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The 5-4-3-2-1 coping technique for anxiety

The 5-4-3-2-1 coping technique is a popular mindfulness exercise that can be used to manage anxiety and reduce stress levels. Here's how it works:

  1. Start by finding a quiet, comfortable place to sit or lie down. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths, inhaling deeply through your nose and exhaling slowly through your mouth.

  2. Once you're feeling more relaxed, start to focus on your senses. Identify 5 things you can see around you. Take note of their colors, shapes, and textures.

  3. Next, identify 4 things you can feel. This could be the texture of your clothes, the feeling of your feet on the ground, or the warmth of the sun on your skin.

  4. Then, identify 3 things you can hear. Focus on sounds in your immediate environment, such as the sound of a bird chirping, the hum of a refrigerator, or the sound of traffic outside.

  5. Identify 2 things you can smell. Take note of any aromas in your surroundings, such as the scent of flowers or freshly baked bread.

  6. Finally, identify 1 thing you can taste. This could be a flavor in your mouth, such as a piece of gum or a sip of water.

By the time you've gone through each of these steps, you should feel more present and focused in the present moment. This technique can help to interrupt anxious or racing thoughts, and help to ground you in the present moment.


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