"We can use our senses to change how we feel as sensory input sends a message directly to our brains to either switch on or off the ‘fight or flight’ response. A sensory activity can work really quickly to help us relax and - calm down for instance through using the calming smell of lavender or vanilla, rocking in a rocking chair or touching a smooth calming object like a stone. Fiddling with an object like a stress ball, spinner or chain fidget can help us to focus as our brains unconsciously and automatically finds it easier to be organised and clear by fiddling. When we feel sleepy, lethargic or low mood, a brisk walk, alerting smells like peppermint or eating crunchy food can help us to feel more alert. Using our senses can help us feel in control, comfortable and able to do what we need to do."

Jolandi du Preez - Head of Occupational Therapy, Combat Stress

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