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
‘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.”