Today we focused on the benefits of using mindfulness. With ever-increasing advances in technology we now have everything at our fingertips and are equipped to get what we want much quicker than we ever have in the past. Life at times can feel like it is moving at 100 M.P.H, that we find it hard to stop to take a break and appreciate being in the present. We can put so much pressure on ourselves by always feeling the need to be achieving things and not wanting to do things that we perceive as wasting time. Ironically, actually taking the time to sit and be mindful is equally an achievement which can then lead to improved health and better position to deal with what life has to offer.
We did a 10 minute exercise focusing on breathing and being able to relax. We then took part in the ‘Five Senses’. This exercise can be used to quickly ground yourself in the present when you only have a moment. The goal is to notice something that you are currently experiencing through each of your senses. Below is an example which has been adapted from TherpistAid.com:
What are 5 things you can see? Look around you and notice 5 things you hadn’t noticed before. Maybe a pattern on the wall or a light reflecting from a surface.
What are 4 things you can feel? Maybe you can feel the pressure of your feet on the floor, your shirt resting on your shoulders, or the temperature on your skin. Pick up an object and notice its texture.
What are 3 things that you can hear? Notice all the background sounds you had been filtering out, such as air conditioning, birds chirping, or cars on a distant street.
What are 2 things you can smell? Maybe you can smell flowers, coffee, or freshly cut grass. It doesn’t have to be a nice smell either.
What is 1 thing you can taste? Pop a piece of gum in your mouth, sip a drink, eat a snack if you have one, or simply notice how your mouth tastes. “Taste” the air to see how it feels on your tongue.
The numbers for each sense are only a guideline. Feel free to do more or less of each. Also, try this exercise while doing an activity like washing dishes, listening to music, or going for a walk.
In conclusion, doing these exercises really made us realise how healthy it can be to stay in the present without the need to dwell on thoughts from the past or fears we may have of the future.