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When you’re at the spa, do you ever wonder why they don’t crank up Eminem through the speakers? What would happen if you’re lying there, getting a relaxing massage, and suddenly they start blasting heavy metal music? Right, not so serene.
Same idea but in reverse at the discotheque. Slip on that Mozart and watch how fast you clear the dancefloor. That’s why you’ll hear falling rain, ocean waves, or gentle instrumental music at the spa, and beats that make you want to shake-shake-shake at the club.
Music is a mood-regulating juggernaut. Think of all the movies you watch: Jaws immediately comes to mind. You didn’t have to see the shark approaching the swimmer. Your ears told you it was time to feel terrified.
You thought there were five senses, but I’m about to show you that, in fact, there are seven. Even better, I’m about to reveal life hacks to help you maximize their power. Your senses are like transcribers for the mind, telling the brain what’s happening through the clues they collect.
That means you can stimulate them to provoke the reaction you desire. And this week, I’ll share fresh ways you can tap into your seven senses to get unstuck, shift your emotions, and increase your energy.
What You’ll Learn in this Episode:
- The Gottman Institute’s Six Second Kiss
- Movement as a free anti-anxiety treatment
- Seeing beauty to give the brain a dopamine reward
- How smell sparks learned emotional association
- The proper way to remove an avocado pit
Listen to the Full Episode
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Podcast: Play in new window | Download
Featured on the Show:
When was the last time you did something significant that was exclusively meant to move YOU forward? You deserve to give yourself the same support you give others. Whether your goal is to improve one aspect of your life or several areas, commitment, community, and dedicated space will get you there — so join us right here for Expats on Fire.
- Join the Expats on Fire right here.
- Sundae’s Facebook Business Page – Sundae Schneider-Bean LLC
- Sundae’s Facebook Group – Expats on Purpose
Catch These Podcasts / Articles:
- EP237: Get Unstuck Self-Talk
- EP204: The Great Depletion
- EP205: Energy Repair Mode
- EP234: Expat Untold: Over-Drinking
- Curing a Face-to-Face Hangover After Seeing Loved Ones
- The Institute of Neuroaesthetics
- Scientific American
- Gottman Institute
- Harvard Health publication
We’re delighted by our nomination to the global Top 25 Expat Podcasts!
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Full Episode Transcript:
Hello. It is 12:00 pm in New York, 6:00 pm in Johannesburg, and 11:00 pm in Bangkok. Welcome to the Expat Happy Hour. This is Sundae Schneider-Bean from www.sundaebean.com. I am a solution-orientated coach and intercultural strategist for individuals and organizations. I am on a mission to help you adapt and succeed when living abroad and get you through any life transition.
So I’m innocently scrolling through social media and I see a TikTok reshare that stopped me in my tracks. Before I tell you what I saw, I want you to think about something kind of random. I want you to think about how you take out a pit from an avocado, like really imagine it. You know, you’re standing there over the sink. You have your avocado. What do you do next, right? Maybe you grab a knife. Do you cut it in half?
For me, what I do is I’ll cut in half and then I’ll either want to be fancy, like my husband and then whack it with a knife and then pull it out, but that never works. So then I usually grab a spoon, they try to get underneath there and then I’m pushing and it flips out and it goes flying across the kitchen. Then I’ve got avocado everywhere.
So here’s where the lifehack comes in that I saw on TikTok. This guy cuts the avocado in half, turns it over and pops out the pit with his thumbs from the outside. Poof. Done. And I’m like, “Really, I’ve been doing it wrong the whole time. I have been creating a mess. I’ve been losing avocado.“ It’s been dangerous in the kitchen when this is happening because they’re flying.
It is really that simple. Cut your avocado in half, turn it over. Put your thumbs on the outside skin. Pop. Finito.
That is what you are going to feel about this episode.
I want you to have that same feeling that I had when I watched this TikTok, of, “Why didn’t I think of that?” And you know what, to be honest, when you see stuff like that, you’re like, “Why am I so stupid? I didn’t come up with that idea by myself,” right? But we don’t have space for shame here. It’s just about being excited. about having that new perspective and moving on. So instead of wondering why I didn’t think of that sooner just embrace it and let’s do it.
So don’t get hung up on that. We’re just going to enjoy what I’ve got here to share and apply in your everyday life. Okay, here’s the thing. Why am I talking about avocados? And why am I talking about lifehacks today?
Because here’s what I normally see with my clients around this time of the year. Right now this will be live in August, 2021 and normally in August, for people who live a rotational expat life, it’s quite common especially if you have kids that you are moving. And if you’re not moving your children, for example, might be starting the new school year. So it is a little bit like the New Year for you. And this is also the time where we reflect like, “What am I doing? What’s happening this year?”
