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How to deal with anxiety using your five senses?

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01/6Senses & Serenity

“The ‘five senses’ method aids you to experience the present moment instead of bothering about the future. By doing so, your attention shifts from anxiety-provoking thoughts to the moment of bliss and that is ‘now’. The ‘5 senses’ technique is a coping tool for stressful situations. When you experience stress or anxiety, your body’s fight-or-flight system is activated, releasing hormones like adrenaline. This state of hyper-alertness is evolutionary but not always beneficial in modern life. This technique works by counteracting the fight or flight response, bringing your nervous system back to a more balanced state,” says Dr Jai Madaan, celebrity astrologer and a motivational speaker.

The ‘5 senses’ technique’s working is to connect with each of your five senses: sight, touch, hearing, smell, and taste. In this article, Dr Jai Madaan writes about the ‘5 senses’ technique and the steps to follow it.

Settling yourself in a calm space and taking a deep breath, proceed with these steps.

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02/65 : Sense of sight

Look for five objects
Look around you and name five things you can see. Say each item out loud. For example, you might say, ‘I see a tree, I see a bottle, I see a fruit, I see a clock, I see a chair.’

Choosing something positive from your youth, (much liked tv soap, book, a place) may assist in activating that inner child and come about secure memories.

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03/64 : Experience a touch

Feel four sensations
Focus on your body and take account of four things around. For example, your nails and hair, the couch you are sitting in, the floor, a plant or a tree around, some soil, the walls. And while you touch, say, ‘I feel the soil’, ‘I feel the walls’.

Deep pressure stimulation may destress by lowering one’s heart rate and anxiety levels. By using touch, especially light pressure, can help improve focus and promote feelings of calm.

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04/63 : Be ears

Listen for three sounds
Be mindful about the sounds around. What do your ears record? The sound of leaves rustling, the birds chirping, cars honking, mobile phone ringing, someone calling someone? Name three sounds out loud.

Incorporating light sounds as a form of mindfulness is good way to diminish anxiety. Studies prove that mindfulness can be effective for those with ADHD, anxiety, and those with a trauma history.

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05/62 : Olfactory experience

Smell two odours

Through your nose, breathe deep. Name two smells that you experience in that moment. In case you can’t smell anything, think of two of your favourite odours and say the same good.

It is quite possible that even the thought of a specific scent will bestow serenity. It is sufficient to bring about cognitive changes in the brain leading to reduced anxiety.

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06/61 : Taste

Taste a flavour

Morning masala chai, chocolate truffle, mint post lunch… specify something you can taste and say it out loud. In case you aren’t able to taste anything in the moment, just think and name one of your favourite flavours.

Flavours that taste sharp bitter may create a grounding effect. Mint, lemons, dark chocolate, mint, etc may help activate the polyvagal nerve that causes self-regulation.

Towards the end, take a deep breath again. By now, you should hopefully be feeling a bit calmer.

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