Have you heard of the “5 Senses Exercise”? It’s a simple yet incredibly effective technique that many therapists recommend for anxious moments. Engaging all of our senses at a single moment has a way of diverting our attention from whatever may be distressing us. It’s grounding and can help to bring you back to homeostasis (or at least a normal level of nervces!). Whether it’s a job interview, date, or important meeting that has you stressing, this exercise is here to give you strength and confidence in under 1 minute or less.
Step 1: Visualize a place
This can be anywhere. Maybe it’s somewhere where you feel most at ease. Maybe it’s comforting and familiar. Maybe it’s a place you’ve never been to but have always dreamed of visiting. It’s your mind! You can travel wherever you’d like.
Step 2: Name 5 things you see
Settle in to this place and look around. What do you see? Birds? Trees? A waterfall? Make note of 5 things.
Step 3: Name 4 things you hear
Chances are this place isn’t silent. What are you hearing? The chatter of people? Ocean waves crashing? Recognize 4 sounds in your head.
Step 4: Name 3 things you feel
What can you touch? Are you sitting on a blanket? Can you feel sand squishing between your toes? Become more aware of your immediate surroundings and name 3 things that you can physically feel.
Step 5: Name 2 things you smell
What does this environment smell like? Is it familiar, and how so? What does it remind you of? Simply acknowledge what you can smell.
Step 6: Name 1 thing you taste
Can you taste the salty air on a beach? Or the water you’re drinking? What can you envision yourself tasting in this place?
Take a moment to recenter and live in this place you have created for yourself. This entire exercise can take 30 seconds, and can be done anywhere. If you want to stretch it out for longer, go ahead! Take as much time as you need. You deserve to feel confident and at peace.