We all know that we have five senses, but did you know that we use only one almost 80% of the time?
The widening of your sensory perception can greatly improve your experience of the world you live in. This is possible no matter where you are, whether it be travelling in the car (not driving), at home, walking or sitting in your backyard.
By engaging all senses, one at a time, you are expanding your field of awareness and focus. When you do this you see, hear, feel, smell and taste things you were not aware in the current moment.
By learning and practising this skill you are creating awareness, so when an opportunity or even potential threat arrives in your proximity you can become more aware.
Try this simple exercise and see if your awareness improves. When doing this exercise with closed eyes it is best to be sitting down somewhere you are safe and won’t be disturbed.
You can still do this exercise whilst walking, travelling in a car (not driving) or even on public transport, but unless seated safely you will want to keep your eyes open for obvious reasons.
54321 - Sensory expansion exercise
First, use only your eyes and look around you and notice 5 things you can see, try to find objects you haven’t noticed before. They could be big or small
Then close your eyes and listen for 4 things you can hear, again try to focus on things you don’t regularly hear. They could be near or far.
Then keep your eyes closed and focus your attention on touch. This is not only your hands but your entire body is sensitive to physical touch. Find 3 things that you can feel. It could be as simple as a cool or warm breeze.
Still keeping your eyes closed focus now on smell. Find 2 things you can smell. They could be near or far
And finally with your eyes still remaining closed feel into your taste sensations in your mouth and find 1 thing you can taste. We are often so rushed when we eat that we do not truly feel into the sensation of taste.
You may find this difficult at first but it is worthwhile to stay with the experience until the end. It can bring a sense of calm if you are experiencing a situation with heightened emotions like frustration or irritation.
Practice it as a game with the entire family on your next road trip. It is like eye-spy mindfulness.
If you want to know more about how mindfulness can support you and your family, reach out and I would be happy to answer any questions you have