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  • rebeccachidley

Time to relax - 5, 4, 3, 2, 1


Grounding techniques can help us manage the symptoms of nerves and anxiety by turning attention away from thoughts, memories, or worries, and refocusing on the present moment. Grounding can also be used every day to help us regulate. One well known option to help us with this is the 5-4-3-2-1 Technique.

  • Using the 5-4-3-2-1 technique, you will purposefully take in the details of your surroundings using each of your senses.

  • Strive to notice small details that your mind would usually tune out, such as distant sounds, or the texture of an ordinary object.

  • 5-4-3-2-1 grounding is a great way to practice mindfulness as it is an exercise that can be done anywhere at any time and doesn’t require any equipment.


Imagine that each of us has an "stress bucket". Every day things happen that fill up our bucket, this could be stress of school work, fall outs with friends and anything else that takes us feel sad or worried. Eventually our bucket becomes so full that we just cant carry it around anymore and it starts to overflow.


When this happens we may start to feel really overwhelmed and like we cant cope. Practicing grounding or mindfulness each day puts a tap on this bucket and helps us empty it a little bit each time we practice. This makes it harder for our buckets to overflow and makes it harder for us to feel overwhelmed. Mindfulness is really useful for helping us to focus on the present moment.


5, 4, 3, 2, 1...


  • What are 5 things you can see? Look for small details such as a pattern on the ceiling, the way light reflects off a surface, or an object you never noticed.

  • What are 4 things you can feel? Notice the sensation of clothing on your body, the sun on your skin, or the feeling of the chair you are sitting in. Pick up an object and examine its weight, texture, and other physical qualities.

  • What are 3 things you can hear? Pay special attention to the sounds your mind has tuned out, such as a ticking clock, distant traffic, or trees blowing in the wind.

  • What are 2 things you can smell? Try to notice smells in the air around you, like an air freshener or freshly mowed grass. You may also look around for something that has a scent, such as a flower or an unlit candle.

  • What is 1 thing you can taste? Carry small snacks for this step. Pop one in your mouth and focus your attention closely on the flavours.

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