Sensory Regulation

What is sensory regulation?

It is being able to manage sensory inputs throughout your day.

Sensory preferences are broken down into 7 categories:

  1. Touch

  2. Oral

  3. Smell

  4. Look

  5. Listen

  6. Move

  7. Pressure

Understanding your sensory preferences will bring self awareness to what sensory inputs you seek out or what sensory inputs you avoid.

This is important because this awareness will help you understand what strategies your body and brain need to stay calm and focused.


1. Touch

What does the preference of touch look like?

It looks like touching.


  • Twisting your hair

  • Moving keys, coins or other items in your pockets

  • Having a cold shower

  • Having a warm bath

  • Receiving a massage

  • Petting an animal

  • Rubbing your skin

  • Fidgeting


2. Oral

What does the preference of oral look like?

It looks like things in your mouth.


  • Drinking a milkshake

  • Sucking on hard candies

  • Chewing gum

  • Chewing on a pen

  • Chewing on clothing

  • Biting your nails

  • Smoking

  • Whistling while you do a task

  • Eating popcorn

  • Eating a popsicle


3. Smell

What does the preference of smell look like?

It looks like smelling.


  • Diffuser oils

  • Peppermint

  • Lavender

  • Garlic

  • Onions

  • Meats

  • Cookies/baking

  • A meal cooking

  • Windows open for fresh air

  • Perfume

  • Cologne


4. Look

What does the preference of look, look like?

It looks like looking.


  • Watching a fireplace

  • Watching a fish tank

  • Watching a sunset/sunrise

  • Watching oil and water toys

  • Dim lighting


5. Listen

What does the preference of listen look like?

It looks like listening.


  • Listening to music

  • Listening to a dog barking

  • Listening to traffic

  • Listening to a movie

  • Listening to a TV show

  • Listening to a Pod cast

  • Listening to an audio book

  • Listening to a hum

  • Listening to a buzz

  • Listening to a fan


6. Move

What does the preference of move look like?

It looks like moving.


  • Rocking in a chair

  • Spinning in a chair

  • Moving from side to side in a chair

  • Swinging

  • Pushing a chair back and forth on 2 legs

  • Exercise

  • Rocking your body

  • Rolling your neck and head

  • Cycling

  • Running

  • Walking

  • Dancing

  • Tapping a pen

  • Tapping your fingers

  • Tapping your toes

  • Tapping your heels

  • Tapping your foot

  • Moving your legs

  • Stretching

  • Cleaning

  • Yard work



What does the preference of pressure look like?

It looks squishy and heavy.


  • Weighted blanket

  • Weighted stuffed toys

  • Weighted vest

  • Compression clothing

  • Firm hugs

  • Deep tissue massage

  • Being squeezed


Start typing and press Enter to search