Us­ing your senses to calm the mind

STUCK IN A CY­CLE OF ANX­IOUS THINK­ING? TRY THIS SIM­PLE SEN­SORY SO­LU­TION TO BRING YOU BACK INTO THE MO­MENT

Good Health Choices - - Content -

‘Life is a suc­ces­sion of mo­ments. To live each one is to suc­ceed’

By now, we’re well aware of the ben­e­fits of mind­ful­ness on our well­be­ing – it helps re­lieve stress, low­ers blood pres­sure and im­proves sleep, among oth­ers. And its ef­fect on our men­tal health is also well doc­u­mented. But if you’re stuck in the cy­cle of neg­a­tive think­ing, or if anx­i­ety is rear­ing its head, it can be hard to stay in the mo­ment.

That’s where the ‘5-4-3-2-1’ tool comes in. This sim­ple process helps bring you back into the present by us­ing your five senses to ground yourself in the mo­ment. Much like other sen­sory-based mind­ful­ness tech­niques, you no­tice sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touches, and name them with­out judg­ment, be­fore let­ting them go. As the Mayo Clinic Health Sys­tem says, “This ex­er­cise helps you shift your fo­cus to your sur­round­ings in the present mo­ment and away from what is caus­ing you to feel anx­ious. It can help in­ter­rupt un­healthy thought pat­terns.”

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