”-discover your own pace and deal with what matters. To consciously decide what I want. When. And how much of it. Of course, you can also opt for complete overstimulation! Sometimes. It’s ok to do a little more, just not always.
Are you in? What is it like to just eat while eating? No TV, no music, no internet, no telephone, no company. Just eat. Slowly. Totally boring? Well, here is something to try out: Pay attention to your senses. Perceive them individually, one after the other and very consciously:
Visually: Look at your food. In detail. Perceive all its colors, shapes, and sizes. Also, how you prepared and arranged your food. And on what.
Olfactory: How does your food smell? I'm sure there's more to sniff out than just delicious! Take a whiff! Get close, what exactly do you smell, perceive the differences.
Gustatory: Now you can finally taste it. Take in every nuance. Hotness, sweetness, the spices you used; can you find them again?
Kinesthetic: How does it feel in your mouth? Pay attention to the temperature, texture, and what changes when you chew.
Auditory: What do you hear? Listen carefully, every cracking, smacking, blowing (your food to cool it). And the hmmmmm’s too!
Eat consciously, slowly. Try it out, pay close attention to what you perceive. On one hand you set a clear focus, on the other hand it is a wonderful opportunity to sharpen your perception and to give the different senses room to show you all the elements. Elements that you, incidentally might not even notice while eating. This can help you to also expand your options in other life situations. You can always pause and take time to look a little closer. Listen. Or observe what it feels like when something gets triggered inside of you. Sharpen your senses, be in the moment. We don't have to dance at two weddings at the same time, all the time.! Just sometimes…. :-)
Let me know how you did by leaving a comment below.
TakeAway Tip: It's ok if you need some alone time to stay sharp.