Hyper Island

5-4-3-2-1 Grounding Technique

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They say “A Calm Mind is an Effective Mind” and with a calmer mind, you can better explore those challenges in life with calmness and centered awareness.

Constant change, learning new things, and uncertainty are a few of the situations that can cause even the calmest people to feel some stress.

This 5-step exercise can support people in stressful times by helping them to get grounded in the present moment when your focus is distracted by unhelpful thoughts.



Calm and ground participants in the present moment and support wellbeing. 



Step 1:

  1. 5-4-3-2-1 Grounding Exercise is a calming technique. It is a simple yet effective method for regaining control of your mind. It brings you back to the present and roots you or ground you into ‘now’ and away from the tough and stressful situations.
  2. This technique incorporates all 5 senses to help remind you of what your senses are telling you about the world around you at present.
  3. This is not a silver bullet quick fix, but it can help to train your mind to be more grounded and present. It can help interrupt unhealthy thought patterns.

Step 2:

Practicing 5-4-3-2-1 Grounding Technique
  1. To practice this technique, you basically have to do a roll call of everything that you’re seeing, touching, smelling, and hearing right at this moment. Engaging all your senses helps bring you back to the present moment and rule over your racing mind and anxiety.
  2. For practicing this technique, you don’t need to be at home. This 5-steps exercise requires around 60 seconds.
  3. For each step, it would be better to think and say aloud the sensations you’re observing.

Step 3:

  1. Take a deep belly breath to begin.
  2. 5 - SIGHT: Look around and recognize 5 things. Take your time to really look and acknowledge what you see and say them out loud.
  3. For example, you could say, I see the computer, I see the cup, I see the picture frame.

Step 4:

  1. 4 - FEEL:
  2. Pay attention and acknowledge 4 things that you can feel irrespective of the texture or looks of it, and say them out loud.
  3. For example, you could say, I feel the floor cool beneath my feet, I feel the hair on the back of my neck, or I feel the pillow I am sitting on and spend a moment literally touching these things.

Step 5:

  1. 3 - HEAR:
  2. Listen for 3 sounds around you that you can hear. It could be the sound of traffic outside, the sound of typing, people talking, walking, the phone ringing, birds chirping, raining, etc.
  3. Instead of listening to your own thoughts or sounds from your body like your stomach growling, focus on external voices, noise, or tunes that are audible to you. You can focus on more ambient sounds like- ticking of the clock, hum of the fan and many more.
  4. Name all the three and say aloud.

Step 6:

  1. 2 - SMELL:
  2. Say two things you can smell, like the smell of your pen, or hair, the smell of the plant.
  3. If at first, you don’t feel like you can smell anything, simply try to sense the subtle fragrance of the air around you, it’s okay to move to another spot and sniff something.
  4. If you can’t smell anything at the moment or you can’t move, then remind yourself about two of your favorite smells, think about them, and say their name aloud.

Step 7:

  1. 1 - TASTE:
  2. Say one thing you can taste. It is not necessary to have something to eat. It can be an aftertaste of mint, tea, coffee, sandwich, or anything else that you can sense.
  3. But, if you can’t taste anything, say your favorite things to taste, like your favorite food, desert, fruit, your favorite childhood candy - whatever it is.
  4. Take another deep belly breath to end and follow the 5-5-5 rule. Breathe in for 5 seconds, hold it for next 5 seconds, and finally breathe out for 5 seconds. Your breath can be a strong anchor to pull yourself back into the present moment.

Step 8:

Benefits of 5-4-3-2-1 Grounding Technique

This mindfulness method works by allowing you to be in the present. It helps you realize that you are more powerful and calmer in the current moment.
Many anxious and stressful moments can all be de-fused, slowed, and calmed this way.
A wandering mind can carry us away from being present, but reconnecting with the senses and breath can pull us back to the present moment again.


Hyper Island

Perspective, J Trauma Stress Disor Treat Vol: 9 Issue: 4

Journal of Traumatic Stress Disorders & Treatment is a peer-reviewed scholarly journal that aims to publish the most complete and reliable source of information on the discoveries and current developments in this field.

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