How to Fine Tune All of Your Five Senses

Five Parts:SmellingTastingSeeingHearingTouching

Do you want to be able to sense the world to your fullest ability? Having a fine-tuned sense of smell, taste, sight, hearing, and touch enhances every life experience. For most people, all five senses begin to dull with age, but there are ways you can sharpen your senses. Read on to learn how to heighten your five senses so you can get the most out of daily life.

Part 1

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    Inhale strong smells every day. Practicing what some doctors call "scent therapy" can engage new receptors in your nose, improving your sense of smell over time.[1] Choose several strong smells that are pleasant to you and spend a few minutes every day sniffing each one. After a few weeks, your nose will be able to pick up on these smells more easily. When you start noticing a difference, practice with more smells.
    • Essential oils are very useful tools when it comes to scent therapy. Chose 3 or 4 oils with smells you like, such as lemongrass, cedar, vanilla and geranium rose.
    • You can also use raw materials to conduct scent therapy. Gather a few small jars and fill each one with a different strong-smelling substance, such as ground coffee, dried basil leaves, a few drops of your favorite floral shampoo, and so on. Keep the lids on the jars when you aren't using them so the smells stay strong.
    • When you conduct scent therapy, you should sniff quickly, rather than deeply inhaling each scent. This way you'll avoid scent fatigue.
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    Close your eyes and inhale. Another form of therapy you can try is experimenting with identifying different types of smells with your eyes closed. Practicing this over the course of a few months will enhance your ability to distinguish between different smells. Close your eyes and have someone hold different substances under your nose one at a time. See if you can identify the smells.[2]
    • Start by rotating smells that are quite different, like chocolate, vanilla and cinnamon, or bourbon, orange juice and peppermint tea.
    • As you get better at distinguishing between smells, start working with smells that are more difficult to tell apart, like strawberry, cherry and raspberry, or lemon, lime and grapefruit.
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    Describe smells out loud. When you identify and describe a smell out loud, your ability to perceive it is sharpened.[3] Make a practice of talking about smells as you experience them. Describe them out loud using specific language, the way a wine connoisseur would talk about the characteristics of different wines.
    • Make a point of noticing and talking about everyday smells. For example, describe the nuances of your dinner's scent: "I can smell the earthy ground corn in these tortillas, the sweet and spicy tang of the pork filling, the fresh soapy scent of the cilantro, and the floral citrus burst of the lime."
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    Work up a sweat. Getting a little exercise can enhance your sense of smell. Go for a walk or jog, then pay attention to the smells around you. It's possible that the extra moisture in your nose that accumulates with exercise helps sharpen your ability to smell[4]
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    Eat more zinc. Having a zinc deficiency can lead to a dulled sense of smell as well as taste.[5] Take supplements or consume foods high in zinc, like lamb, grass-fed beef, scallops, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and oats.[6]
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    Check your medication. Certain medications have the side effect of dulling the sense of smell. Medication prescribed for Parkinson's disease, antibiotics, and blood pressure medication can affect your sense of smell. If you're on a medication that has this side effect, talk to your doctor to make sure you're receiving the right dosage.[7]
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    Treat your allergies. A clogged sinus, whether it's caused by a cold or allergies, will prevent you from being able to smell properly. A cold will go away, but if you tend to have allergies throughout the year, you might want to check into getting on medication to free up your sinuses so you can smell properly again.
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    Stop smoking. Smoking cigarettes is a huge culprit when it comes to dulling the senses, especially your sense of smell. If you can cut back or quit smoking your sense of smell will greatly improve. Chewing tobacco and other tobacco products have the same effect.[8]

