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I love simple ways that help calm anxiety and bring your attention to the present moment. Stop feelings of panic in their tracks with this exercise that makes use of your 5 senses to focus on the here and now.

5. Look

Look around and see 5 things. Notice the door knob, the light, the flooring, the glass on the table, the pillow, the furniture, another person, your clothes, or any five things around you. Pay attention to the little details of each thing you look at. Try to see them with the kind of curiosity you would have if you had never seen these things before.

4. Touch

Notice the tactile feeling of 4 things you can touch. Touch your clothes, your hand, a blanket, your phone, a pen. Take time to note how each thing feels in your hand, its texture, temperature, and edges. Is it smooth or rough? Is it cold or warm? Is it soft or hard?

3. Hear

Pay attention to 3 sounds. Listen to the clock ticking, the music in the background, the traffic, the sounds of people talking, the hum of the refrigerator, your belly rumbling.

2. Smell

Breathe in through your nose and notice 2 smells around you. Can you smell the pages of an old book or someone’s perfume or their body odour or a beeswax candle or a cup of coffee or food cooking? Take a moment to breathe in the scents around you.

1. Taste

Notice the taste of something. Take a sip of tea or suck on a candy or chew a piece of gum. Focus on the flavour of this taste and where you sense the flavour on your tongue.

Looking for another meditative moment or two? Try out my tea meditation.