And people are often stuck. And they don’t know how to get unstuck.
And the problem is, when you are scrambling to figure out how to get unstuck, it’s a lot like trying to run, while you’re in quicksand. You dig yourself deeper. I see this all the time. Your intention is to try to recalibrate your life so the next year is filled with more purpose and meaning. More in alignment with your relationships, and your health. But because you’re scrambling to figure that out from the place of stuckness you drive yourself deeper.
So I’ve been trying to help you out along the way, for example, episode 237. We just recently did is called Get Unstuck Self-Talk, that will help you in terms of getting out of the mindsets that will keep you stuck. I will give you a lot of other resources in that episode. And also, it’s hard to get unstuck when you’re feeling depleted. So episode 236 was Rethink Rest. So if you haven’t listened to those, go back to them because those are essential when we are trying to get unstuck, kind of like prerequisites, right?
But what do you do, if you just don’t really have the motivation to get unstuck, it’s kind of like that smoker who knows that they should stop, but they actually don’t really want to.
Theoretically you would like to but there’s not that inner motivation, right? You’re feeling uninspired or maybe bored. It’s like you’re hitting the gas and the brakes at the same time and all you see is smoke coming up.
So this is what today is all about. This is equivalent of the avo lifehack for you, and I’m going to call it: Come to Your Senses. Come to Your Senses.
And this is from day 3 of The Boost that we finished in July, inside my free Facebook group Expats on Purpose. We’re really focusing on an energy boost where you could discover fresh and unexpected ways for you to generate more energy. And from that place with more energy, you’re able to better get yourself unstuck. So if you missed it and you want to take part in all five days, then join us in Expats on Purpose and you can catch them and all the fun details there.
So here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to go through what I’m going to call: The Seven Senses. And talk about how you can add more energy to your day based on those.
All right. So, get ready. We are going to get going and see which one you are neglecting. Which sense you’re neglecting.
All right. The first one we’ll start with is: Sight. That is your sense: Vision.
I want us to think about what we can do to add beauty into your life. For that energy boost, add beauty and get you unstuck emotionally and energetically. How you’re feeling in your home, or how you’re feeling inside. And here’s what we know about the brain and this is from a research center called The Institute of Neuroaesthetics in London. And here’s what we know, “When we see beauty, we have increased blood flow to what’s known as it’s Pleasure Center. Beauty gives the brain a dopamine reward.”
So like let’s get a non-addictive, dopamine reward through beauty and that will help you get unstuck that will help you give you energy and give you that boost.
So honestly, think about how you can add beauty? What’s going on? Can you tidy a little area of your home or your office? How about buying fresh flowers? Using that beautiful fabric that you’ve actually put away in the closet. Or the dishware that you only saved for special occasions. Maybe you’ll get up in the morning early enough to see the sunrise. Or throw on, I don’t know, some jewelry or piece of clothing that’s vibrant. Anything that adds beauty. What can you do to add beauty?
This is talking about the sense. One Vision.
If you want more energy and energy boost, add beauty. And that will go a long way in the things that we’ve mentioned here, some of them are absolutely free and don’t take any time at all. So go ahead, if you’re looking for an energy boost, think about the first sense and that’s Sight, Vision. Adding beauty and give it a go.
All right, if that’s not your jam then let’s go to the next sense. This is Hearing. So Auditory.
I want you to think about music. Music has always been a really important way that I can elevate my mood or regulate my mood. All right, here’s what we know from upmc.com/healthbeat. They say, “Some studies have found that listening to music you enjoy may increase the release of pleasure causing substances in the brain like something I can’t even pronounce and melatonin. It may also decrease stress causing hormone production in the body. As a result, music therapy has the power to reduce stress, ease anxiety, improve sleep, lessen depressed mood, create positive mood, boost self-confidence, and increase energy.” Like, for real, that is amazing.
So, this is again, a completely free way to change your brain to cause pleasure to boost your energy. I don’t know about you but I’d love a great way to reduce stress, improve my sleep, change my mood, boost self-confidence. All these are fantastic. So, have you thought about using music to do this?
Again, it’s like, why didn’t I think about this earlier? I’ve been using music for a long time and you want to think about what you need music for, in terms of shifting your energy. It might be for one of many reasons, maybe you have a low mood and you want to elevate it, you want to bring it up so you could use music, like from your teens. Something playful to bring your mood up. Maybe you want to use music to relax your body so you’re going to bring your energy or attention or your anxiety or whatever is happening down. So you might pick meditation music or instrumentals. This is a way that you could relax after work instead of a glass of wine. If you listen to my Over-Drinking podcast, you might be looking for other ways to relax, you can use music to do.
