How do you know you are here right now? Take a moment and really think about it. How do you know you are right here, right now, not somewhere else?
Well, of course you know that you are (most likely) sitting in front of a computer screen. If you look around you, you can see the room you are in, the colours, the shapes, the objects. You can hear the sounds around you. Whilst writing this, I can hear construction going on outside, the washing machine running and the sound of my neighbours talking to each other. I am aware of my body touching the chair I’m sitting on and of the clothes on my skin.
Of course I am here!
And I know this, by using my senses.
Mindfulness is a topic you might have heard a lot about, and perhaps the first thing you think of when you hear mindfulness is meditation. But that’s not all that mindfulness is. Mindfulness is being present in the “here and the now”. And what better way to know that we are here right now than through our senses?
- SENSORY PROCESSING – The way I perceive sensory input from the world
- MINDFULNESS – Being present in what is actually happening right now
The marriage of mindfulness and sensory processing has taken the world by storm in the form of mindfulness colouring in. If you’ve been to any bookshop recently, you will know what I’m talking about. Mindfulness colouring books are everywhere. Using our sight and touch senses when we colour in grounds us in that moment and prevents our minds from running to the past or the future. You might even have heard of Zen Tangle, which is a technique used to ground yourself through doodling, by using your visual and movement senses.
So if you think that mindfulness, meditation and sensory processing are something foreign, I have a surprise for you! Here are a few examples of how you use your senses to be mindful:
- Every time you are aware of the smooth taste of a piece of chocolate in your mouth
- When are running and aware of your feet hitting the ground
- When you are watching a beautiful sunset and you notice the different hues
This week, I invite you to become more aware of your own senses. When you wash the dishes, feel the warmth of the water running through your fingers, or when you are listening to music, take a moment to be present with every note rising and falling, when you feel stressed, take a few deep breaths. You will not only become more present to enjoy this beautiful life around you, but you will also feel more calm and relaxed!
Remember the quote by Ghandi “There is more to life, than increasing its speed”.
~ Written by Karlien Terblanche