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Slow down and be mindful.

One-day last week, I rushed to get in a workout, eat breakfast and clean up before meeting with clients. I recall becoming frustrated that I did not allow myself more time to accomplish these tasks. On this day when I was rushing and becoming frustrated, I took some time to practice mindfulness. I asked myself to slow down and become aware of my five senses.

Here’s what I experienced as I became present and aware of my five senses:

See: I saw my calm, peaceful office.

Taste: I tasted my morning coffee.

Smell: I smelled my coffee.

Touch: I touched my chair and was reminded of the present moment.

Hear: I heard the white noise (waves setting) in my office.

To be mindful is to be present. Mindfulness has been defined as a moment-to-moment awareness of one's experience without judgment. This means being present in the moment, with a feeling of acceptance. An easy way to accomplish this is to be aware of your five senses. Find one to two things in the present moment that you see, taste, smell, touch and hear. Increasing one's awareness can result in reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression, improved concentration, and much more. Like any skill, becoming more mindful takes practice; therefore, I encourage the use of mindfulness of your five senses daily. Tell us below how this skill has improved your mental health and increased your awareness.

Tracy Cooper is a licensed professional counselor and the co-owner of Fit Therapy of Texas, where she helps couples and individuals to reach their goals. She knows that mindfulness is helpful in improving awareness and a positive coping skill to reduce depression and anxiety. If you would like to schedule a consultation, give her a call at 210.495.3131 or email at

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