Updated: Dec 22, 2021
Both children and adults can practise using this "5-4-3-2-1 Grounding Technique" when they start feeling anxious or find themselves carried away in their thoughts and need to be brought back to to the present moment.
If you can, find a place to sit quietly first. Then start by taking some deep breaths in and out. Using our 5 senses, name out 5 things you see, 4 things you touch, 3 sounds you hear, 2 things you smell, and 1 thing you taste.
For instance, where I am right now,
5 - SEE: I see my laptop, my mobile phone, a clock on the wall, a banana, a tissue box
4 - TOUCH/FEEL: I touch my keyboard as I type, I feel the cool floor beneath my feet, I feel my fingers as I stretch out my arms, I feel the wind blowing on my skin
3 - HEAR/SOUND: I hear the soft whirling of the ceiling fan, tingling of wind chimes, sounds from passing traffic
2 - SMELL: I can smell my cup of coffee, I can smell the scent of my laundry detergent from my blouse
(If you can’t smell anything at the moment, then name your 2 of your favorite smells).
1 - TASTE: I can taste the almonds that I just ate.
(If you can’t taste anything, then name your favorite thing to taste).
If you are facing anxiety and stress but don't understand the above, or this grounding technique does not work for you, that's okay... "Being grounded or staying in the present moment" can be a new or different concept to many people.
For some of my clients, "being grounded" for them meant keeping themselves meaningfully busy to prevent anxiety and/or depression, and that works for them.
Ultimately, when it comes to dealing with mental health challenges, what is important is finding a healthy coping strategy that suits you.
If you would like to seek mental health support for your stress and anxiety/depression that includes learning healthy coping skills, schedule a free initial consultation with me today!
Disclaimer: The information in this article does not constitute therapy or medical advice. If you are facing overwhelming thoughts of self-harm, suicide, or harm to others, please seek immediate medical attention.
About the Author
Hi, I'm Janet Gay and I offer individual mental health counselling and coaching services to students, adults and mothers. As a certified counsellor, teacher and mother of three, I can relate to the desires, pressures and issues of many people living in multi-cultural Singapore.
I have worked with clients looking for help in self-development, stress, self-esteem, anxiety, depression and relationship issues.
If you wish to talk to someone without feeling judged, gain a deeper understanding of yourself and your issues, overcome your challenges and live a more enjoyable and meaningful life, get in touch with me today.