Invigorate your senses with Decorex
Decorex 2018 is coming up and the theme this year – “invigorate your senses”, is absolutely, well… Invigorating. Every year the event brings people together around ‘décor, design and lifestyle.’ This year Decorex have something very special planned. They’re planning to appeal to all 5 senses. Attendees will be treated to various stimulations that create a holistic Decorex experience. It may seem strange that we’re making such a fuss about guests paying attention to what is going around them at Decorex, but you’d be surprised about how much we miss every day.
You see, our bodies are wired to overlook stimuli every day because of the hundreds of stimuli we come across 24/7. In today’s noisy world, we almost need to re-teach ourselves how to fully absorb all external stimuli and enjoy the sensations we often block out.
Vision, somatosensation, olfaction, audition, gustation. Or (for us non-scientists) sight, touch, smell, hear, taste make up our senses. If you let them, Decorex will appeal to and excite all five of these. As design and décor lovers, attendees usually have a keen eye for detail. This usually only applies to the visual detail of a space. What about the atmosphere? The ‘vibe’? How it makes you feel? We’re urging you to explore the most anticipated décor, design and lifestyle event with a touch of mindfulness.
Mindfulness: a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.
Paying attention and being mindful to each sensory stimulus requires guests to direct attention to certain environmental factors while filtering out others. This phenomenon is known as selective attention.
Unconsciously, you’re probably a professional at directing your attention to certain stimulus while filtering out others. An everyday example is how we’re able to talk to someone on the phone while music is playing in the office, another phone is ringing and Jack is shouting at someone for taking his packed lunch out the company fridge again.
What we’re urging you to do is selectively pay attention to each sensory stimulus, then piece what you’re seeing, hearing, smelling, touching and tasting together and think about how you’re feeling to give you the best possible experience.
How to pay selective attention to each one of your senses at Decorex:
Print ads, creative copy, effective interior design all rely on visual appeal to be successful. Your eyes translate light stimulus into image signals for your brain to process. With so much visual and light stimulus in a space like Decorex, there’s a risk of not processing everything and you could miss out. Avoid missing anything:
- Take a second to observe your environment.
Instead of getting in and making a bee line for the first display that catches your eye, stop for just a second or two. Look around and observe everything around you. Get your bearings, locate the toilets, exists, notice different general themes and plan your route through the exhibition.
- Focus on near objects then far ones.
Instead of glancing over everything – scan areas, stands, products and displays from the front to the back.
- Slow your gaze
Decrease your rapid eye movement and take time to slowly gaze over your environment. Pay attention to what you’re seeing and at the same time, pay attention to your thoughts about what you’re seeing.
- Talk yourself through what you’re seeing
As you observe visual stimulus, talk to yourself (in your head, of course). You may see a floral wall display and have this sort of internal dialogue: ‘Why does this appeal to me so much? Well, the colours are magnificent and so is the arrangement of all the flowers. Where would one use this? How is it built?’
It’s no secret that sound affects our behaviour, moods and attitudes. You might find yourself speed-walking through a mall (or exhibition) because the music is upbeat and ‘poppy’. You’d only notice that this is why you’re walking so fast however, if you pay attention to the music that is playing.
You might also be extremely irritated for an unknown reason until you hone in on the sound of someone tapping their fingers on a desk or polystyrene rubbing against something.
We trust there will be no unpleasant sounds at Decorex and that you’re able to notice how the music affects the atmosphere and even the interactions between people and their behaviour at the event. This is actually known as selective auditory attention and here’s how to harness it:
- Close your eyes
We understand that it’s totally unrealistic to ask you to close your eyes every few seconds to take in the sounds around you. Instead, narrow your focus on one object, the floor and ‘zone out’ while you pay attention to the elements of the music playing.
- Notice if the music affects your behaviour
Have you noticed whether you’re walking particularly slowly or pacing through the event? Acknowledge your behaviour and see if it mimics the tempo, tone and rhythm of the background music then think about why. Is it fast? Slow? High pitched? ‘Mellow’?
- Think about how the music adds or detracts to the atmosphere
Imagine if the music wasn’t there. Would you experience the event differently or is it not that big of a factor?
As previously mentioned, the calibre of people attending Decorex have a keen eye for detail. More often than not, we are compelled to touch objects in order to experience them. It’s how we discover textures and even a deeper appreciation for a certain object or experience. There will be plenty to interact with at the exhibition.
- How does it feel?
This may be an obvious thought that passes your mind but it’s important to pay attention to these thoughts in order to experience objects mindfully. Is an object soft? Rough? Heavy? Light? Warm? Cool? Paying attention to these kind of properties teaches you about the certain object – what it’s made of and give an indication of its quality.
Before we go any further, here’s a quick disclaimer: we’re not urging anyone to taste any of the displays, décor or people. From champagne bars to cooking demonstrations and food stands, Decorex won’t fail to appeal to your taste buds.
We have to ask – when was the last time you truly enjoyed your food? Or even an exquisite cocktail? Enjoy all the yummy treats at Decorex this year:
- Take your time
Often we’re trying to grab a bite on the go or quickly satisfy a craving so we don’t take the time to enjoy and savour our food. Decorex won’t go anywhere and no one will judge you for taking 5 minutes to thoroughly enjoy your food.
- Sit down
Walking and eating at the same time is actually really bad for you. Walking distracts you from what you’re eating so you’re never truly satisfied with what you’re eating. This could lead to over-eating and not actually paying attention to what you’re eating. Take your time (again) to sit down and enjoy your food.
- What am I eating?
Do you even know what you’re consuming? Take time to identify what’s in your food, the spices, flavours and what you’re actually enjoying about it (or not enjoying about it).
This is our favourite. Smell is incredibly powerful and directly affects our emotions. Olfactory neurons found in your nose are directly connected to your brain. The part of the brain that these neurons are connected to is the most primitive and most ancient part of the brain known as the limbic system.
According to cognitive scientists, the limbic system is the seat of emotion. Before your brain can even identify the specific smell, your limbic system has already been activated and has triggered a certain emotion. So, you actually feel an emotion before even realising what scent you have just encountered – this is really cool but also quite scary if you don’t take the time to pay attention to the smell.
The scent of Decorex
We have the opportunity to scent the space at Decorex to add to the experience. Johannesburg attendees will have the awesome opportunity of being exposed to 8 different scented halls. Each one of these halls will be uniquely scented to reflect the theme of the hall and add to the experience. Durban and Cape Town won’t miss out, they’ll be exposed to the smell of elegance, sophistication and class with a signature scent filling the Decorex space. We urge attendees to pay attention to the notes and fragrances of each room.
- Take a deep breath
The most obvious way to pay attention to the smell of a room. Take a deep breath in and allow yourself to pay attention to each note in a fragrance. Is there something fruity, spicy or musky lurking in the scent?
- Do you recognise the smell?
Allow yourself to identify the scent. Ever had the ‘I’ve-smelled-this-before-but-I’m-not-sure-where’ feeling? This would be an excellent time to discover where you remember a certain scent from and whether it makes you feel nostalgic.
- Were you attracted to a certain hall or display because of the smell?
Perhaps you ended up in a certain hall or were instantly drawn to it because of the way it smells. This would be an excellent opportunity for you to learn about your fragrance preference and appreciate the way the space is scented.
Whether this is your first or fifth Decorex you’re attending, you have the opportunity to experience it in a way that is totally unique and meaningful to you. Decorex 2018 has the potential to be an incredibly memorable experience unlike any other that invigorates each of your senses – if you’re willing to let them be invigorated.