You know how much better life feels when you are actually fully present for the moments of it? To really cherish & feel the sweet moments, feel gratitude in all you are doing, and experience living your life rather than letting it pass you by? Even being present in the not so good feeling moments allows you to respond rather than react and that can positively affect all the moments to follow.
Most of us are striving to be more mindful & present these days, right? I want to share with you a favorite practice of mine that immediately helps to bring me into the moment wherever I am & whatever I am doing. This practice also has an amazing side effect of reducing anxiety in any moment that you are feeling far from comfortable.
What am I talking about? Checking in with your 5 senses.
This is a simple practice that you can use at any moment that you are feeling some anxiety, any moment that you want to just bring yourself present to what you are doing or who you are with. It can also be a practice that you just consciously connect with multiple times a day to form the habit of being more mindful, more present in your life and all that you are doing rather than letting the moments pass you by.
The more you practice this, the easier it is to connect with the benefits of it, and the more you will find yourself just naturally where you want to be. Right here and now, and feeling very at home there.
Essentially, all you are doing is tapping into all 5 of your senses, and bringing attention to each one of them, one at a time. By doing this, it brings you into your body, and into everything that you are perceiving/sensing in the moment, and bingo....there you are: Here and Now.
1) Check in with your sense of touch. Feel the air on your skin. Feel the clothing on your skin. Feel the points of contact where your body is touching whatever you happen to be on. Your feet on the earth, your butt & legs in a chair, the back side of your body laying on the couch, or wherever you find yourself. What does the air feel like? What does your clothing feel like? The surface that you are on? Simply observe & become aware without judgement.
2) Bring your attention to your mouth & your sense of taste. Maybe you can taste a bit of whatever you ate or drank last, or perhaps there is not much there. Simply become aware of this sense.
3) Bring your attention to your nose & your sense of smell. As the air moves in through your nostrils, what is is that you can smell? Take notice of even faint little smells that you wouldn't normally even notice are there until you really bring your attention to them. Those subtle little scents lingering.
4) Bring your attention to your ears and your sense of hearing. What are all the sounds that your ears are taking in? Distant faint sounds in the background. Sounds closer to you. Voices. Music. Subtle sounds like the wind in the trees, or the hum of an appliance. Take in all of the sounds available to you.
5) Bring your attention to your eyes, and your sense of vision. What do you see around you? What is real & right in front of you. What colors do you see? What is standing out for you in your field of vision. What beauty is around you? What objects are you attracted to? Take in the colors & the textures.
It's that simple. This check in can take as little as a minute, or as long as feels good. It's simple and very powerful.
The more you practice this, the more you will naturally find yourself in the moment, and the more effective it can be in relieving anxiety as well.
If you have a meditation practice, this can be a great way to begin your meditation.
If this is something that you decide to practice, let me know how it goes for you and how you benefit!
Wishing you a beautifully present & calming rest of your week!