How to Hit All 5 Senses During Meditation

Ah, meditation—some love it and some seriously struggle with it. No matter which group you fall into, it’s true that everyone (yes, even the experts!) can get better at it. Meditating is far more than slow breathing and calming music. It’s active—it requires you to engage all five of your senses while you connect with your mind, body and spirit.

Sure, that sounds great in theory, but it’s actually extremely difficult to put into practice (seriously, take our word for it). To enrich your meditation experience—and make it a staple in your daily routine—try focusing on your five senses (sight, sound, smell, touch and taste) while you get your om on. Better yet, create the ultimate meditation studio of your own to awaken your senses.

1. Sight

Surround yourself with cool shades of blue to create a relaxing, meditation-friendly atmosphere. “There’s something in the color blue that triggers a relaxation response,” Leatrice Eiseman of Pantone told House Beautiful. “Everything about it speaks of a gentle, tranquil, Zen state of mind.” While blue paint will do the trick, you can also decorate your space with blue or cool-toned curtains, pillows, blankets or colored lights. However, avoid the color red at all costs. A study from Minnesota State University found that the color red significantly increases stress levels. Oof.

2. Smell

You can finally justify your crazy candle collection. Anything that emits fragrance—incense, oil diffusers or oil burners—will come in handy. It’s best to use lavender or jasmine scents because they have calming properties that reduce emotional stress. Jasmine, in particular, is often used as an antidepressant because of its confidence-boosting capabilities—a must-have for meditation.

3. Sound

Everyone has a different meditation style. Some people prefer silence. Others like listening to music. And a lot of people rely on apps like Inscape and Calm to guide them when they’re just getting started. Simply choose the style that best suits you and your needs.

4. Taste

Okay, we’re not talking about munching on a bag of chips during your meditation situation. However, a cup of herbal tea may do wonders. Jasmine tea is your best bet. Why? The same reason it’s a great smell to keep in your space—it is extremely calming. Chamomile, peppermint and green tea have similar benefits.

5. Touch

Meditation feels foreign to many people, especially when they’re starting out. Make your space comfortable by incorporating textures that provide you with warmth and reassurance. Rugs, pillows, blankets and cushions will do just that. Being uncomfortable while meditating will make the experience less beneficial, which is why many people rely on a meditation cushion for extra support.

It’s simple: The more you meditate, the better you’ll be. Whatever you do, find what works best for you. If that means you sit on the floor wrapped in a plush blanket sipping on your favorite tea, then so be it.

Amanda Garrity is a commerce editor and content producer living in New York City. She finds every excuse to go on an adventure, whether it's in her own backyard or across the country. She enjoys hiking, pretending she's a prima ballerina and drinking an abundant amount of coffee. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.