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Practice mindfulness by using your senses

Updated: Dec 3, 2022

You don't need to shut the world out to achieve mindfulness. By focusing on one sense at a time, you can practice mindfulness anywhere.


Sense #1: See

Anxiety, stress, and depression are often linked with thinking about what happened in the past or what could happen in the future. Mindfulness allows you to stay grounded in the present. The first sense we'll explore is seeing:

  • Watch the clouds in the sky

  • Walk outside slowly and stop to notice nature

  • Pick up a leaf or a flower. Look at it closely and see each detail

  • Look out your window. Watch who/what goes by without following them with your eyes


Sense #2: Hear

Mindful hearing allows you to ground yourself in the moment and focus on the sounds around you. It can help tune out the sources of your anxiety and stress:

  • Stop & Listen: listen to the texture/shape of sounds around you. Listen to the silences between the sounds

  • Music: hear each note as it comes and the spaces between the notes. Breathe the sounds into your body and let them flow out when you exhale


Sense #3: Taste

Mindful eating won’t help you lose weight. But, what it can do is improve your relationship with food. Try these exercises to gain awareness of the physical and emotional feelings that come with your snack or meal:

  • Eat a small piece of candy: notice the taste, texture, shape, and smell

  • Pay attention to the taste of each mouthful as you eat a meal

  • Pay attention to how your body feels as a whole after finishing

Sense #4: Smell

Having trouble focusing? Practice mindfulness using your sense of smell. It allows you to bring in new information of your surrounding environment. It can help you become more engaged in what you're doing, while also developing your own self-awareness and self-control.

  • Start by breathing in the smells around you

  • Bring something specific close to your nose, then take it away. Does the smell linger?

  • Try to smell individual spices while cooking and how they smell when blended


Sense #5: Touch

A single touch triggers a wide range of sensations and emotions. Using sense of touch can help you practice mindfulness. It can help you identify what helps you relax, or avoid.

  • While walking, notice the moment your heel hits the ground, how your foot arches as you shift your weight to your toes. Try this walking slowly, regular speed, and quickly

  • How does the phone in your hand feel as you read this?

  • Pay attention to anything touching you like a chair or your clothes

  • Focus attention on where your body feels tight or tense


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