Whether you are having a panic attack, experiencing a high level of anxiety or are struggling to fall asleep, finding a way to ease the mind and return to a place of calmness and clarity can be extremely difficult to achieve. That’s why mindfulness techniques are so important, because they can help you achieve just that - no matter your current mental state.
The 5,4,3,2,1 technique is a simple, yet powerful grounding technique, bringing quick relief by forcing you to mindful of the environment around you. Just like with any mindfulness technique, begin by concentrating on your breath. Notice every inhale and exhale. Focus on trying to take deep belly breaths, with long inhales and forceful exhales.
Now, identify five things that you see. This does not have to be large objects. The smaller and more specific you can be the better.
Found them? Great!
Now identify four things that you can touch. Once again, be as detailed as you can. Identify the texture of this object, the temperature, whether it’s wet or dry.
Starting to feel slightly more grounded? Let’s keep going!
Now, we would like you to identify three things that you can hear. This can be external sounds like birds chirping or cars driving by. Or, this can be internal sounds, like your stomach rumbling or the sound of your breath.
Time to identify two things that you can smell. Don’t be afraid to get up and find something around you. Flowers perhaps, or maybe your favourite essential oil?
Alright, last one.
Identify one thing you can taste. What was the last thing you ate or drank? Can you taste it?
Now we encourage you to repeat this exercise as many times are required for you to return to a state of calmness. We recommend a minimum of 3 repetitions. Don’t be afraid to adjust the exercise as needed. For example, if you are struggling to sleep and don’t want to turn on the lights, simply identify more things from the other senses.