As mentioned on day 4, mindfulness is a moment-to-moment awareness cultivated by paying attention to the present moment with acceptance. Mindfulness can help to reduce stress and other negative emotional or behavioural issues (Aherne et al., 2016). In a stressful situation, mindfulness can pull us out of our bodies natural stress reactions and bring us back to a calm state.
Task: the 5 senses exercise
Take a moment and think of 5 things you are experiencing right now for each sense (smell, taste, touch, sight and sound). Observe the three things in your present moment without judgement, it is just a curious observation.
Let’s try it now, What three things do you smell?
Take your time, if you don’t smell anything, that’s fine, that’s your observation, again there is no judgement here.
Now taste, can you find three different tastes in your mouth? If not, that’s ok. Again no judgement.
Are there three things you can feel right now? Your pants, shirt, face. Anything. No judgement, just observe how they feel.
Now what are three things you can see right now? Observe them, acknowledge them, but don’t criticize.
Finally, what three things can you hear? If nothing, that’s great you observed silence, how about your breath? Can you hear it?
This is a great exercise to practice regularly and use in stressful situations to calm the stress response.
Aherne, D., Farrant, K., Hickey, L., Hickey, E., McGrath, L., & McGrath, D. (2016). Mindfulness based stress reduction for medical students: optimising student satisfaction and engagement. BMC medical education, 16(1), 209. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1533210110387687
Davydov, D. M., Stewart, R., Ritchie, K., & Chaudieu, I. (2010). Resilience and mental health. Clinical psychology review, 30(5), 479-495. Retrieved from https://www.hal.inserm.fr/file/index/docid/534325/filename/Davydov_Clin_Psychol_Rev_30_479.pdf journal, 5(2), 74. Retrieved from http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.851.7680&rep=rep1&type=pdf
Gawler, I., & Bedson, P. (2011). Meditation: An in-depth guide. New York, NY: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin.
Kent, M., Rivers, C. T., & Wrenn, G. (2015). Goal-Directed self-regulation, executive functions, and personal growth (eudaimonia) in evocative contexts of PTSD, obesity, and chronic pain. Behavioral sciences, 5(2), 264-304.
Kerig, Patricia K., (2020). Resilience for Trauma-Informed Professionals (R-TIP): Protecting ourselves from secondary traumatic stress, vicarious trauma, and compassion fatigue. Presentation on April 24th, 2020 from https://apa.content.online/app/pro/orderedProduct.xhtml?eid=1481116
Rosenkranz, M. A., Davidson, R. J., MacCoon, D. G., Sheridan, J. F., Kalin, N. H., & Lutz, A. (2013). A comparison of mindfulness-based stress reduction and an active control in modulation of neurogenic inflammation. Brain, behavior, and immunity, 27, 174-184. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3518553/
Rush, S. E., & Sharma, M. (2017). Mindfulness-based stress reduction as a stress management intervention for cancer care: a systematic review. Journal of evidence-based complementary & alternative medicine, 22(2), 348-360. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/2156587216661467