Counting Down to Calm

Updated: Apr 25, 2019

If you are feeling overwhelmed or experiencing a panic attack, no matter where you are this simple technique helps you get back in touch with your five senses, grounding you to gain control over feelings of anxiety.


The 54321 Technique

  • Take a deep breath in and out

  • Look around at your surroundings and identify 5 things that you can see and say them out loud

  • Then identify 4 things that you can feel and say them out loud - for example, you could say, 'I feel my feet warm in my socks' or 'I feel the chair I am sitting on'

  • Next, listen for 3 sounds. It could be the sound of birds outside, the sound of traffic or the sound of your tummy rumbling and say these three things out loud 'I can hear the birds outside', 'I can hear the traffic in the background', 'I can hear my tummy'

  • Then, identify 2 things you can smell - if you can't smell anything, it’s fine to move somewhere else if there are things to smell there. If you can’t move or smell anything at that moment, then name your 2 favourite smells, saying them out loud.

  • Lastly, name one thing you can taste. It may be the toothpaste from brushing your teeth, or what you taste just after your last meal. If you can’t taste anything, then say out loud your favourite thing to taste.

  • Lastly, take a deep breath in and out


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Copyright © Andrea Doran, Flourish and Contributors - Original Date of Publication June 2018 | For personal use and information only