Use Your 5 Senses to be in the NOW
When beginning your mindfulness practice with the Right Here Right Now bump symbol, tuning-in to your 5 senses can be one of the best ways to calm your mind and be in the NOW.
How This Works
If you’re in the middle of letting your mind wander to the past or the future and catch yourself, or see the Right Here Right Now live in the moment symbol, scan your 5 senses.
Notice the details of what you see—colors, sizes, shapes, and textures. When you’re noticing a color, think about the specific shade—light or navy blue—bright white or cream. When you notice a size, think about how it compares to something that’s near it. Are there things that cause you to smile or frown? Is there any activity to watch and wonder about?
With your eyes closed, take in a big whiff of air. Can you identify and separate what you’re smelling and identify the odors individually? Do you like the odor? Think about what direction the odor is coming from. If you can’t smell anything, take deep breaths until you move on to another one of your senses.
If you’re eating something, chew slowly and notice the taste—is it sweet, salty, sour, or a combination? Do you prefer one taste over the other? Engage other senses as you notice if the food is soft or hard, smooth, or does it have a texture, is it hot or cold, is there a crunch sound when you chew? If you’re not eating, notice the saliva in your mouth and if your empty mouth has a taste. Engage your sense of touch with your tongue—what does it feel like when you smooth your tongue over your teeth and gums?
Notice what sounds you hear and if they’re coming from inside or outside of your body. Are the external sounds coming from a place close to where you are or far away? Can you separate the sounds and identify them individually? Are sounds getting closer or becoming more distinct the longer you listen? What does your breath sound like?
Notice how your body, hands, and feet feel against any surface they’re in contact with—is it smooth, rough, hot, or cold? Touch your skin—notice how it feels and how it feels to be touched. Touch your clothing and notice what kind of fabric you’re wearing.
A scan of your senses might seem like a waste of time, but sensory experiences are extremely impactful—the more you practice the engagement of your senses to be in the NOW, the more natural it will become to be mindful as you go about your daily activities.
Did you scan your senses to bring you back to the NOW—Right Here Right Now? Leave a comment below and let us know what works for you.
~ Cynthia Cartier