Retirement Redesigned

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Monday, July 15, 2024

Retirement Redesigned

HomeWellnessStress Relief for Retirement: Using Your Five Senses

Stress Relief for Retirement: Using Your Five Senses

Retirement can be a challenging stage of life, as it often brings about uncertainty, loneliness, and a lack of clear purpose. Many retirees have made plans, but they still experience underlying anxiety. Fortunately, therapists and counselors are increasingly recommending the use of our senses to help establish a new grounding for this next stage of life.

The 54321 program is a simple yet effective exercise that can help strengthen our senses and ease anxiety. Start by looking for 5 things you can see, such as the desk and window in front of you, the shape of your hand, the light in the room, and your chair. Then, become aware of 4 things you can touch, like your hands, face, backside on the chair, and feet on the ground. Acknowledge 3 things you can hear, such as music in the background, birds chirping, and the sound of traffic. Notice 2 things you can smell, like food cooking in the kitchen or your own deodorant. Finally, become aware of 1 thing you can taste, like the cappuccino you are about to enjoy.

By paying attention to these five senses, we can distract ourselves from anxiety and appreciate our surroundings in a different way. It’s important to note that aging may cause a decline in our sensory capabilities, such as hearing and balance. However, using the 54321 program as an exercise can help strengthen our senses and compensate for any loss of sensory ability.

As we navigate the challenges of retirement, we can find comfort in the simple pleasures of our senses. Give the 54321 program a try and see how it can help alleviate stress and anxiety.


Our top article pick of the week:

The link between the five senses and your health

There is a link between exploring our senses and stimulating our vagus nerve, and the implications for health in later life are significant.

The vagus nerve is the longest nerve in our body, and it plays a crucial role in regulating our body’s autonomic nervous system. This system controls our internal organs and bodily functions, such as heart rate, digestion, and respiration. When the vagus nerve is stimulated, it can help regulate these functions, leading to a host of health benefits.
To read this 2-minute article on our Reset Community click here.

Our most popular daily thought this week:

Words make you think. Music makes you feel. A song makes you feel a thought. – Yip Harburg

Did you know that singing is good for your health? Even humming can helps stimulate your vagus nerve. And by doing this you can regulate your breathing, your heart rate, and your autonomic nervous system. If this is all too scientific-sounding what about the idea of joining a choir for the social benefits? Or just for fun! Either way, we recommend singing as a way of exploring your senses. So, sing in the shower or sing with your grandkids if you have them, just sing.

Quote by Yip Harburg

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Johann is the founding partner of Reset Retirement where we focus on assisting people with planning for the non-financial aspects of their lives after full-time work. He had a long career in executive search and leadership as the founding partner and chairman of Heidrick & Struggles in South Africa where he was the head of the company’s board practice.