The Five Senses: An Exercise This month, we’ve been talking a lot about health goals, including different ways you can get back on track for 2020. But, something else important to consider is taking a second to yourself. Success and achievement are both fluid, and in many cases, rest (or taking time to yourself to regroup) can be just as critical.

Enter, mindfulness: the practice of bringing yourself to the present and experiencing life in the moment. It helps to decrease stress and anxiety, improve focus and can even increase happiness.

How-To: The Five Senses Exercise

This exercise, used to re-engage your senses, aims to help refocus your thoughts. It’s a great way to get into your body and out of your head. Let’s try it together!

  1. See. Take a deep breath and look around you. Really settle in your environment. Then, pick out five different things that you can see—things you wouldn’t normally take notice of. Spend 30 seconds focusing on each sight, really taking it in.

  2. Touch. What can you feel? Bring your attention to four different things, taking the time to explore and sit in each sensation—maybe the soft brush of clothing against your skin or the tickle of hair at the nape of your neck.

  3. Hear. Note three things that you can hear right this second. Pay attention to noises that you don’t normally focus on, or that may seem like white nose during your regular day-to-day.

  4. Smell. Take a deep breath—what are two things that you can smell? Pleasant or unpleasant, what exists around you right this second? Is it the smell of your own fabric softener? Food cooking in the kitchen? Take a second to experience it.

  5. Taste. The last of our five senses, notice one thing you can taste. Taste is a layered experience and can change from one moment to the next. Maybe a bit of coffee or tea, a quick snack or even just your own mouth.