When I was struggling with anxiety years ago, my therapist taught me this simple technique to calm the mind in just a couple of minutes.
5 things you see
4 things you hear
3 things you feel (physical sensations)
2 things you smell
1 thing you taste
How does this work?
When we feel stressed, our mind is usually reliving past events or worrying about ones that haven’t happened yet. Right here in this moment, neither of those exist. This exercise forces us to be present where we can receive the gift of peace.
Further, we become so focused finding things to name, there’s no space in our brains to continue thinking whatever stressful thoughts were there. This exercises wipes the slate clean.
As I’m sitting here writing this…
a vase of dried flowers + peacock feathers
a photo of my dad as a baby with his father
a “Salsa Chick” card from my business coach
my cats’ lobster toy, a gift from Maine, demolished after 1 week but still suitable for play
a Hawaiian lei from a retreat workshop I gave last year
a motorcycle revving in the distance
my fingertips clicking on the keyboard
my breath – the most soothing of all
my back supported by the chair
my hair against my face
my belly rising and falling with each breath
Ahhh that was nice. 🙂
Wherever you are, inside or outside, standing or sitting, you can use this simple practice at any time to bring more peace and calm into your present moment.
May it serve you well.
I used it this morning during my walk and discovered some of the coolest looking trees! Mother nature is such a delight for the senses.
Give it a try, and leave a reply!
Take a few moments now to go through this practice, then share with me your experience in the comments below.
What did you discover that hadn’t quite caught your attention before? How did your state of mind shift? Reply below and share with me – I’d love to hear!