Another thing you could do is use music if you want to connect with yourself, use outdoor music, like birds or the ocean or things that remind you of open-air free spaces. Having that sound happening, will help you create that space inside of you.
And then one other thing you could do, if you’re feeling, for example, if you’re feeling sad, if you have, what I was talking about in my last podcast: Face-to-Face Hangover you miss family you’ve just seen in person. And now you’re back home and you’re really sad and you missed them. You might want to put on some Sarah McLachlan and cry, right? So it’s about drawing that mood out of you. It’s cathartic so that you can clear that and change your energy.
So if you’re not doing that already, auditory, hearing. Music can help elevate, regulate your energy and the pleasure causing sensors in your brain. And it’s free if you’ve got access to music already and it’s a great way to boost your energy and get you unstuck from the mood of the day, from the energy of the day or around a particular project that you’re working on. So, these are fun things that you can do. That’s number two: Hearing and Auditory.
So, number three, you can probably guess, what’s next? And three is the Olfactory Sense. So, the Sense of Smell.
Now, what can we do when we think about how we can leverage smell to change our energy? What’s amazing about our senses, of the smell sense, is that it really has again another powerful way to impact the brain. So we know from science like Scientific American talks about odor molecules and it explains how there’s flow of the molecules to the limbic system in the brain. And that is exactly where feelings, moods, emotions, even sexual behavior and memory are processed. Odors influence mood, work performance, and many other forms of behavior because of these reasons. And that I find interesting there are learned associations and there are learned emotional associations.
So for example, if you smell something that smells like ocean breeze and you associate it with amazing vacations. That’s going to have a powerful association for you. When I smell something like vanilla, that gives me a feeling and energy of comfort because it reminds me of home. My mother likes to burn vanilla-scented candles, because it has that learned emotional association.
Maybe, I went on vacation in France and the lavender was amazing. So when I smell lavender, I have that sense of freedom I felt on vacation with one of my girlfriends. Lemon, let’s say lemongrass can help you feel awake, right?
So this is what’s so interesting. Odor, smell, the sense can help really shift your mood, shift your energy again. Some of these things are basically free. If you get a lemon and you can smell lemon in the house then it can wake you up. So for you, if you want to get unstuck, think about what kind of mood or behavior you’re looking for and then play with what kind of scent could help shift you in that direction, right? Okay. That’s number three.
Let’s move to number four which is: Taste. The Gustatory Sense.
Now, this is not rocket science that taste obviously stimulates our pleasure center because of the way flavors hit our body. So let’s not forget that. Let’s leverage it every day. Maybe you want to just add lemon or cucumber in your water to capture attention. Break routine. Do something fresh, right? Maybe you’re going to put fresh berries in your breakfast, when normally you would skip it. Or you’re going to add a little chili pepper to a meal that night to add a little oomph to the taste of what you’re serving.
What can you do to mix things up? Get out of the mundane. Or you might use the taste to either go toward comfort. My comfort food would be the sort of macaroni and cheese, warm creamy pasta direction or you want to go towards something like a venture. You’re going to make an amazing, I don’t know, I love Thai food and I would like to make a wonderful Pad Thai or something. What is it where you can use taste to take you where you want to go? Is it toward comfort toward adventure? Whatever that is, this is so easy. It’s just a mindset shift that can help us shift our energy. So that’s number four, taste.
Okay, number five. Number five is, of course: Touch. Tactile Senses.
This one, again we can use touch to shift our energy to get unstuck because it can help elevate our mood, not only with ourselves but you can also elevate your mood with others. So if you’ve got a romantic partner maybe you want to just cuddle in the morning for a few minutes or you can follow the advice from the Gottman Institute and go in for that six second kiss to create a new sensation with each other through touch. Maybe you have small people in your house and you want to tickle them even though you might have not have tickled them in a while. Whatever it is. What can you do with touch to sort of change the energy in your home with yourself and with those that you are spending time with, right? We know how important touch is with babies. We know how important it is with romantic partners, but you honestly don’t need someone else for that feeling, for touch to shift your energy.
You could think about what clothes you put on your body, which fabrics feel best on your body. Today is today, something we need to have a warm cozy sweatshirt? Or are you looking for slippery silk? That is a way that you can use tactile touch sense on your own, to shift your energy and get unstuck, right? What would feel great? And maybe you’re not putting anything on but lotion. Whatever it is, that idea of touch can really shift your energy so that you can get unstuck.
And it is at our access. It’s anytime. We just don’t actively think about it.
Number six is called, it’s around Movement. That Vestibular Sense. Our sense of movement and balance.
