Of the 365 days in a year, it is always during one particular week that I am reminded to be extra appreciative – the week of Thanksgiving. From grabbing my morning cup of tea or picking up groceries at the end of the day, the simplicities that I typically take for granted stand out around this time. Like many others, my gratitude list consists of things like family, friends, food, shelter, and laughter. Today though, I want to spend a few moments cherishing something else – my sense of gratitude, which I realize is much stronger when I actually pay attention to my senses.
Our five senses are the easiest way to appreciate some of the basic pleasures in life, yet most of the time we are not even aware of them. Lately, I have made time in my sessions to point out the little things around us that might spark up our senses – I was happy to see that these conversations were a hit with the younger children I work with.
- See: How many combinations of colors do you see around you? Did the reflection of the sun create any fun shapes or different designs today?
- Smell: Can you guess the flavor of your juice before sipping it?
- Taste: What makes your favorite snack taste so good? Can you name the seasoning?
- Listen: See if you can appreciate live sounds around you, like laughter or birds.
- Touch: When is the last time a touch felt good? Was it in the sandbox or after a hug?
This week, (and ideally every week) challenge yourself to deliberately use as many of the five senses as you can. If you find yourself pleasantly surprised, please share your experience below!
Sadaf Siddiqi is a certified counselor with an interest in mental health research and its application to children and families. Please share your thoughts with her at firstname.lastname@example.org.