Using Your Five Senses


Woman looking in mirror while brushing her teeth

I’ve written quite a bit on here about meditation because it’s been so beneficial for me. I know that some people hate the idea of sitting down for a few minutes and focusing on what’s going on in the moment instead of moving, planning, ruminating, etc. so they don’t even try meditation.

The thing is, meditation doesn’t require you to sit down. You can meditate while doing a lot of different things including walking, eating, driving (keep your eyes open), getting dressed, drinking coffee or tea, and brushing your teeth.

If I’m not going to do a seated meditation, I particularly enjoy meditations that involve eating, drinking, or brushing my teeth because they allow me to use all five of my senses, which helps to keep me that much more present.

Think about it, when you brush your teeth you can feel the tooth brush in your hand and then against your teeth and gums. You can smell and taste the tooth paste. You can hear the sound of you brushing and then spitting out your tooth paste. Have you ever paid attention enough to brushing your teeth that you noticed all of your senses interacting throughout the process? You don’t have to sit and the whole thing takes about 3 – 5 minutes (and you need to do it anyway).

Going for a walk might get your four of your five senses as you feel your feet touch the ground and a breeze or the heat of the sun on your skin. You might smell flowers or scents from shops you pass. You may hear traffic or children playing, dogs barking, the wind through the trees.

There’s a meditation that I frequently do while washing the dishes. Being mindful during those moments, really taking in the inputs my senses are experiencing – the sight and smell of the soap bubbles, the feel of the warm water and smooth dishes, and the sound of the water running or sloshing in the sink – makes even tasks I don’t enjoy doing a little more enjoyable.

What things do you do everyday that you could turn into meditations, even for just a minute or so, by noticing how all of your senses are playing a role in the experience?

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