brain breaks // salutation to the senses
When you begin to pay attention to a particular sense, it comes alive. If you consistently practise, your brain will naturally create more neural pathways in order to appreciate that sense more. Each sense reaches into both the inner and outer worlds.
The following mindfulness exercise is called See, Hear, Touch.
You only need to take a few moments with each sense, or perhaps you may like to extend the time. It’s completely up to you.
Take an attitude of playfulness when exploring the senses.
Before you begin, If any of your senses are are impaired or absent, you can still salute it, perhaps even salute its absence! When we are deprived of one sense, the others become more sensitive to compensate.
1. Notice 5 things you can see. identify Shapes. Colours. Textures Allow your gaze to rest on an object for a few moments.
Engage your peripheral vision and focus on spaces and depth of field. Your aim is to simply notice the range and quality of vision, and to stay there for a few seconds.
2. Now notice 5 things you can hear. Pinpoint the directions from which sounds arise. Compare the most obvious and most subtle sounds, or the most loud and quiet. Appreciate different pitches, tones and timbres. Place your attention in the ears themselves and be awake there, listening and feeling.
3. Finally, notice 5 sensations. For example, the texture of your clothing, the padding on the chair on which you are sitting, how your feet feel in your shoes, any tension in the body, the texture of an emotion, or perhaps just an itch.
It is cultivating high quality focus for a short period of time. Less than a minute is all you need to break the momentum of thoughts.
Feel free to do this exercise whenever you see fit.
It can be used as a reset button when you notice your thoughts snowballing or catch yourself ruminating on a problem. The pay-off to these mini medis is usually immediate as we find ourselves a little bit more alert and appreciative to the world around us.