A Way to Calm Your Anxious Thoughts Today.
When anxious thoughts are running through our minds, it can be really difficult to gain control of them long enough for us to regain perspective over the situation. The 5,4,3,2,1 technique can help! This technique works by helping you to ground yourself in the current moment. This is helpful because often anxious thoughts are based on the past or the future. The 5,4,3,2,1 technique is more than counting down from 5. It involves you using your senses to bring yourself back to the present moment.
The 5,4,3,2,1 Technique..
Five – Look around you what can you see? Identify and name five things you can see around you at the present moment.
Four – Next identify four things you can hear. This could be the sound of the weather, a clock ticking etc. In the majority of situations there are at least four things we can hear if we listen closely.
Three – What three things can you feel? How does the floor feel underfoot? How does your clothing feel against your skin?
Two – Can you identify two things you can smell? This might not be easy depending on the environment you are in. Can you go outside and see what you can smell? Or go into the bathroom and smell some soap? Engaging your sense of smell is more important than what you are actually smelling.
One – What can you taste? Focus on what you the inside of your mouth tastes like. It could be what you last had to eat or drink or maybe chewing gum or toothpaste.
By focusing on using our senses we have to think about the here and now. This forces our anxious thoughts to slow down, allows to regain control and feel less overwhelmed by them. The 5,4,3,2,1 technique becomes more effective the more you practice it. It can be used and practised when you’re calm and then will be easier to use when you’re experiencing anxiety.