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For this exercise we’re gonna spend some time noticing the environment around us by engaging our different senses.

  1.  Sit on the floor or in a chair, or stand with your feet planted on the ground.
  2. Take a second to intentionally pause, wherever you are. You might be coming into this practice with some really intense feelings, and I'm here to remind you that this is okay. This is a nervous system response, it will pass — and I want to thank your nervous system for trying protect you the best way it knows how. And let’s just see if we can be curious about trying something different here, just for a few minutes.
  3. Notice and name five things you can see around you in your present surroundings.
  4. Notice and name four things you can feel or touch around you.
  5. Notice and name three things you can hear outside your body right now.
  6. Notice and name two things you can smell.
  7. And last, roll your tongue around the inside of your mouth for a second, and see if you can notice and name one thing you can taste.
  8. Once you’ve finished, notice if anything is different from just a few moments ago. Are there any shifts, however tiny or subtle, in how your body feels? Remember that whatever comes up is okay, and if you can, just check in with yourself and see if there’s anything else you need in this moment.

( i )      Focusing on your sensory experience in the environment around you prompts you to orient to the here and now. Naming physical objects provide a contextual grounding in time and space that grounds our experience, and serve as the infrastructure for higher cognitive processes.

Counting as you do this helps turn your cortex back online, which is needed for emotional regulation, and can often go offline when we are stressed or overwhelmed.