Part 2

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    Cut back on salt and sugar. Foods laden with these two ingredients can mess with your sense of taste. They mask subtler flavors and make it more difficult to pick up on the taste of your food. When you first cut back on salt and sugar, you might feel that your food lacks flavor, but after a week or two you'll begin to notice the complex flavors you were missing before.[9]
    • Try reducing salt and sugar by 1/3 or 1/2 in all of your recipes, including your baking recipes. You could also substitute sugar with a less intense sweetener, like honey.
    • There's no need to cut salt entirely. A little salt can actually enhance the flavor of food. It's when you pour it on everything that it starts dulling your sense of taste.
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    Avoid processed foods. Processed foods are often filled with sodium and sugar, so that's one good reason to avoid them. They also often contain chemicals and artificial ingredients that can mess with your sense of taste. Eating sweet and spicy chicken tenders from a fast food joint is going to make a homemade version taste dull by comparison, since you'll be used to tasting a burst of chemically-enhanced flavors. Retrain your taste buds to pick up on the subtleties of natural flavors by avoiding foods that are processed and combined with chemicals.
    • Snack foods like chips, candy and sodas are designed to be flavor bombs that tap into your brain's pleasure center and stimulate cravings. Reach instead for homemade popcorn sprinkled with salt and pepper, or homemade soda sweetened with fruit juice.
    • It might be hard to make the switch at first, but eventually you'll be able to enjoy natural flavors more than ever.
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    Add variety to your diet. Stimulate your taste buds by mixing things up in your diet. If you tend to eat bland meals, your ability to taste may deteriorate. Use herbs and spices you don't normally use. Steam your vegetables instead of boiling them. Choose foods with different textures and colors, so that every meal is a banquet of new tastes for your tongue.[10]
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    Eat more fat. Fat makes food taste better, and enhances other flavors. Consider a bowl of steamed broccoli: it's fine on its own, but how much better does it taste with a drizzle of melted butter? There's no need to go overboard with fat, but using some in your cooking will bring out the best in your food.
    • Get creative with the fats you use. There's butter, but you can also use a variety of oils, each with its own flavor profile. Try olive, sesame, peanut, grapeseed, and coconut oil in your cooking.
    • You can also garnish your dishes with a bit of fat. Try sprinkling chopped nuts over your vegetable dishes, and serving your salads with avocado.
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    Avoid casseroles and stews. Dishes in which all the flavors are mushed together aren't the best for stimulating your taste buds. It's difficult to distinguish the flavors from one another, and dishes like these often end up tasting bland. Keep the components of your meal separate from one another for maximum tastebud stimulation.
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    Smell your food before you taste it. Your senses of smell and taste are connected to one another; when one is sharpened, so is the other. You'll enjoy the taste of your food more if you inhale it before you begin tucking in.[11]
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    Don't use tobacco products. Tobacco products affect your sense of taste just as they affect your sense of smell. Smoking cigarettes or chewing tobacco is going to be detrimental to your ability to taste - there's no way around it. If you want to get your tastebuds back, quit smoking and chewing.

Part 3

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    Eat food that makes your eyes healthier. Foods rich in vitamins A, C, and E are vital for good vision. Eating plenty of food rich in these three vitamins is a great first step for sharpening your ability to see. You should also strive to eat foods rich in beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin, since these antioxidants protect the eyes from sun damage.[12]
    • Eat dark leafy greens, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, carrots, and peppers.
    • Blueberries, grapes, garlic, onions, and shallots also contain antioxidants that protect your eyes.
    • Foods with DHA, a fatty acid, are also essential for healthy eyes. Eat salmon, sardines, cod, and mackerel.
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    Make sure you have adequate lighting in your workspace. Having to strain to see what you're doing can hurt your vision over time. Invest in good lighting in your office and home workspaces to avoid hurting your eyes.
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    Don't stare at a computer all day long. It's very important to get up and look outside, so that your eyes don't get strained from staring up close at the blinking lights on your computer. Every hour or so, stand up and look out the window. Gaze at an object several miles away, if possible. Keep looking until your eyes adjust to the view.
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    Make sure your eyes are moisturized. Having dry eyes can cause your vision to look blurry. Drink at least 8 glasses of water every day. If you wear contacts, be sure to clean them properly and change them frequently. Use saline drops as tear replacements if you have trouble producing your own tears.
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    Do eye exercises. You can sharpen your vision by performing a few simple exercises on a daily basis. Do them when your eyes feel a little tired and you need a break from whatever task is at hand.
    • Roll your eyes around. Look up, then to the side, then down, then to the other side. Repeat ten times.[13]
    • Focus on an object. Hold it close to your face, then move it slowly backward, keeping your eyes focused on the item. Move it close to your face again, maintaining focus. Repeat 10 times.
    • Test your peripheral vision. Stand facing a wall, staring straight ahead. Try to identify what is on either side of you using your peripheral vision. Move closer to the wall and keep using your peripheral vision to see from side to side. Continue until your side views are blocked. Repeat every few days, and little by little, you'll gain a greater ability to see what's in your peripheral vision.

