Basis Exercises: How to Reduce Anxiety Using Your Five Senses
Managing anxiety can be a challenging endeavor. One effective and practical method of combating stress is to use your sense of sight, smell, hearing, touch, and taste. Basis exercises are a way to reduce anxiety by engaging the body and mind in a mindful exercise that focuses on one’s five senses.
What Are Basis Exercises?
Basis exercises, also called “grounding exercises,” are designed to help reduce anxiety by bringing your focus and awareness to the present moment. They use your five senses—sight, smell, hearing, touch, and taste—to settle your body and mind.
Benefits of Basis Exercises
Basis exercises are simple and can be done anywhere and at any time. They can help bring balance and focus to an overwhelmed mind and bring relaxation to a tense body.
Basis exercises have many benefits, such as:
- Helping you stay in the present moment
- Focusing on your breath
- Distracting yourself from anxious or negative thoughts
- Providing an opportunity to reset your emotions
- Bringing peace and balance to your mood
These exercises can also help sharpen your sense of awareness as to how you are feeling in any given moment. This heightened awareness will allow you to take a step back when you are feeling overwhelmed and gain some perspective.
The Five Senses for Basis Exercises
Find something in your environment that you can really focus on. It could be something outdoors such as a tree or a flower, or something inside such as a painting on the wall. Try to take in every detail of the item and focus on that. This can help to take your attention away from anything that is causing anxiety.
Find something that has a pleasant smell. This could be anything from a scented burn, an essential oil, or a piece of fruit. Take a few breaths deeply and take in the scent. Notice how it reduces tension and brings a sense of calm in your body.
Listen to a calming song or a piece of music that you connect with. Focusing on the sound of it can bring your attention back to the present moment.
Hold something soft or that has a calming texture to it. This could be a blanket, a soft pillow, or a stuffed toy. Let the item sink into your body and let the feeling of comfort take over.
Take a sip of water or have a snack that you enjoy. Regularly hydrate your body and nourish it with foods that make you feel good. Focusing on the flavours of each bite and swallow can reduce stress levels and help to clear your mind.
Practical Tips for Doing Basis Exercises
- Start with a few minutes at a time and build up gradually
- Don’t expect fast results, the process of reducing anxiety takes time
- Find something that you can use for each sense that works for you
- Breathe deeply and slowly when you are doing a basis exercise
- Be kind to yourself and allow yourself time to relax
Basis exercises are easy to incorporate into your daily life. Taking a few moments each day to practice these can make a big difference in how you manage your anxiety levels.
Case Study: A First-Hand Experience
I started incorporating basis exercises as part of my coping strategy when I noticed my anxiety levels increasing. One of the first things I did was to focus on a beautiful piece of art that I have in my house. I zoned in on the colors, the shapes, and the sensations that were evoked just by looking at it.
I also would supervise my breathing when I was engaging in basis exercises and this allowed me to bring my attention back to the present moment and to stop my mind from spinning in a never ending cycle of worry and fear.
Over time, I started experimenting with more basis exercises, such as feeling the texture of my blanket or engaging in mindful eating by savoring each bite. When my anxiety levels would spike I would take a moment and do a few basis exercises, and each time I felt the pressure inside me dissipate.
By engaging your senses in a mindful way, basis exercises can be a powerful tool to reduce anxiety. They are easy to do and can be done anywhere, giving you the opportunity to reset your body and mind, and to come back to a sense of balance and calm.
Basis exercises can help you become more aware of your feelings, take a step back from uncomfortable emotions, and bring your focus back to the present moment. With regular practice, you can start to notice how they bring more peace and relaxation into your life.
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