What does it mean to be a sensual person? We often think about wellness as taking care of our mind and bodies—eating well, getting exercise, sleeping—but we sometimes forget about taking care of our sensual side. To celebrate World Sexual Health Day, here are a few ways to check in with your sensual self.
Tune into your body
This practice is simple but eye-opening. Sit comfortably and close your eyes. Breathe in and out slowly and deeply. Feel the air flowing into your nose, into your throat and into your belly. Mentally scan your body, starting with your toes and moving up. Notice where you hold tension and where you are relaxed. What parts of your body are most sensitive? Gently touch your arm, your stomach, your hair. Notice where you feel pleasure. Pay attention to the feelings, and know they are valuable because they help you own your own pleasure.
Practice paying attention and being more mindful
Of our five senses, touch gets a lot of attention. Practice noticing and strengthening your other four senses. Really taste the crisp lemon in your water, smell the spicy cinnamon in your tea. Listen to the rain fall on a window. Look around and soak in color, light, texture wherever you are. What colors make you happy? What scents trigger memories? What sounds can you hear in the distance? The more we notice, the more present we are and can fully enjoy the moment. Sharpening your ability to take in sensory stimulation is like stretching for your body—the more you do it, the more limber and agile you become.
Take yourself on a date
Go someplace that makes you happy. Your favorite store, a museum, a park, the gym, the library. As you enter and occupy the space, pay attention to how it sounds and smells, as well as what you see. Try to be as present as possible by using all of your senses and fully enjoying this experience. Give yourself permission to feel the vibe of your happy place and how it makes you feel—comfortable, energized or relaxed.
Indulge in pleasure
You already have a go-to list connected to sensuality, but you might not think of it that way. Soaking in a bubble bath. An early morning run. Dancing in the dark. Whatever it is, the next time you do it, practice being mindful. Notice the air, the taste, the feel of your muscles in motion or the sense of your body at rest. Be truly aware of the pleasure and give yourself permission to enjoy it.
When you recognize how deeply you experience the world and your own pleasure, you may be surprised at how amazing it can feel.
How do you embrace your sensual self? Let us know in the comments, or connect with us on Instagram @raeforwellness.
This article has been third-party reviewed by Dr. Rachel Goldman