4. Mindfulness of Thoughts
Five Senses Grounding
A practice that can help you get out of your head and into the body via your five senses. This exercise is helpful when feeling anxious or early onset of a panic attack. The rationale is that what is happening in the present moment is oftentimes more neutral (e.g., one of the things happening in this moment is you reading this resource guide), as opposed to what’s happening in your mind, which can imagine all kinds of worst-case scenarios.
5 things you can see (really look at the object and observe its properties, like its color, shape, and function)
4 things you can touch (actually touch the objects and describe mentally or aloud how it feels)
3 things you can hear
2 things you can taste*
1 thing you can smell*
* If no current stimulus for taste or smell, think of tastes and smells you enjoy
A meditation that uses clouds in the sky as a metaphor for thoughts in your mind, reinforcing the idea that thoughts (and feelings) come and go. Thoughts naturally pass through our mind, unless we feed or avoid them. Feeding them can happen when you fixate or ruminate about difficult situations, and avoiding can lead to feelings getting bottled up, intensifying and then leaking out in unexpected and sometimes explosive ways.
A guided audio meditation is available online.
Mind like the Sky Meditation