Come to your senses

Last week a client told me that he feels very discouraged about the circumstances surrounding his life at the moment. This robs him of his energy and makes him feel trapped. There isn’t much we can do about the circumstances – sometimes you can’t change the facts. So we looked for a way to give him back his energy and sense of freedom. How to help him let go of the worries?

I suggested he try a very simple practice at home, based on mindfulness by Jon Kabat-Zinn, to bring the awareness back to the here-and-now.

It’s quite simple and doesn’t take much time. Try it yourself!

Exercise:
We experience the world through at least five senses: hearing, smell, taste, touch, and sight.
– Choose 1 sense
– Several times a day, stop for a moment and be aware of what you are experiencing through that sense.

You can use the following questions to support this awareness:
Hearing: How many sounds can you hear? What do you hear from close by? What do you hear from far away? Do sounds have a color? A shape?
Smell: What do you smell? Which smells do you like? Which ones do you dislike? Do you have certain associations with certain smells? How does it feel to smell things?
Taste: Where on your tongue do you experience sweet, sour, bitter, spicy, and salty? Which of these five tastes do you like? Which do you dislike? What do you taste when there is nothing in your mouth?
Touch: Touch as many things as you can. Is it warm or cold? Hard or soft? Rough or smooth? Does it feel different if you touch it with another part of your body, for instance your cheek or foot? If you close your eyes, do you experience a color?
Sight: Try to look at things without knowing what they are, without their context. Make a circle with your hands and look through the circle. What shapes, colors, and lines do you see?

– If you want, you can take brief notes of your findings.
– Do this for 2-3 days.
– Then continue with another sense.
– Repeat the exercise until you have done all five senses.

I saw the client again yesterday. He told me that he was much calmer and slept better. He also found the exercise enjoyable.

How about you? What are the benefits for you, does it help you to let go of the worries? I would love to hear about your experiences!

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