This was posted on the PDN community site last week by Fa Liang. I think its a good one!
“Here is an exercise you use to “practice” awareness. It’s also really good to use when you feel stressed out, panicky, have trouble falling asleep or just need to “chill.”
Either sit upright with eyes closed or lay down with eyes closed. Breathe slowly – in through the nose, out through the mouth.
Now, think to yourself: “I hear 5 things.”
Then identify each of the five things. They don’t have to be anything significant or loud. There is no emotional attachment to any of the sounds. You’re simply identifying the things you hear. “I hear a ticking clock.” “I hear my cat purring.” “I hear myself breathing.” “I hear the fan spinning.” “I hear my husband snoring.”
Next, think to yourself: “I feel 4 things.”
Then identify each of the four things. We’re talking about the sense of touch, not your emotions. “I feel my clothes against my skin.” “I feel my glasses on my nose.” “I feel my fingers on the keyboard.” “I feel the ring on my finger.”
Next, think to yourself: “I hear 3 things.”
Then identify three more things that you hear. Repeats from the five things are okay, but new ones are better. “I hear my computer humming.” “I hear the refrigerator running.” “I hear the frogs outside.”
Next, think to yourself: “I feel 2 things.”
“I feel the cat against my leg.” “I feel the cool wood floor under my feet.”
Last, hear one thing. “I hear the jingling bell on my cat’s collar.”
It can be difficult to identify that many things to hear and feel, but it helps to focus and also to clear the mind when we feel anxious or out of control.