On Well-Being: Grounded in Our Senses

A photo of a stack of rocks balanced on the beach with the ocean visible in the background. White and gold text on a navy background reads: On Well-Being: Grounded in Our Senses. March 2023. The Usher Syndrome Coalition logo is below the text.

Usher syndrome affects vision, hearing and balance. It can result in the feeling that the other senses are heightened, causing sensory overload. All of our senses have the ability to ground us in different ways, giving us the power to manage our emotional state at anytime, in any space.

A few examples are:

  • Take a shower with your regular water temperature. Over time, gradually reduce the water temperature so that you can tolerate cold water for the last 30 seconds.
  • Stand outside and feel the warm sun (or cool air) on your skin.
  • Go to a darker room with less visual stimulation.
  • Take a “hearing break” by finding a quiet room in the house to sit in. Turn off your hearing aids or remove your cochlear implants.

The key to making it work is to focus on what is happening in the present moment. Notice what your senses might be trying to communicate to you.

Are you feeling overwhelmed because there is too much going on? Or maybe you are UNDERwhelmed and need to connect to one of your senses.

Think about your favorite sensory experiences. Do you have a favorite scent? A favorite texture? Favorite sound? 

Journal about it, try out some of the tips above, and figure out what works for you!