Samantha Praus, MSE, LPCC
Coping with Anxiety: The 5-4-3-2-1 Grounding Technique
Here is a simple and quick technique that you can use to help ground yourself, slow down, or practice mindfulness. This exercise is commonly used to help alleviate or regulate emotional responses and it is a particularly helpful tool if you are experiencing heightened anxiety, stress or worry. This coping technique helps distract you from the anxious symptoms you are experiencing, allowing you to refocus on the present moment and feel a sense of calm or relief.
To practice the 5-4-3-2-1 Grounding Technique, do the following:
Start off by taking a few slow deep breaths. Then, using the current space around you, utilize your five senses to identify the following:
5 things you see (e.g.: tv, picture, lamp, tree, etc)
4 things you feel (e.g.: blanket, clothes, wind, etc)
3 things you hear (e.g.: clock ticking, sirens, cars, air conditioner, etc)
2 things you smell (e.g.: food, candle, dog’s breath, perfume, etc)
1 thing you taste (e.g.: lunch, candy, coffee, toothpaste, gum, etc)
When you have finished using your senses to identify your surroundings, take another deep breath and notice how your body feels. Hopefully you feel a bit more relaxed!
*Just a friendly reminder that coping techniques are most helpful when you are actively practicing them throughout the day.
As always, feel free to connect with any questions.