Noticing Practices

Four Scents Team

Becoming Present In The Moment

Becoming present and paying attention right where we are can take a few different approaches…

Using the Senses

This is particularly helpful when experiencing panic or overwhelm to bring you back into the present.
     Reaching out to touch fern plants
  1. If you can, go outside and move – this helps to release pent-up adrenaline. If not, a splash of cold water on the face or opening the window for fresh air can bring you back into the present.
  2. Count 5 things you see.
  3. Count 4 things you’re touching (e.g., clothes, ground, arms, bench).
  4. Count 3 things you can hear.
  5. Count 2 things you can smell.
  6. Count 1 thing you can taste.
  7. Ground your feet and push into a wall with both hands.


Noticing Surroundings

Being on the go, trying to get from A to B as quickly as possible, it seems alien to stop and observe our surroundings. This exercise switches up the mundane into an intentional practice. Leaving your phone behind optimises the experience.


Man looking at trees and river
  1. Pick a slow, meditative pace. It acts out the calm place your mind wants to be and breaks rumination.
  2. Look through a child’s perspective. Now that you’re closer to the ground, what things do you notice? Is it tiny flowers or a snail ambling along that you would have otherwise passed by?
  3. Go without a destination – be led by a bird, a river or greenery among buildings.
  4. Engage the senses; smell things or pick them up, take note of sounds.
  5. When you find your mind drifting, tune into the rhythm of your steps.
  6. Observe your thoughts and feelings and let them go.


Inner Weather Systems

A great way to approach how you think. By picturing your thoughts as weather patterns is a creative and intentional practice to develop self-awareness. This then gives you the power of choice, to acknowledge where you are and think about where you want to be.
      Illustration of head with sunshine, one with clouds, one with rainbow and one with rain
  1. Pick a week to keep a “weather diary”. Document moods a few times a day.
  2. Go beyond “happy” or “sad”. Think about weather – it’s not usually that straightforward!
  3. This can be drawn or written, whatever works best for you. Note the nuances in your emotions, as you would in the weather outside.
  4. This could help you to observe and track your own “forecast”.
  5. What weather patterns pass?
  6. Which ones don’t – is this a call for help?


References: Grounded by Ruth Allen, The Anatomy of Anxiety by Dr. Ellen Vora, Soulfulness by Brian Draper




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