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The Five Senses Mindfulness Exercise

Stressed out?

Can’t stop worrying or thinking about something?

Can’t focus?

Sometimes we feel like we’re caught up in a tornado of thoughts and emotions.

The Five Senses Mindfulness Exercise is a quick and easy method for feeling more centered on a tough day.

1. Sit in a comfortable upright position with your feet planted flat on the ground. Rest your hands on your thighs or on your desk.

2. Notice your breath. No need to breathe in any particular way. Just bring attention to each part of the breath- the inhale, exhale, and space in between.

3. Bring awareness to each of your 5 senses. One at a time, for about one minute each. The point here is to focus on the present moment and how each sense is being activated in that moment.

Hear: Begin to notice all of the sounds around you. Sounds might be internal, like breathing or digestion. Sounds might be close by or more distant like the sound of traffic. You may begin to notice subtle sounds you did not hear before.

Smell: Notice the smells of your environment. Maybe you smell food. You might become aware of the smell of trees or plants if you are outside. Sometimes closing your eyes can help sharpen your attention.

See: Observe your surrounding and notice the colors, shapes, and textures.

Taste: Notice your tongue in your mouth, your saliva, and your breath as you exhale. You can run your tongue over your teeth and cheeks to help you become more aware.

Touch: Bring your attention to the sensations of skin contact with your chair, clothing, and feet on the floor. You can notice the pressure between your feet and the floor or your body and the chair. You can observe temperature like the warmth or coolness of your hands or feet. You might take time to feel the textures.

When finished, pause to notice how your body feels at this moment. Compare how you feel now with how you felt 5 minutes ago- what has changed?

Save this video to practice this exercise next time you’re feeling overwhelmed. This is also an exercise with kids.

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