Many times situations overwhelm my senses. Many people who have Aspergers, social-anxiety, bipolar, and other disorders have told me that they feel similarly. Lights shine too brightly, music blares from the radio, perfume tickles my nose. However, using sensory stimulation in the right way brings peace and relaxation.
One of the most helpful senses for me is touch. Now, I often flinch when I am touched. Temperatures too cold or hot bother me greatly. As mentioned in a previous post, clothing either feels too loose or too tight. Certain textures bug me so much that I refuse to put them by my skin. Some of these are wool, meat, sandpaper, straw and tinfoil. Thus, I am very sensitive about being touched by people or things.
However i have several items that I use (when I remember) to calm myself down. Using these things, I use the sense of touch to relax instead of to be riled up. All of these items might not work for you. In fact, you might only find one novel and helpful idea. However, I hope that this list will at least start you thinking about how you use our senses to care for yourself. Instead of viewing touch and the other senses as burdens, try to look at them as tools to help you through difficult situations.
First of all, I have several pieces of acupuncture jewelry. Fairly inexpensive, these bracelets or rings soothe quickly. Simply put one on and rolled it up and down your finger or arm. Another great element of these is how cool they look. Other people might not even recognize that they are more than a simple accessorize. If you can get real acupuncture, that is even better. However those of us who do not have regularly scheduled acupuncture appointments can enjoy the jewelry version of it.
Lotion also helps many people to calm down. Since there are so many different types and brands, you can surely find a bottle you like. Be careful choosing though if you struggle with allergies or fragrance. Once you have your lotion, you can use it the way you want. Often I rub it up and down my arms. This helps stop self-harm. Another good place to apply lotion is on your feet. However, as stated before, it is up to you what you decide upon and where you use it.
Finally, sensory brushes also feel wonderful. With soft bristles, these are designed to brush up and down your arms. My occupational therapist gave one to me years ago and I still find it extremely helpful. Some can be extremely expensive but many simple ones cost only a small amount.
These three items are only a few examples of how to use the sense of touch as a coping skill. Hot pads, warm blankets, ice cubes, brushing your hair, and soaking in the bathtub are other things that calm me down through touch. Although the senses overwhelm and agitate us, we can find peace in them if we use them in mindful constructive ways. In the future I hope to post about using the other senses as coping tools. For today, however, I hope that this list can spark ideas and help you to think about at touch in a new way.
Touch by A Writer
Acupuncture Rings at Amazon
Acupuncture Bracelets at Amazon
Body Lotion at Bath and Body Works
Hand and Body Care at Clinique
Therapy Brush at Autism Products
Therapy Brushes at Therapro