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Mindfulness Tips: Have You Tried the Five Senses Exercise? 

by Carolyn Lee May 13, 2019

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5 Senses Mindfulness Exercise

Today, mindfulness is a buzzword for people who are keen on improving their mental health and wellbeing. These practitioners often implement mindfulness exercises into daily routines. Mindfulness exercises allow them to function more optimally, as they are known to reduce stress and anxiety. 

Although the word is denotative, the focus of this article is geared at mindful meditation.  

As such, we are using a definition borrowed from Mindful, “Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.” 

If you’ve been feeling stressed or overly anxious lately, try the following exercise in mindfulness. It’s quick, involves focusing on the senses and most importantly, when done right, it works! 

The Five Senses Exercise: This exercise helps to calm the mind. It involves using your five senses to focus on your environment instead of your thoughts.  

Use the following steps to do this exercise: 

  • Begin by noticing five things that you can see. Focus on something that you wouldn’t usually notice. 
  • Next, bring your attention to four things that you can feel. This may be the texture of your clothes against your skin or the surface of something in your hand or resting against it. 
  • Then, notice three things that you can hear. Try to listen for the sounds that aren’t very loud, clear or distinct (human voices, car horns, etc.). Listen for faint sounds in the distance. 
  • Now, notice two things that you can smell. Pay attention to the scents that you would usually filter out, which could be pleasant or unpleasant. This could be the smell of food cooking, laundry detergent (someone washing), or someone’s perfume. 
  • Finally, notice one thing that you can taste. You can pop a piece of gum into your mouth or take a sip of a drink. This could also be the current taste in your mouth. 

Use these five steps, especially on a rough day to help relieve anxiety. The key is to really focus on each step, immerse yourself and let go of everything else. Good luck! 


Sources: The University of Vermont Medical Center, Mindful, and Positive Psychology Programme.