Part 4

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    Try drinking red wine. Red wine contains resveratrol, an antioxidant that has been shown to improve hearing in mice. Drinking a glass of red wine every evening may enhance your ability to hear over time.[14]
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    Eat an ear-friendly diet. Foods containing certain nutrients can enhance your ear health, keeping your ability to hear in good shape for as long as possible. Add the following foods to your diet:
    • Foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids, like fish, improve blood flow to the ear canal and improve hearing.[15]
    • Foods rich in zinc, like lamb and sesame seeds, can lessen inflammation in your inner ear.
    • Apples contain quercetin, which is an antioxidant that repairs free radical damage.
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    Listen to music. You can sharpen your hearing by listening to music at a medium to low volume. Choose music with elements that are clearly distinct from one another, so you can focus on one instrument or sound at a time. Pay full attention to the music, noting the distinctions between sounds and movements.
    • Jazz is a great choice for improving your hearing, since musicians take turns playing their instruments solo.
    • Don't turn up the music past medium volume. You should be able to have a conversation without trouble.
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    Stay away from loud noises. Attending loud concerts really does reduce your hearing ability. The same goes for experiencing other sustained loud sounds, like the sound of traffic on a highway or machinery at a construction site. When you can't help but be around noises, protect yourself by wearing earplugs or headphones.

Part 5

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    Look at what you're touching. Research shows that tactile sensation and vision are related, so looking at the object you're touching will enhance your ability to feel it. When you're touching something interesting, pay attention to what it looks like, too.
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    Pay more attention to how things feel. Our sense of touch might be the one we take most for granted. Deliberately paying attention to how things feel can awaken your brain so that your sense of touch gets stimulated. Start being more aware of what your skin is touching.
    • When you're shopping for clothes, run your hands over the different fabrics. Identify the difference between cotton and polyester, silk and satin. Make deliberate choices based on which ones feel best.
    • Make a point of touching different textures throughout the day. Let your fingers graze a tree as you're walking by, and stop to pick a delicate flower. Run your hands through your hair and feel the cold tiles under your toes.
    • Be aware of things that change the feel of your skin, like a cool breeze or the warmth of the sun.
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    Exfoliate your skin. Soft skin is more sensitive than rough skin. If you have callouses on your hands and feet, you're limiting the sensation you can feel. Use a pumice stone or another exfoliating tool to remove rough edges, then moisturize with lotion or oil to keep your skin soft and sensitive.[16]
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    Become more aware of your body. Dancing, running, doing yoga, getting massages, and getting acupuncture treatments can all help you get more in tune with your body, making you more sensitive to touch. Having physical contact with another person also helps you become more physically awake.[17]


  • An all-natural lifestyle can pretty much cure or enhance anything if you have the knowledge of what to use. Simply spending time outdoors and eating healthy can replace many instructions.
  • Learn to be more careful. If you slow down and pay special attention to everything around you and what you do, you'll already have a heightened awareness of them all.
  • When you're on your way to work/school, try looking around at places you normally wouldn't look. This will make you more aware of your surroundings.
  • Meditate. When you clear your mind, you don't have much left, making you truly notice your senses and spirituality more when you're done.


  • If any of these don't work, aren't possible, or you feel are dangerous to you, then skip it.

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Categories: Creativity & Intelligence | Energy & Longevity