Another mental exercise I developed for myself was to focus on my self-awareness by honing in on my senses. Also, by doing so, one takes his attention off his own inner thoughts and feelings and uses that energy to interact with the outside world.
Taste, Smell, Touch, Sound and Sight
For me, again I started in a safe place like in the shower just to get my mind from ruminating for a little bit everyday.
- Take a deep breath and exhale and relax
- Begin engaging each of your senses from your weakest or most underused sense, each in turn until you have reached sight, which would be the majority of peoples strongest and most used sense
- For me, I would start with taste and smell and utilize each sense from my center point to the outside world. Isolate your senses and close your eyes and engage your taste and smell. What do you experience
- Touch would be next and I would feel what sensations were going on inside my body and then outside of my body, such as what I was feeling on my skin. If I were in the shower I would notice my internal sensations- was I hungry or in pain anywhere? Then I would move to my skin. In the shower I would feel the pressure and warmth of the water. I would sense how the tub feels against my feet and I may touch my fingertips together. What do you notice in your experience from touch?
- Next move on to your hearing. With your eyes closed notice any sounds from your body and nearest to you extending outwards and noticing sounds at a distance. What have you heard?
- Finally, you may open your eyes and may want to do the “Colours” exercise to finish utilizing your sight or skip sight altogether, as it is often the most overstimulated of the senses.
Again, this is a beginners way for someone to begin noticing their thoughts, and for them to notice their ability to choose their thoughts and thinking habits. Just start breaking up your negative thoughts and experience the present moment and the gift of your senses. I need to remind myself to do this more too. But it will definitely put you more in the now and lessen the worry about the past or the future which anxiety sufferers are prone to do.