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Mindfulness for general happiness and mental health – being mindful is easy, have a go! Using the senses, sight, sounds, taste, touch and smell

A nice cup of tea for taste

A nice cup of tea for taste

The basics of being mindful are simple – ‘live ‘in the moment’.

If you are aware of your surroundings and senses fully in the moment, then you willl feel more relaxed, more at peace, more fulfilled and more real. Awareness is great for anyone, but can also be very helpful for beating the symptoms of depression, anxiety, stress, BPD, OCD and other mental distractions. Mindfulness is a very powerful practice and using your senses is part of that.

Just think about your five special senses:

  • Sight – look at photos, beautiful pictures, go out and se lovely scenery – be totally aware of the colours, shapes, patterns, darkness, brightness etc
  • Sound – listen and I mean really listen, and you will hear sounds you would not normally pick up; that tiny bird singing in a tree nearby, a child’s voice… It could be anything or nothing. Maybe you will find yourself in complete silence, but for most of us this isn’t the case, but be totally aware of any noises.
  • Touch – I love different textures, from my soft furry cat to screwed up paper when I am having a clear out (I love clear outs too!). From relaxing to stimulating, our sense of touch can be as ignored as the rest of our senses but being aware can even make washing up a more relaxing thing to do; warm water, bubbles…
  • Smell – For uplifting, there’s coffee, cakes baking, flowers like roses and fried onions LOL, but for relaxing, how about a walk in the fresh country air, or cut grass, dewy morning air, lavender oil… There are scents all around you.
  • Taste – has to be my favourite way to get myself back ‘in the moment’ especially in the past when I would be slightly ‘out of the real world’. These are never ending – two of my personal favourites are strong flavours like curry (comforting) and coffee (stimulating), but I like to practise eating and taking in every flavour so that I can work out the recipe – herbs, onions, spices – a bit like on ‘Masterchef’ but it’s a great way to really enjoy your food and appreciate the wonderful sense of taste we are blessed with.

You can do this at any time – stuck in a traffic jam, at home combined with awareness of your breathing as a kind of mindful meditation, whenever you feel you could do with this easy coping skill. It could just be a few minutes, or half hour, but when you reap the benefits, you can decide for yourself how often you want to practise it.

I will leave you with those ideas for now,

Take care,

Amanda 🙂

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