Welcome to another weekly dose of mental sunshine.

Do you ever just stop and listen to the world around you?

I don’t mean eavesdropping on the conversations.

I mean stopping to listen to the sounds of the world.

In the middle of the city you might hear car engines, sirens etc – but you might also hear birdsong, perhaps even a dog barking.

In the countryside, there are numerous different noises you can hear.

It can be a kind of meditation to stop, close your eyes and listen to these sounds

To really pay attention and to differentiate one from the other.

Of course, these days many of us are too busy for such things.

We might wear headphones for our commute to work, or put the radio on in the car.

My challenge to you today is to leave your headphones (or your car radio) alone – and pay attention to the sounds of the world around you.

What sounds do you notice when you really listen?

How many different sounds can you hear?

Do you know which bird makes that sound?

Below the steady rumble of the traffic, what else can you hear?

So take 5

Close your eyes

Ignore your thoughts and listen to the outside world and see what you notice