50 Sensual Ways to Reduce Stress and Increase Joy

the senses

Indulging in the senses can help us feel less stressed and anxious, relieve depression and help us have more fun and pleasure

Modern Society and education place a lot of value on the mind, on academic achievement, thoughts, logic – everything that goes on in our heads. This is especially true in the Western world. In Western society, we have also inherited the idea from Christianity that the soul is good and anything to do with the body is bad, especially pleasures such as sex, indulging in food and just relaxing. But stimulating the senses can do us a world of good.

Unfortunately, living only in our heads can cause us stress and anxiety. We can get stuck on negative cycles of thinking and spend most of our time worrying about the past or the future. Eventually, this can lead to overwhelm, burnout, problematic relationships and ill health

In comparison, living in the body, with an awareness of all the senses can help us be more in the moment. This can help us to relax, destress, and overcome depression and low mood as well as improve our productivity and creativity and our relationships. It’s also a more pleasurable and joyous way to live.

Of course, we need to use our minds for certain aspects of our lives, including work, planning, solving logical problems, analysing data and making certain decisions. But living in this mode all the time is not conducive to health and happiness.

Ultimately we want to live a balanced life, using the mind for what it is good for but learning to switch it off at times and be more sensual.

Here are some great ways to live in a more sensual way and enjoy the pleasures that life has to offer.


  1. Massage
  2. bubble bath
  3. hugs
  4. sex
  5. clean sheets
  6. silk pyjamas
  7. soft blankets
  8. being warm and cosy
  9. hot water bottles
  10. applying body lotion
  11. stroking a pet
  12. gardening
  13. indulging in a foot soak
  14. touching things – such as tree bark or water
  15. walking barefoot on the grass or earth
  16. trying a craft such as pottery


  1. Slowing down to relish delicious food
  2. eating intuitively
  3. trying new tastes
  4. eating cold foods such as ice cream and hot foods such as creamy hot chocolate
  5. eat zingy fresh food or spicy food
  6. indulging in occasional treats such as rich chocolate or cakes
  7. eating juicy fruits and crisp vegetables
  8. eating salted tomatoes or chips


  1. Spend some time just listening to the sounds around you
  2. take a walk in nature and listen to the sound of birds, the breeze in the trees, water tinkling
  3. listen to music giving it your undivided attention
  4. go out at dawn and listen to the dawn chorus
  5. sing
  6. do a sound meditation
  7. play an instrument
  8. ring a bell
  9. buy some windchime
  10. have a conversation with someone you love and really listen to them


  1. Look at artwork
  2. spend some time taking in a view
  3. just stop to watch what is going on around you
  4. people watch
  5. watch children or pets playing
  6. stop and watch a flowing stream or fountain or the sea
  7. meditate on a candle or flower
  8. paint or draw from life
  9. take photographs


  1. Take a scented bubble bath
  2. use a scented lotion
  3. buy fresh scented flowers
  4. treat yourself to a new perfume
  5. light sweet smelling candles use aromatherapy oils
  6. sleep in freshly laundered linen
  7. go outside and smell the air for scents of crisp snow or freshly cut grass

Indulging in the sense is a great way to feel more grounded as well as relieve stress, overwhelm and depression. It also helps us to make the most of the wonderful gift of being alive.  I’d love to know your favourite way of indulging the senses, please share your ideas in the comments below.

the senses


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