HOW TO HEIGHTEN YOUR FIVE SENSES

(Men's Health) Sense-sharpening brain implants are decades away. Until then, use these simple tricks:

Touch
Look at the body part that's doing the touching. A British study found that looking at the body part increase activity in the area of the brain that controls sensation. The reserve works, too. Look away when receiving a shot.

Hearing
Simply smile. The muscles that turn your frown upside down also tense your middle-ear muscles. In turn, this softens low-frequency noises including the hum of an air conditioner, the din of traffic, or office chatter, by as much as 20 decibels.

Taste
Take a good whiff of your food before you eat. "Ninety% of taste is smell," says Alan Hirsch, M.D., a neurologist. "The more odor molecules hit receptors in your nose, the more robust your sense of taste."

Smell
Run the hot water. Before odors reach your smell receptors, they first pass through a membrane. Warm, moist air helps odors dissolve into the membrane. But hurry, your heightened sense will last only a few minutes.

Sight
Position your computer monitor so you're looking slightly down at it. Your eyes won't be open as wide, so they won't be exposed to as much cornea-drying air. That means less eye strain and blurring and better vision.