How Your Senses Can Lead You to Becoming Your Best

How Your Senses Can Lead You to Becoming Your Best

It's difficult to convey an important message or inquiry with someone who doesn't speak the same language, as James McAvoy demonstrates. Sensations are similar to languages. Sight, sound, odor, body movement, taste, body exertion, touch, and instinct each speak and respond to specific details within surroundings.

Sensation communicates then the body responds.

Check out these examples:

  • When laying with a book sleepiness occurs.
  • The aroma of coffee activates saliva glands.
  • Steady running to breathing rhythm encourages confidence.

Each body has a unique inner-dialogue.

Sense and perception interdependently create body responses. In the foreign language example one scenario will provide different sensations and perceptions because of bias in interpretation.

People conclude knowledge on the basis of their sensory interpretation.

Some become averse to certain 'normal' sensations because there is a sensation barrier as the mind processes it. Those with sensory processing barriers have difficulty identifying why there's adversity. Yet, cultural norms identify there is an issue.

  • Fidgeting fingers through team-building meetings.
  • Sleeplessness when in a quiet, dark room.
  • Irritable feelings every day between 2 and 5 p.m.

Built environments that cater to different sensory needs directly improves performance.

Approximately 15% of college students are hypersensitive (Johnson & Irving, 2008). Preliminary literature identifies overall work performance and satisfaction as a direct correlation with sensory processing needs (Hough & Koenig, 2014; May-Benson & Kinnealey, 2012). Resolving sensory processing barriers prevents the onset of future disorders and dysfunctions.

Psychologist Todd Kashdan identified he ties "many daily activities to environmental triggers" to be more productive.

From the fact sheet 'Adults of all ages with sensory processing disorders':

Many of these adults have trouble with interpersonal relationships, vocational skills, leisure activities, and general quality of life. Occupational therapy practitioners can provide direct services, or they can offer accommodations and supports. For example, an adult who is easily distracted at work may benefit from an occupational therapist who works with the client and employer to recommend modifications such as headphones if feasible, or environmental adaptations such as moving the client’s desk to minimize external sensory input. Adults without healthy leisure activities could also benefit from an occupational therapist who can analyze their sensory needs, identify their strengths, then offer options and supports that promote engagement(Kinnealy et al., 2011).

Contact us to learn about our sensory assessment.  


Johnson, M.E., & Irving, R. (2008, September). Implications of sensory defensiveness in a college population. Sensory Integration Special Interest Section Quarterly, 31 (2), 1-3

May-Benson, T., & Kinnealey, M. (2012). An Approach to assessment of and intervention for adults with sensory processing disorder. OT Practice, 17(17), CE-1-CE-8

Kinnealey, M., Koenig, K. P., & Smith, S. (2011). Relationships between sensory modulation and social supports and health related quality of life. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 65, 320–327. doi: 10.5014/ajot.2011.001370

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