We can all find ourselves feeling a bit disconnected sometimes. It may be from ourselves, the people around us, our environment or all three.
This often happens as a defence – outside of our awareness. The mind has just decided this disconnecting might be the best option to cope with the stress, anxiety and difficult emotions we can feel.
The problem is that the brain is habit finding, so the more it does something. . . You guessed it, the more it does it.
So the more we go all floaty and absent ourselves from the here and now, the more we find ourselves without the connection, we all, as the social, lively, feeling, sensorial beings we are, can get left feeling a bit adrift.
We might feel like we can’t fully engage with what we feel, or the people we love, or the activities we may, or used to enjoy.
This mindfulness exercises is designed to begin to reconnect , to switch those neural pathways, and sensory systems back on, and if you practice regularly, can build a different habit.
This can be done sitting at your desk or walking to the bus stop.
Read all the way through a few times to familiarise yourself.
Begin by taking a few intentional breaths
Intentional breaths are ones where we follow the whole breath, from nostrils down the throat, into the chest and shoulders, filing the ribs and falling into the belly. . Small pause. . Then follow the breath on the same route back out again.
Now take your attention to the senses
Begin with SIGHT,
Begin to focus on some objects or shapes and name them.
Out loud or silently:
I SEE. . .
Name at least 5 things.
Now allow the world to pour into your eyes as if you’ve never seen it before, as if all is new and unfamiliar. Just shapes images and colours.
If you can, allow as much as your vision field in at the same time.
This seeing without judgment may be tricky, judgments may fill the mind.
Just notice any labels or judgments and allow them to pass. Do this for a minute or two
Now take your attention to the senses of TOUCH
Slowly begin to name some things you can sense via touch.
I CAN TOUCH . . .
Then take your attention to the whole of your skin that covers the body, to sensations that you can feel there, clothes, wind, feet on floor, see if you can just stay with all that is offered via this sensation as one whole. As if the bodies skin is brand new and these sensations have not really been fully felt before.
Do this for a minute or two.
As before allow wandering thought, judgments etc to simply pass, notice them and allow them to move on, they can simply float by your minds experience and be let go of.
Now as above with sight and touch move your attention to SOUND
Begin by naming some of the sounds you hear,
I HEAR . .
Then slowly begin to just allow the sounds to pour into your ears, no good and bad sounds, just a symphony of sound, and ears like huge receivers of this.
Finally take in all that is available via the she’s of SMELL.
It may be hard to identify individual smells.
You can simply return to the intentional breath you began with.
Allow the breath to enter through the nose.
I SMELL (identify if possible) or just stay with the experience of scents pouring into the nose.
– All the statements can be said out loud or silently.
– Each sense gets at least 2-3mins.
– The mind will wander. Without judgment or telling yourself off, just come back to the exercise.
– The mind may also want to label sensory experiences, by more than just name, as good or bad or with other statements or labels. Notice this and try to come back to just experiencing the sense you are focusing on.
Just how this sense is felt by you.
It may be pleasant or unpleasant, we are simply noticing this sense with deep focused intention.