Your Senses and Your Mental Health with Joanna Grace

Did you know that there is a profound connection between our senses and mental health?

Our senses can heighten the more stress we’re under, but they can also shut down as well. Smell alone can bring up strong feelings and emotions, for example, no one likes the smell of hospitals, but they love the smell of fresh bread.

To explore this connection further, Dale invited Joanna Grace, Sensory Engagement and Inclusion Specialist, to join him to discuss ‘Your senses and your mental health’.

Joanna highlights that when in a depressive mindset, you can withdraw from the world and restrict your access to sensation. As a result, our senses can become dulled, affecting our ability to fully enjoy activities like eating.

She also emphasises the importance of our interoceptive sense, which allows us to sense our internal world, such as hunger and thirst, and how this differs for neurodivergent people which can in turn impact their wellbeing.

Each individual’s environment plays a significant role in shaping their sensory capacity, which in turn affects their ability to perceive and process emotions effectively. Listen to this thought-provoking perspective on the importance of curating environments that promote good mental health at a sensory level.

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About Joanna Grace

Joanna Grace is a sensory engagement and inclusion specialist, doctoral researcher, author, trainer, TEDx speaker and Founder of The Sensory Projects. Joanna has worked with people with learning disabilities and neurodivergent conditions aged from 0-100 (well 1 day old – 87 years old to be precise) in a range of settings and context. Through all she does Joanna is seeking to contribute to a future where people are understood in spite of their differences.

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