Ayurveda teaches that the proper use of senses is one of the keys to health. Humans take much pleasure in their senses – and rightly so, for they’re a means to enjoy worldly objects through sound, touch, sight, taste and smell.

But overindulging can make us unwell. A sweet might taste great the first time you have it, but after too many you feel sick. Or you might find that overdoing something doesn’t give you the same amount of pleasure as when you first enjoyed it; you keep indulging, but it doesn’t seem to fill the void.

Ayurveda teaches us that keeping the senses balanced helps bring contentment and happiness. Here are a few ways to get started:

Vision: Rupa (governing element: fire)

Minimise screen time and avoid too much bright or dull lighting.

Hearing: Shabda (governing element: air)

Don’t play music too loudly on your headphones; take a break from external noise.

Touch: Sparsha (governing element: ether)

Spend quality time with loved ones and appreciate their physical demonstrations of affection, like hugs and kisses. Reduce your exposure to the sun.

Smell: Gandha (governing element: earth)

Keep your environment light and fragrant using incense or essential oils. Harsh and chemical smells can disturb your energy and should be avoided.

Taste: Rasa (governing element: water)

Make sure what you eat contains a moderate amount of all six tastes: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, astringent and pungent.
Having control over our senses, and understanding that pleasure is best enjoyed in moderation, is true freedom – rather than indulging in whatever we want, whenever we want. Have a look at how you use your senses. Can you see where you might moderate things slightly? Changes like using scents and cutting screen time are small, but they can make a big difference.