The 5 Senses Technique is a great way to relax when you notice you are feeling stressed.
By concentrating on your 5 senses, you will be moving your mind away from worry and back into the present moment. You can’t worry about the future or ruminate on the past when your mind is in the present. Many relaxation techniques help you do just this–bring your mind gently to the present moment when you realize you are stressed.
First, notice you are stressed.
Second, decide that you are going to take positive action.
Third, remind yourself that if your mind starts wandering when you do a relaxation technique, that’s okay! As soon as you realize your mind has wandered, just gently come back to what you were doing for relaxing.
Listen to the audio version of this technique:
Prefer to read the technique and try without audio? Read the text below, then close your eyes and give it a try. It doesn’t need to be perfect; just aim for the general idea of moving through your 5 senses.
Start by closing your eyes and focusing on your hearing.
What do you hear? Really notice the sounds around you. At first, they may all just blur together. See if you can notice individual sounds. Try not to judge the sounds as “bad sounds” or ones you like or don’t like. Just notice the sounds as sounds–not good or bad.
Now, still with your eyes closed, bring your attention to your sense of smell. What do you smell? If you don’t notice any smells in your environment, bring your arm up to your nose and breathe in. Your clothing will retain your scent, possibly your laundry detergent, maybe something you brushed against -what do you smell?
Now, with your eyes still closed, touch your finger tips to an article of your clothes, or your shoes. Notice the texture. Smooth? Rough? Warm? Cool? Touch something else. Notice the difference.
Open your eyes now. Look at something simple, preferably something from nature. Even if you are indoors, you can look at a house plant. Or an apple maybe. if you are outside, a tree, or rock, something like that. See if you can just look without starting to tell a story inside your head about what you see. If you notice yourself thinking, just re-focus your attention.
Finally, if you are somewhere you can taste something, go ahead. Best if it’s something small, with only one or two flavors. Maybe take a bit of that apple! Really notice the taste. Juicy? Sweet? Take your time.