5..4..3..2..1… Relax

Do you ever wish your mind would just be quiet?meditation-cartoon-2

Sometimes my brain is rushing so feverishly from one thought to another I wish I could just press the ‘off’ button and shut it down. The “5,4,3,2,1” meditation has been recommended to me by doctors/counsellors/online forums a few
times and it turns out it can be quite soothing. It took me time to take to it – “zen”, “mindfulness” and “meditation” just seemed like a bunch of meaningless buzzwords – but I’m finding it to be an actually effective way of shutting my mind up sometimes.

Take a few slow, deep breaths and think…

5… What five things can you see around you?
“I can see the shadows move as a car passes my window”
“I can see the loose threads on my old blanket”
Look for five details in your surrounding, try to follow their shapes and lines.

4… What four things can you feel?
Close your eyes for this one if it helps
“I can feel the cool air on my toes sticking out the duvet”
“I can feel my clothes rub over me as I walk”
Try to slow the world around you down, and think about the different textures you can feel against your skin, the shapes of the objects you are touching, temperature differences around you.

3… What three things can you hear?
“The people upstairs are having sex again.. great.” Oh wait.
Focus on sounds that are steady and comforting.
“My own breathing slowly in and out. The sound the duvet makes as I pull it up close to me”

2… What two odours can I smell?
This one can take a little more focus
“I can just make out the scent of my washing powder”
“I can still smell the perfume I used earlier”

1… What can I taste?
For me, right now, I can still taste the apple juice I’ve been drinking

I often do this before bed, as I’ve been finding it more difficult to drop off, but you can do it anywhere. Walking to somewhere that makes you nervous, when things get hectic at placement. Nobody will know you are doing it and you are free to do it wherever you like.

Remember, meditation is just “me time”


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