This is a simple exercise that takes less than 5 minutes, and provides relief from an overactive mind, increased anxiety, built up tension, and helps you develop a practice of being present.

To begin, simply acknowledge what you are feeling through all five of your senses.

1. Notice five things that you can see.
Slowly scan the area around you. Focus on five things that you see, noticing all the details you can for each item. If you are inside, scan the area of the room you’re in. If you are outside, choose a few things close to you and a few things far away. For example, when I am sitting at my desk, I will notice the candle. I will look at the glass container It is in, notice the color of the glass, and notice the label on the candle. I will notice my bookcase. I will notice photos of my family.

If I am outside, I might take note of the lush green grass. I might look up to the top of the tallest tree I can find. And I might look closely at the flower blooming next to me on my porch.

Wherever you are, identify 5 things around you to look at and spend time taking in as much detail as you can for each one, before moving to the next.

2. Notice four things that you can feel.
Next, you’re going to draw your attention to four sensations that you are experiencing in that moment. You can use your hands to touch something. For example, the fabric of your shirt. Notice the fiber and how soft it is or whether or not it’s rough. What is the temperature around you? Are you sitting down? How soft is the chair you are sitting in? Do you feel a breeze or the warmth of sunshine?

Spend some time with each sensation as you touch it or feel it.

3. Notice three things you can hear.
Now let’s move to our sense of sound. Notice three things you can hear in this moment.

I hear the birds chirping outside my window. I hear my dog’s breathing rhythmically while taking a nap. I hear my neighbor’s lawn mower.

While you listen for a moment, make a note of three background noises. Spend just a few moments tuning in to each sound you hear.

4. Notice two things you can smell.
Next, let’s move to our sense of smell. Find two things to focus on that stimulate your sense of smell. Often, we ignore certain odors regardless of how nice or bad they smell. If you’re outside, perhaps you smell honeysuckle blooming. Or maybe the smell of fresh pine mulch. Perhaps you smell your neighbor’s dinner cooking on the grill.

It can also help to close your eyes, as you take in the scents around you.

5. Notice one thing you can taste.
Last, focus on one thing that you taste right now, in this moment. Even if you have had nothing to eat, or just brushed your teeth, there will be a taste lingering that you can identify with. I like to let my sense of taste remind me of something to be grateful for. Maybe I can still sense the taste of this morning’s coffee, even if I’m not happy with having coffee breath! And I have gratitude for enjoying my morning coffee.

Give this exercise a try right now! It is quick and easy to do! Whether or not you need it Right now, this is a wonderful exercise that brings you to the present moment, grounds you, relaxes your body, and stops the busy monkey mind that can hijack the moments of your day. Enjoy!