“To begin to understand the gorgeous fever that is consciousness, we must try to understand the senses and what they can tell us about the ravishing world we have the privilege to inhabit.”
-Diane Ackerman, A Natural History of the Senses
When we are feeling particularly frazzled or stressed, it can be difficult for us to settle into a breathing exercise or a meditation in order to become more mindful. Writing, on the other hand, allows us to keep our hands busy while we slowly bring our focus to the present. Focusing on our five senses in our writing practice brings our attention to the current moment.
Writing the five senses is all about tuning into what you touch, see, smell, taste, and hear in the moment.
To begin, gather your favourite writing utensils and a notebook.
Find a comfortable place to write and take a few breaths to settle yourself.
When you are ready, draw your attention to one of your senses, such as smell.
Write down all the things you smell in that moment.
Describe the feeling of smelling and the aromas of the object you are smelling. For example, if you are smelling your hot cup of chai tea, you might write, I smell the scent of exotic spices, sweet cinnamon swirls its scent in my nose.
Switch to another sense when you’ve run out of other things to say. Write about touch, and all the things you feel against your body. Continue writing your five senses.
When you feel like you have come to a more mindful state, feel free to stop and spend a moment in peace.
If writing is a tool you enjoy, check out our series on life writing. Writing can be a good way to process intense emotions and lessen your symptoms of depression and anxiety.