Practice mindfulness with the five senses exercise


What is it:

Five senses exercise is a mindfulness exercise to help one focus on the five senses instead of tangential thoughts. This is a mindfulness exercise to help people feel into the body and build awareness of their surroundings experienced via the senses.

Who/why is it for:

Five senses exercise can benefit anyone as this exercise helps focus the mind to one’s surroundings using the senses instead of allowing thoughts, judgements, or worries to narrows ones awareness. Due to this exercise helping one focus on the surroundings it can be very helpful to perform prior/post to an expected stressful event as it shift mental focus and calms the mind.

How it is done:

The exercise is performed by:

  • Finding a safe and comfortable spot to sit where limited muscle tension will occur, i.e a chair with a head rest.

  • It is recommended not to place hands on arm rests, but instead on ones lap as arm rests can cause shoulder tension.

  • Next one focuses on each sense individually, describing what is sensed to the best of ones abilities, not aloud.


  • Before transitioning to the next sense focus is shifted to the breath.


  • Breathing is done slowly (not deeply) via the diaphragm for one breath.

  • The breathing acts as a reset to let go of the focus from describing one sense to the next.


  • The exercise is complete once all senses have been described.

This exercise is more enjoyable when the environment is conducive to the sense being explore, i.e being outside for hearing or being in a very visually stimulating room when desiring sight.

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