By Anne Peters, LMFT
Today I am going to share with you my absolute favorite grounding technique. I’ve taught this to clients, family members, and have used it myself many times. This is a great technique when you feel overwhelmed or like your mind is racing. If you are someone who focuses on the past and gets stuck reliving a stressful situation over and over, this is for you. If you are someone who thinks to the future and you find yourself worrying about what’s to come, this is for you. If you are currently overwhelmed with all the stress and roles you are trying to juggle, this is for you.
This is a technique based in mindfulness and it’s been deemed effective by even the toughest critics (looking at my sister, Molly). Here’s how it works. You can engage in this strategy no matter where you are or who you’re with. We simply use our five senses. Slowly, and in the moment.
5 things you see
4 things you feel
3 things you hear
2 things you smell
1 thing you taste
That’s it! I’ll give you an example of what it would sound like when I would do this activity right now.
5 things you see – I see the clouds in the sky, my cup of coffee, my blanket, a globe, and a vase of flowers.
4 things you feel – I feel my soft blanket, my back against the chair, my feet against the floor, and my hands on the keyboard.
3 things you hear – I hear the TV, a neighbor mowing the lawn, and my cat purring.
2 things you smell – I smell fresh air and hot coffee.
1 thing you taste – I can taste my coffee.
I notice each time I practice 54321 how calm I feel. Another great thing about 54321 is how adaptable it is to children. What a great family activity to practice all together. We would love to hear from you if you find some calming relief, too!