As I mentioned in my previous post, the sweet taste enhances feelings of contentment. It’s easy to forget that the sense of taste is just one of the ways we invite nourishment and satisfaction into our lives. In Ayurveda, we understand that well-being is impacted by everything we take in through our five senses. Therefore, what we eat, touch, smell, hear and see affects our physical health and state of mind. Have you ever found yourself craving junky sweets when you’re not getting enough nourishment from other aspects of life like your relationships, career or self-care practices? I know I have. Here are some ways to increase sweetness in your daily life through the other four senses:
Ayurvedic warm oil massage
Touch: Soaking in the tub, any form of loving touch like holding hands, long hugs, cuddling and gentle massage with warm oil. The word sneha in Sanksrit means both “oil” and “love.” Ayurveda recommends daily warm oil self-massage through a practice called abhyanga.
Smell: Flowers, essential oils like cardamom, cinnamon, jasmine, neroli, sweet orange, rose, vanilla, or ylang ylang. Use a diffuser or purchase a small spritzer bottle and add 10-15 drops of essential oil. Keep it by your desk or in your bag for whenever you need a little boost.
Sound: Kind words (especially self-talk), any soothing, calming or uplifting music.
Sight: Earthy colors, pastel colors, spending time in nature, bringing nature into your surroundings at home or work.
Some of my other favorites include smiling, laughing, getting more sleep and taking deep belly breaths.
Right now, jot down a few simple and pleasurable activities that help you to feel more nourished. The next time you find yourself craving a cookie or some other treat, take out your list and pause for a moment to reflect. Do you actually want to eat that specific food or is your craving indicating that another area of life may need some TLC? When is the last time you did something on your “pleasure” list? Perhaps there’s a way to satisfy the craving with a more nutritious form of the sweet taste. Or maybe you decide that what you really, really want right now is the treat. If so, honor that craving by giving the experience your complete attention and savoring each bite with the fullest pleasure.