Sensory Words

This list of sensory words can be used to describe your inner experience. Using neutral sensory words to describe what you feel removes the judgements (positive as well as negative) that are often implied when using more abstract words, such as “joyful”, “down”, “excited”, “sad”, to describe your inner experience.

The list can also be used to practice Eugene Gendlin’s focusing as it provides vocabulary that can help describe the often vague and inarticulate felt sense.

To learn more about how to use neutral sensory words for personal/spiritual development, you can have a look at:

Disengaging from inner criticism – 15 pahts of liberation (book)

Disengaging from inner criticism (online course)

4 thoughts on “Sensory Words”

    1. Hi
      A few more to consider:
      Touch/Texture: granular, grainy, uneven, rigid, bendy, yielding, boiling, scalding, frozen
      Size: slender, huge, enormous, cavernous, infinite, gigantic, microscopic.
      Vision: murky
      Colours: magenta, violet, indigo (the last two because much used as rainbow and chakra colours)
      Smell: malodorous, stinky/stinking. Comment: nidorous exists but I have never heard/seen it used. I would put flowery in smell not vision.
      I don’t recognise the application of taste to the following: balmy (= warm weather) bristly (usually texture), bumpy (usually texture), chilly (usually temperature = texture).
      Thumbing does not apply to sound as far as I know and steno is not a smell. Both words are rare.
      Isn’t the English language rich? this has been great fun, thanks.

  1. deep, open, spacious, could go in size or vision

    touch/texture
    watery, metallic, effervescent, bubbly
    held?, weightless, suspended, unimpeded
    droplet, globule

    movement
    effulging, burgeoning, washing, flowing, undulating, flooding, shimmying, rushing, flushing , wafting, quivering. settling, condensing?(the sense of mist settling on something)
    size
    big, vast,

    sound
    some adjectives to go with the sounds: precise, clear, sonorous, bassy, muted, muffled, intense, melodic, guttural, continuous, high, undulating, distant, near, to my left, right , in front behind, other locations

    clank, clang, melody, tone, warbling

    maybe the thumbing (not a sound word I know) could be thrumming?

    I get curious about neutrality here as some sounds seem to express affect, I wouldn’t know how to describe the quality of a tone which felt poignant without using the word poignant, or the quality of the tone which has an urgency, or purity etc.. thats just something interesting .. like a minor tone seems intrinsically to have some affect.

    tingle is a sensation(as far as I know), but tinkle would be a good replacement

    colour
    pearly, claret,
    perhaps some distinctions: moonlight silver as well as metallic silver : baby blue, electric blue, dark blue Metallic gold, or sunset gold , baby pink, hot pink,

    vision
    glimmering, luminous

    smell
    To my mind reeking and sickly are not neutral
    could have specific scents: rose, honeysuckle, mint, liquorice, shit, piss, snot, rubber

    taste
    sherbet, liquorice, mint, lemon, orange, zingy, blackcurrant

    as I read this I wonder whether mouth-feel is its own class of sensation, with smooth(different when drunk than touched), mellifluous, melty, oily, evaporating like alcohol, creamy, like snow, like sorbet, like nectar

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