Using our five senses to shift our attention in the moment, so we might re-group, slow down and reclaim our equanimity and balance. This can decrease anxiety, frustration, judgment and disturbance in any given situation.
One way to slow down a runaway mind is to fix one of your senses on a single object.
-Choose an object in your immediate environment or your mind’s eye.
-Simply focus your attention on the object; the color, texture and any other defining qualities.
-If you find yourself drifting back to a place of disturbance, choose a different object to focus on.
-If the situation allows, close your eyes as you hold the object in your minds eye.
-Pay attention to whatever sounds can be heard around you.
-As an alternative, listen closely to music, preferably without lyrics to ponder. Set up play-list ahead of time!!!
-You may have noticed that the sense of smell is strongly connected to memory and emotions.
-If you’re scent-oriented, carry a small vial of fragrant essential oil, such as lavender or rose, for easy access.
-Put something edible in your mouth. If you know a stressful situation is coming up…keep something in your pocket-hard candy, or gum.
-If food is not available, take the same approach with a beverage. Focus on swallowing and the path of the liquid.
Touch is the most immediately grounding of the senses.
-Touching an object absorbs the attention, and nothing could be more convenient or inconspicuous.
-Place your hand firmly on a table or the arm of a chair; hold whatever is in your pocket, clasp your hands.
-Beads, devotees of all traditions often carry a talisman in a pocket or purse, or pin one to their clothing, or attach an amulet to a necklace or bracelet.
-Prayer Mala can be worn around your neck or wrist for easy access.
-Carry a small picture of a revered person, a religious figurine, or a keepsake that brings to mind serenity, A small gift from a loved one or a colorful stone you brought home from a beach vacation.
With practice you will automatically call upon one of these micro practices when needed. Creating space between a situation and your reaction allows you to maintain equanimity and to respond in a manner that most reflects your highest intentions.