The 5 senses practice is a way to calm anxiety, improve pain control, and improve focus and concentration. We are often aware and actively use our senses of hearing, sight, and touch but the less common senses that also can influence our minds are smell and taste!
This practice can be done in combination with a longer meditative practice or can be used when you sense you are feeling rushed or flustered during work or other activity. Stop, take a break, and begin to focus on the 5 senses in the present moment.
Traditionally this meditation, with Buddhist origins, involves using the practice of peeling an orange.
How to do the meditation:
You can use the preparation of an orange, or any other regular daily habit such as – brushing your teeth, combing your hair, drinking some water, etc.
Decide to slow down and key in to your environment, your body, and your breath.
Start to focus on your breathing, inhale and exhale.
Then list the five senses in your head (or aloud) and begin to experience each of them with the chosen activity.
In regards to peeling an orange:
Look at the texture of the orange and ridges and dimples
Feel the hardness and rubberiness of the skin. Assess the temperature with your fingers.
Listen as you pull the peel apart with your hands or cut it with a knife.
Smell the citrus aroma of the peel or the internal pulp of the orange
Taste the orange and note the flavors of sweet or bitter.