Once you’ve watched the scene as many times as you would like to and have a feel for the different aspects of it, let’s try a sensory focus exercise.
As you watch, imagine you are walking around outside on the crisp, frosty grass in the cold. Are raindrops leaking down the collar of your jacket or dripping onto your hair? Can you feel the icy air chilling your hands? Is there a cold wind blowing? What sounds can you hear? Are you becoming colder the longer you walk in the frosty winter air? Can you hear the hum of the spa inside the steamy, glass enclosed room? Would you like to go in?
Let’s rewind and watch again.
Imagine you have just put down a soft white towel and are stepping into the hot spa tub. Can you step straight in or do you need to dip in gradually after coming in from the cold? How does it feel as the water and steam thaw your chilled bones? As you sink into the tub and sit down, close your eyes and feel the heat enclose you like a comforting hug. Rest your head back and feel the gentle massage of the bubbles as the jets pulse and circulate the hot water around your body. Open your eyes and look outside at the icy trees and frosty grass.
Take a minute to appreciate this moment.
Have you ever found yourself unable to shake your thoughts? Have you found yourself obsessing, even descending into panic about what has happened, or what might happen? It’s all you can think about – even when you consciously try to put it out of your mind, something will trigger it to pop right back in, immediately causing you great distress, panic, pain or overwhelming sadness. It feels like you have no control over these powerful emotions at times like this. Mindfulness is your greatest friend at these times.
Mindfulness – as we just practised with the focus exercise – will bring you back to your centre and right into the heart of the current moment. Mindfulness is all about focusing on the present moment; where you are, what you’re doing, what you can see, hear, feel, smell, touch. This particular focus technique can free you from overwhelm/obsession/panic as well as relieving that ever-present anxiety about what might happen in the future.
You can start practising this aspect of mindfulness as soon as you wake up in the morning and throughout the rest of your day.
GIVE IT A TRY
Focus on the warmth of the water as you step into your morning shower; inhale the cleansing steam and the fragrant smells of your soaps, gels and toiletries. At breakfast, take your time eating and savouring each bite, thinking about the texture, taste and temperature of the different components of your meal. And instead of hurrying along your way during the day, slow down to take in what is around you; perhaps the rolling hills, manicured lawns and garden flowers, building windows sparkling in the light or reflections in the rain, birds whirling in the sky, other people going about their day – what are their stories?
Make a conscious effort throughout your day to slow down, step away from your worries, tune into the present moment around you and engage your senses – especially when your thoughts feel dominating and out of control.