When anxiety threatens our peace of mind, it can be difficult to stay in the moment. But one mindfulness tool has the ability to pull our brains free from anxiety by grounding us back in the present.
The “5-4-3-2-1” tool is a simple yet highly effective method for regaining control of your mind when anxiety threatens to take over – and it consists of a little more than just counting backwards from five.
Rather, the tool helps bring us back to the present by relying on our five senses – sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste.
The first step encourages those suffering in a moment of anxiety to look around at their surroundings and identify five things that they can see at the moment.
Next, identify four things you can hear, three things you can feel – which can be anything from your feet in your shoes to the sun on your face, then two things you can smell.
And lastly, one thing that you can taste – which can even be your tongue as long as you can taste it.
The steps can be done quickly – and the effectiveness of the tool has been widely backed by many psychologists
The trick, which relies on sensory awareness, brings your attention to your senses grounded in the present and counting the items interrupts the spinning of your thoughts. Apart from anxiety, it can also help treat depression and relieve stress.
So the next time you are feeling anxious, focus on what you can see, feel, and touch – and ignore the insecurities that exist inside your head.