Harvard Health publication tells us how movement can literally change our brain. It relieves tension and stress, it boosts our mental energy, our physical energy. It helps overall, with our well being and we know that it releases endorphins, right? It’s like a free anti-anxiety treatment, it even helps us have better sleep, and sharper memory. So movement is such an important sense and I would invite you to think about how do you want to move your body to get unstuck? So for example, I have clients who know they should be moving their body but hate going to the gym. So don’t go to the gym. Go do Zumba with a friend.
Do something that feels good with your body, maybe for you, it’s yoga, or maybe it’s a dance party in the kitchen, or maybe it’s going for a walk or Qigong. Or when you’re sitting at a traffic light, you crank up the music and you’re in your car dancing, right? Whatever it is. What can you do to shift the energy? This is around movement. You can do this for 3 minutes or you can do this for an hour, but whatever you do, do it mindfully.
So there is your sixth sense that we need to do when we’re going to come to our senses and that will help you get unstuck. If you are not actively, intentionally playing with your senses throughout the day, throughout the week and you’re feeling unstuck, it’s time to celebrate because that means, you have six opportunities to shift your energy that you haven’t yet leveraged.
So if you’re not doing these things, Hallelujah. Because that means you have so many opportunities ahead of you to make a shift.
All right? And I am going to mention what I’m going to call this Seventh Sense. My seventh sense is what I would say is: Playfulness.
If you’ve worked with me or you’ve been in community with me, you know that playfulness is a value of mine and there are some very serious health benefits for play in adults.
So what we know, it helps reduce stress, boost your mood elevate, your energy. So play is really so positive for your energy and getting unstuck. It helps really improve relationships as well and helps you get broken out of routines that are no longer serving you. Okay? So I don’t know, there’s so many ways to play. What I’ve done, for example, is, how can you add play in a routine with your family. How can you make a meal playful? I let my kids pick one meal to eat with their hands and they always pick spaghetti. So that’s the way to make dinner time playful with your family, change that energy, get unstuck with your family. You could make bedtime fun by only speaking like a pirate. Like, “Aargh, matey, it’s time to brush your teeth.” I don’t even know how to speak like a pirate, but you get the drift. How can you make bedtime fun with your family? You can think about how you can make date night fresh instead of just going to the default dinner and drinks, you could do something like, go take an archery class, right?
Do something different, add play and that will shift your energy and get unstuck.
So, unstuck for you physically, for your energy, for your mental energy, your creativity, or stuck in your relationships, in your routine. Add any one of these seven senses, and you are going to start feeling a boost of your energy and this is what you need to get unstuck. And then start taking action on the things that mean the most for you.
Most of the people I know are really hungry for purpose and meaning and they can’t go get that from a place of stuckness. So this is what you can do to get started. If you want to check out more, check out episodes 204 and 205, it’s around The Great Depletion and Energy Repair Mode. That should help you get even further if you want to dive in.
All right, so there you go. We’ve got the equivalent of the avocado lifehack here for you. Your energy, your creativity, your positivity. All in seven senses, simple ways to boost your energy so that you can get unstuck so that you can move on to more purpose, more meaning, more action. It’s really that simple.
Again, I hope you’re saying right now, “Oh my God, Sundae. Why didn’t I think about that?” Well, that’s my job to think about those things. And then to help you, actually take action on those things.
So, if you would like more like this and you would love to be held accountable for maintaining that same energy and enthusiasm with these kind of small, simple steps, then don’t miss Expats on Fire. This is a private online community where members work together to achieve their own individual goals, but in combination with my proven coaching strategies and their accountability. They are boosted by this collective support of each other. And I promise, it’s all delivered in a fun interactive six-month experience.
All of that starts in September.
Spots will be limited. So, check it out in the show notes to make sure that you grab a spot at this unprecedented price, because I don’t think I’m gonna be offering this again, so this is what we’re doing now. You might as well snap it up. What I’ve heard from from my participants is, “Within hours, you’ll feel welcomed by a group that’s happy to have you within days, you’ll notice improvements and a sense of relief and hope within weeks, you’ll close the gap between I wish and your goals done and within months, you’ll establish, meaningful friendships with other expats, just like you.”
So, I’m really excited. One of my recent Expats on Fire members, near the end of her time, she said it was the best personal decision she’s made in a long time. So if you want to know more, check out the show notes. You can ask me anything. I’ve got a question form there if you just want to connect and get your final questions answered, or find out more about it.
All right. There you go. I hope this has been the energy boost you’ve been looking for. You’ve been listening to Expat Happy Hour with Sundae Schneider-Bean, thank you for listening. I’ll leave you with one of my favorite sayings: “Be the energy you want to attract.”
Enjoy The Show?