How to practice presence – The 5 senses method

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It can be easy to get lost in the what ifs and maybes.

It can be easy to think about all the possibilities and get lost in them.

This is why the best tip I can give you for living a life well lived and loved is to play in the realm of what’s happening right now.

Emotions don’t actually last that long. It’s our brains that attach to the idea that it is lasting longer.

Chemicals may be depleted which makes it seem way easier to stick to that feeling that actually doesn’t feel good.

This was a common theme in my life when I took a lot of drugs.

Getting to a point where I had to take them to get to my normal levels of happiness.

Drinking alcohol to release the happy, uninhibited version of myself.

It’s not until I reduced those things and cut out what I knew wasn’t good for me that I started noticing my true levels of feeling good.

The realization that those things had actually made it harder for me to reach the levels of excitement and happiness that were possible.

Is this a place you are familiar with? Do you know these levels that I’m speaking of?

Do you fall back on these things whenever you feel things are too hard?

It’s the awareness of these things that is actually life changing.

When you become aware of the triggers that put you into the space of choosing these then it becomes a time that you get to choose differently.

I love to have a cocktail or a wine on nights out or hanging with friends.

The difference is I am not trying to escape my emotions and experiences anymore.

Often, admitting that is what you are trying to do, can be the first step.

Taking ownership of where you feel you are at.

This doesn’t mean you have failed. It doesn’t mean your life has been wrong and you don’t need to make yourself wrong.

It just means those are choices you have made up until now and if you desire then you can choose differently now.

Surround yourself with people who will support you in your decisions.

Those who will be able to hold you when it is a day that it feels like it’s too much.

Don’t do it alone. It may feel easier for those of us who like to lone wolf, but it truly isn’t.

When you play in the realms of what is happening right now you will be able to process the small things in easier chunks.

When you are feeling overwhelmed use this exercise to bring you back to the now, it’s called the 5 senses method and is a common anxiety technique:

5 Senses Method

• Observe five things around you that you can immediately see. Those types of things promote feelings of peacefulness.

• Observe four things around you that you can touch. In fact, tactile objects are often used as a way to destress and ease anxiety. Think Stress balls.

• Observe three things that you can hear. Paying attention to the sounds in your environment will help distract your brain from the anxiety that you’re feeling.

• Observe two things that you can smell in your environment. Sniff slowly and take deep breaths. Focus on that breath

• Observe one thing you can taste. Stay in the present moment and try not to let your thoughts drift.

Or if even that feels too much the most simple thing you can do is take some deep breaths. In through the nose and out through the mouth. Breathing right down deep into your diaphragm.

Another thing you can do is set a reminder on your phone to go off a few times a day that says Am I safe? What’s here? What has been? Is everything that can be controlled under control? And when this goes off take a few moments with yourself to think and feel about these questions.

You may be someone who thinks that living in the now moment means being out of control and making some crazy decisions, but you will notice from these few tips that bring us into the now moment that it actually means being present with whatever is happening.

The more you practice presence the more you will notice how quickly emotions and feelings actually move through when you allow them completely instead of shutting them down or blocking them out.

Try these out today and let me know how you go.

Xo S

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