How to Use the 5-4-3-2-1 Grounding Technique for Relieving Anxiety Attacks

An anxiety or a panic attack is undeniably one of the most uncomfortable feelings known to man. When it strikes, it seems like that everything that could go wrong with your body is going wrong — you cannot breathe, your chest feels tight, it seems like your heart is about to explode, your legs feel like they’re out of gelatin.

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One of the things that you may do during an anxiety or a panic attack is what’s called the 5-4-3-2-1 grounding technique, which is something that is designed to help keep you in the present and save you from overthinking about the immediate future. So in other words, it helps take your focus away from an overwhelming and often paralyzing state.

If you like to know how you can utilize the 5-4-3-2-1 grounding technique, don’t stop reading now.

Got family members and friends who also frequently suffer from anxiety or panic attacks? Don’t forget to share this article on your various social media sites to get them introduced to the 5-4-3-2-1 grounding technique as well.

On a regular basis, so many of us experience anxiety. Having anxiety is a normal thing — it’s the body’s way of saying that we are in danger, and also to assist us in getting out of that unsafe situation. However, there are instances wherein anxiety strikes even when there is no apparent danger, but the body is so sure that there is one.

This is when an anxiety attack becomes more of a disadvantage rather than an advantage. We experience all sorts of signs and symptoms that are unnecessary, such as a fast heart rate, tight muscles, cold and sweaty skin, heightened senses, narrowed vision, and a few others.

When an anxiety attack spirals out of control further, it can lead to a panic attack where every sensation felt is multiplied by several times — it feels like your life is about to come to an end.

There are many different things that one may do during an anxiety or a panic attack that can effectively divert the mind’s attention away from all the weird and uncomfortable signs and symptoms. Some of them work very well, while others may fail to deliver. Oftentimes, it’s just a matter of finding the most effective one for you.

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One of the coping mechanisms that you may try is the so-called 5-4-3-2-1 grounding technique. What’s so nice about it is it’s something that you may carry out at any given time or place — anxiety and panic attacks make their presence known whenever and wherever they want, so you may count on the 5-4-3-2-1 grounding technique each time.

Here are the simple steps to do:

Take a look at 5 things that you can see around

I can see a round wall clock, I can see a flickering fluorescent bulb, I can see an officemate wearing a blue blazer, I can see a wire trashcan with lots of crumpled paper in it, I can see a coffee ring stain on my desk.

Look for 4 things that you can touch with your hand

I can feel the smooth display panel of my cell phone, I can feel the leathery texture of my office chair, I can feel the smoothness of my bangle, I can feel the notched scroll wheel of my computer mouse.

Pay attention to 3 things that you can hear

I can hear the buzzing of the copy machine, I can hear the phone ringing, I can hear a dog barking in the distance.

Identify 2 things that you can smell

I can smell the vanilla-scented candle on my desk, I can smell the bubblegum scent of my favorite hand sanitizer.

Acknowledge 1 thing that you can taste

I can taste the bitterness of my black coffee.

Keep on doing the 5-4-3-2-1 grounding technique until you feel more relaxed. Come back to this page and share in the comments section below your experience with it.

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