Sense Awareness

To start working with your senses, try these simple sense awareness exercises. Take a minute here and there to become aware of your senses.

For example, when you get out of your car, let the busy mind take a rest and just take in what is happening. Once your car is stopped, feel the keys in your hand. Feel your hand touching the door to get out of the car. Feel the movement in your body. Smell the air outside the car. Feel your feet touching the ground. Feel the temperature on your skin. Feel the door closing and how your hands, arms, and shoulders move. Look at what is around you and listen to the different sounds.

Parking and getting out of the car is only one of many things we do on autopilot every day. We do them thousands of times and do not give them a second thought. Focusing on mundane, everyday occurrences allows us to let go of our busy mind and come back to the present moment. This will help us relax and reduce stress because our focus on the senses puts us in the present moment.

Seeing, feeling, hearing, smelling, and tasting helps bring us back to the present moment. We need to be aware of our senses without making stories. When we walk, do we feel the pressure on our feet as they strike the ground? Do we feel the air on our skin, feel the movement of our legs, back, and arms, or is our mind somewhere else? When we eat, do we taste what we are eating or are we just eating without awareness? Do we smell the food before we eat, or is our mind in story mode?

When you hear, just hear. When you see, truly see what is around you. When you touch, feel what is touched. When you smell and taste, truly smell and taste. It sounds so easy, but it is difficult to just be aware of our senses. If we can focus on our senses, we can let go of the busy mind, be in the present moment, and relax.