Today’s exercise utilizes our sense of touch. Mindfulness – non-judgmental observation – often comes readily when we focus on tactile sensations. Anxiety, stress, and heightened emotion can take our mental presence outside of our physical space. To return to where we actually are, it can be grounding to recognize and connect with our physical surroundings.
This exercise can take a matter of moments; no set amount of minutes. More than time, the measure of completion will be the number of items you mindfully touch. Sit comfortably and count five deep inhaled and exhaled breaths. Scan your surroundings for three different objects that you can touch without having to move from your seated position. These could include items of clothing, jewelry, your body parts, furniture. Place your open hands on the first item – say, your shirt. Feel its texture between your fingers. Describe it to yourself objectively / without judgment (“The cotton is crisp.”, “This sleeve is rolled up.”) versus “This shirt has always been too tight.”). Allow your fingers to roam while your mind stays still. Once you’re done with this item, again place your open hands on it for the length of one deep inhaled/exhaled breath. Select the next item. Repeat the directions above: feel the item with both of your open hands, then use your fingers to touch and observe it mindfully, then close your experience of that item with a deep breath and open hands. Move on to the third item. Take that final inhale/exhale, and thank yourself for allowing this experience to be a part of your day.