A Mindfulness Exercise to Help Reduce Stress and Improve Mood

Written by: Jordan Jackson

Anxiety on a daily basis is not uncommon. However, high levels or extended periods of time where we experience anxiety can negatively impact our whole bodies. One major source of anxiety for people is life stressors.

During this confusing time, a lot of us are experiencing different levels of stress and it is important we have access to tools that can help us manage. Some items that can be found around your home or on a walking trail can be added to a bag, a box, or any container you have. Here’s a quick mindfulness exercise to help you reduce stress and improve your mood:

5-4-3-2-1: (Sight, Sound, Smell, Taste, and Touch)

  • 5 things you can see
    • For example: a tree, an animal, a building, a sock, a chair
    • Take a moment to observe as many sensory details and describe them by color or count the levels on the building, etc.
  • 4 things you can hear
    • For example: a car passing by, the birds outside, children playing, and running water
  • 3 things you can smell
    • For example: a meal being prepared, essential oils, and candles
  • 2 things you can taste
    • For example: peppermints, your favorite beverage
  • 1 thing you can touch
    • For example: a frozen orange
    • Now describe the item. (I like frozen oranges because you can use this as an item you can see, an item you can touch, and an item you can smell).

Try using this exercise daily. In addition, start a journal to list all the sensory details that go with each of the 5 senses. Taking the time to write these out can help us become more aware of the present moment and help reduce our stress.

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