All I want for Christmas…

It’s that time of the year again. Bigger-than-life Christmas trees have appeared in shopping malls. Red Santa suits are revived and brought out of storage. Songs of red-nosed Rudolph and his clan can be heard on the radio. Little ones are (finally… maybe a bit too late…) trying to be on their best behavior to ensure a parcel delivery by Santa and his helpers on Christmas Eve.

In a week’s time, it will be Christmas!

The holidays are often portrayed as a time for big family get-togethers. Preparations for Christmas-lunch feasts start weeks in advance. Table decorations are bright, busy and full of colour. Serviettes with mistletoe and candles appear on shopping shelves and wrapping paper covered in golden bright glittery stars is at the order of the day.

At this time of the year, the world around us becomes brighter, louder and busier.

If you observe and listen closely, during the weeks before Christmas a subtle divide emerges between those individuals overcome with excitement for the upcoming festivities… and those dreading it.

We are not all the same (thank goodness!!) and we most definitely do not all enjoy the same things.

When trying to make sense of these differences in perception and preferences, we need to consider sensory processing and how individual sensory thresholds play the biggest role in determining how you react to the environment.

For an individual with HIGH sensory thresholds, the world needs to be filled with a variety of sensory input. Their sensory Christmas wish list might include:

  • A Christmas get-together with extended family for a week (at least)
  • All members of the family staying in one house
  • Christmas music playing on the radio throughout the day
  • Colourful decorations on an oversized Christmas tree with colourful flashing Christmas lights
  • Scented candles being lit every night
  • Family game nights with activities e.g. charades, Pictionary or 30 Seconds
  • The youngsters performing a well-orchestrated Christmas concert
  • Singing carols (accompanied by instruments if available)
  • A festive Christmas lunch with an abundance of cold meats, salads and wine around a big Christmas table

…and then starts the planning for New Year’s Eve!

 

On the other side of the continuum are individuals with LOW sensory thresholds. For them, less is more. They might prefer:

  • A Christmas get-away for close family only
  • If they need to spend the holidays with extended family, they’ll opt for private accommodation
  • Location preferably close to nature ensuring calming nature sounds e.g. the sound of the ocean, bird song, etc.
  • More time spent in the open air – less time spent in shopping malls
  • Ample time to unwind doing “quiet” activities e.g. reading a book, paddling, trail walks
  • Minimalistic Christmas decorations with less colour
  • Mono-coloured fairy lights on the Christmas tree
  • Listening to Christmas carols softly playing on the radio in the background
  • A peaceful, quiet Christmas lunch in a well-aired big open space with close friends/family

… and then hibernation by switching phones off until New Year’s Eve.

 

Let’s all attempt to be sensible this holiday by celebrating Christmas according to our own needs – and allowing our loved ones to enjoy it according to theirs.

Want to find out more about your sensory thresholds? Complete your Sensory Matrix™ to understand and maximise your sensory wiring.

 

-Best wishes for a sensational holiday-

Falling (and staying) in love

Falling in love must be one of the most surreal human experiences. That racing heart, sweaty palms, pointless giggles, focused attention on another person and an increased ability to recognise the finest detail of the lucky recipient of your affection. It feels like you’re floating in a bubble of excitement and happiness and all you have to show for it is a sheepish smile stretching from ear to ear. Happy times indeed!!

Research has shown that the chemistry behind the initial phase of falling in love, might very well be explained by the release of certain chemicals such as dopamine, testosterone, norepinephrine and PEA (phenylethylamine) in the brain. The study of Pairomics (your choice of romantic partner on a genetic level) strongly suggests that your genes also play an important role when falling in love.

Thankfully this clearly shows that there’s a biological reason for newly-found lovebird’s giddiness and silly behaviour… which the rest of us (if we have to be completely honest) remember all too well and envy so much. So, if we can explain the wondrous act of FALLING in love, can the same be said for STAYING in love?

I have always been of the opinion that love should be perceived as a verb and not just an emotion. When you LOVE a significant other, it should not only be about sweet nothings being whispered in each other’s ears. Really LOVING someone should mean that you make a conscious decision to support the other person and care for them to the best of your ability. Love should be MORE than just words.

When considering how to LOVE your partner, identifying his/her individual preferences and needs will guide you to make the right choices when choosing LOVE ACTIONS.  At Sensory Intelligence® Consulting, we approach individual needs according to a person’s sensory assessment. We all react to our environments according to our inborn sensory thresholds:

People with HIGH THRESHOLDS:
  • Need extra sensory input to function optimally
  • They appear busy, “on-the-go”, energetic and spontaneous

LOVE ACTION IDEAS:

  • Ask various questions about their day when they get home
  • Take them on surprise dates, to new places
  • Give lots of physical affection on a regular basis
  • Take them out for a night on the town
  • Go to cooking classes together at the hip, new venue in town
  • Go to the gym or do adventurous activities together
  • Arrange regular visits with large groups of friends
  • Don’t leave them alone too long… they enjoy things happening around them
People with MEDIUM THRESHOLDS
  • Easily cope with sensory input from their environment
  • They appear calm, productive, even-tempered and flexible

LOVE ACTION IDEAS

  • Ask a few questions about their day when they get home
  • Takes them on scheduled-, as well as surprise dates
  • Give physical affection from time-to-time
  • Take them to the movies or music show
  • Go to cooking classes in a smaller group at any venue
  • Join them in sport activities of their choice
  • Arrange visits with good friends as well as one-on-one time spent together
  • They need both together- and alone time
People with LOW THRESHOLDS
  • Need less sensory input to function optimally
  • They appear structured, organised, in control and reliable

LOVE ACTION IDEAS

  • Give them a few minutes to unwind when they get home
  • Discuss scheduled dates ahead of time
  • When giving physical affection, use deep pressure
  • Rent a movie to watch at home or invite a couple for dinner
  • Go to couple cooking classes at a familiar venue or at home
  • Give them time to enjoy individual sport e.g. golf
  • Arrange occasional visits with a small group of friends as well as lots of one-on-one time
  • They need enough alone time to unwind and regroup
There you have it… LOVE is an ACTION!
With wonderful, rewarding, happy results!

I bet you and your significant other can fall in love all over again, by understanding each other a bit better.   Why don’t you both complete our online free Sensory Quiz™ or our comprehensive Sensory Matrix™.   Take the leap… it’s worth the effort!!!