Have you heard of “Felt Sense?” It is vague, blurred sense of “something” that is deeply felt internally.
It is an inner knowledge or awareness of an experience in the body. Felt Sense comes from listening to what your body is telling you as it interacts with the external world through your senses.
The language we often use to express this might be, “Knot in my stomach,” “Sinking feeling in my heart,” “Calm in my mind,” or “Joy in my heart.” There is a very strong connection between how we experience the world with our five senses (smell, taste, sound, touch, sight) and our internal experience of the world (joy, happiness, fear, foreboding, etc.)
Continuing with the series of blogs on Wellness, this post will proceed with a spin around the wellness wheel focusing on the 12 dimensions of wellness and the idea that everything is connected, linked and interdependent.
Do you sense danger in the air?
As we continue around the wheel we have arrived at the dimension of sensing. Our senses represent one of the energy inputs into our internal system, and they are the way we interact with the world around us.
Because of that, our senses can have a powerful influence on determining our “felt sense” and can dictate our feelings. The reality is that you don’t actually know danger is in the air, but you might hear the faint thud of running footsteps, smell a gun that was fired, or see smoke in the distance.
Even if you don’t connect the dots personally, your Felt Sense can do it for you. What this means is that we can have a strong impact on our internal world by staging our external world and allowing our senses to take in positive energy as well.
You’ve heard that we should stop and smell the flowers, or spend time in nature, but I bet no one has ever told you why those actions were so powerfully healing.
How to improve your world through your senses
To improve your wellness sense, develop personal strategies to include activities that positively engage the senses. Train your senses to stay acutely aware of your surroundings to keep you connected with the good things our there and warn you of the dangerous things out there. Our way of interacting with the world comes from smell, sight, sound, touch and taste. Use any combination of your senses to improve your mood.
Think about ways in which you can wake up your senses to bring beauty, calm and joy into your life, as well. Working in a cluttered space might make you feel disorganized and chaotic, causing internal anxiety you can’t quite put your finger on.
Make it a point each day to celebrate your senses:
1) Play music that touches your soul in the early morning as you are preparing for your day. Or play the music an hour before going to sleep. The sound will become a ritual you really look forward to.
2) Have some fresh cut flowers to maintain a sense of beauty in your home. These appeal to your sight and smell. Potted plants indoors also help center you.
3) Spend time petting or holding your favorite animal companion. Anyone who has a cat or a dog knows how soothing it is to pet your animal, have him rub up against you, sleep next to you on your bed, validating your sense of touch.
4) Learn some self-massage techniques or exchange massages with someone you love and trust (hands, feet, face, ears), Human contact and touching helps you feel connected to another being as well.
5) Take a hot bath in the evening by candlelight, soaking with mineral salts or essential oils, listening to relaxing music, maybe even have a treat with a piece of quality organic, free-trade chocolate. (Wow – this gets all of them – Touch, Sight, Sound, Smell, Taste)
6) Indulge in a food you love, and eat it slowly and joyfully noticing it in your mouth and as it glides down your throat – make it a sacred experience. This goes back to mindful eating!
Do you have a story about how your senses have impacted your wellness you’d like to share? Ever have a bad feeling you realized later was filled by your senses? Tell us about it in comments.
Dr. Ines K. Roe has been helping women in transition rediscover themselves for over 20 years. If you’ve been feeling unfulfilled, are frustrated with your sense of accomplishment in midlife, or simply need guidance on your path to holistic well being, join her ecourses.
This is sound advice. I’m not very good at body-based feeling because I live in my head a lot. (Life long reader, former English teacher, abstract thinker, lone-wolf as a small child, played with imaginary playmates as a school-aged child.) I started practicing yoga 11 years ago, and that started me on a path of greater body awareness. I still can work more to discern the relationship between the body and emotions. Thanks for putting this into words for me as a way to increase my awareness.
Thanks for the tips. I play my drum sometimes in the morning and love fresh flowers and a long bath.
I’ve learned a lot over the years about self-care and ways to de-stress, so I love this idea of felt sense. It’s a smart thing to add to our arsenal of ways to take care of ourselves and add to our overall wellness plan. Thanks, Ines.
I’m fairly attuned through my senses and intuit a lot that way.
I never heard the term “felt sense” but I totally get it. I love your ideas for getting in better touch with your senses.
interesting post, Ines. I have definitely experienced the “felt touch.” And I definitely derive joy from petting m dog and cat throughout the day
You are preaching to the choir here Ines! I love your focus on tuning into your senses and trusting them more. In the proces you fire up areas of your brain that support better thinking and better living. I love the idea of the “felt sense” as well. Really good stuff!
I definitely get “felt sense.” I have been doing really well with being mindful. That bath sounds like it would fix any problem, anytime. It sounds delightful!
This was a great post. It reminded me of using all the senses when writing a scene from a novel.
I loved reading this post! We all need to get a better understanding of our senses to help us de-stress from the day!