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Covid 19 Psychological Support: Mindful Seeing, Smelling and Hearing

Support for HSE staff during the Covid 19 emergency

Mindful Seeing, Smelling and Hearing

Involves: Sitting down and noticing 3 things you hear, see and smell

Time it takes: Approx. 3 minutes

Audience:  Anyone finding it difficult to be in the present moment during COVID-19

Preparation: Practice reading the exercise once or twice through

What people say about this exercise: Found it useful to connect with the here and now

This is a mindfulness practice that can help you connect with the present moment. The practice requires you to notice 3 things you can hear, see and smell in your current surroundings. This is a short practice that you can do throughout the day, whether at work, sitting in the garden or out walking.

  1. When you’re ready sit up straight in your chair with your feet firmly planted on the floor.
  2. To start take a deep breath in and out
  3. With your eyes open scan your current surroundings to notice 3 things you can see
  4. If you’re in your office this may be a ray of light shining in through the window; a nice picture on the wall; or your water bottle.  
  5. If you’re outside you may notice flowers; leaves blowing in the wind or a bumble bee.
  6. Regardless of where you are focus your attention on these 3 things you can see.
  7. Look out for any judgements or critical thoughts. Notice these as just judgements and bring your attention back to what you can see.  
  8. When you’re ready move your attention from what you can see to 3 things you can hear. At this point, you may like to close your eyes.
  9. You may overhear other peoples’ conversations; children playing outside; birds chirping or planes flying by. Whatever you hear just notice and label these 3 things.
  10. Concentrate on these sounds for a few moments…
  11. When you’re ready bring your awareness to 3 things you can smell. This may be the smell of your coffee; freshly cut grass; food cooking or a scented candle. Just notice these smells and label them. You may find it difficult to label some of the smells but just notice them for now.
  12. If you can’t find 3 smells, that’s okay. Try to focus on at least one for a few moments
  13. When you’re ready open your eyes and take a deep breath in and out

National Health Library & Knowledge Service. Health Service Executive. Dr. Steevens' Hospital, Dublin 8. Tel: 01-6352555/8. Email: hselibrary@hse.ie

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