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54321 Grounding: Manage Anxiety And Panic Attacks Quickly

Ready to take control over sudden anxiety and panic attacks in simple five steps?

The 54321 grounding exercise is your savior!

When you realize that anxiety is actually your mind anticipating the worst possible scenarios with any situation governed by a self-deprecating mindset with low self-esteem, one thing becomes very clear.

You need to bring your anxious self back to the present reality. 

And what is one practice that exclusively teaches you to focus on the present moment?

It’s mindfulness. It makes perfect sense.


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Grounding is an excellent mindfulness technique during anxious situations and can be practiced just about anywhere. Grounding helps us to center ourselves to the present moment, by activating our mindful mode and creates a space for us to look at the situation objectively, for what it actually is. 

Practicing grounding when you are in the middle of an anxiety attack can help you return to your senses and take whatever action is necessary. That’s why it can also be a great life skill to have during emergencies.

Equip yourself with this simple step-by-step guide to practicing the 54321 grounding exercise for anxiety and panic attacks.

What is the 54321 Grounding exercise?

Our body always stays in the present. Otherwise we’d have had a hard time breathing constantly.

Only when you become mindful of your breath, you get to experience what the body is doing at the present moment.

Similar to the breath, our five senses: touch, sight, hear, taste, and smell are helping us stay aware of what’s there in the present moment.

The 54321 grounding exercise uses our five senses to ground our consciousness to the present moment.

This five-step technique will anchor you to the present reality when your head is bouncing with all the anxious thoughts.  

Becoming mindful of what you observe in your surroundings through our five senses can help you handle any anxious situation effectively.

Before you BEGIN the 54321 Grounding exercise

It’s important to take a few moments to first calm down your body. A calmer body will help you engage in the grounding exercise effectively.

  • Close your eyes and start inhaling a long breath slowly by expanding the belly
  • Hold the breath for 4 seconds
  • Finally, release the breath slowly for 6 seconds or more
  • Repeat until you feel a calmness in your body

When you calm down the body, you prepare the mind to engage in the grounding exercise effectively.

Practice the 54321 Grounding exercise

Once you regain control of your breath, follow these five steps to ground yourself out of anxiety:

5: What are the FIVE things you can see?

Wherever you are, start scanning your surroundings and look for any five things that catch your attention.

Once you identify them, say aloud to yourself: 

I see a photograph hanging on the wall
I see a pen on the desk
I see a man stopping the cab

Once you identify the five things you can see, focus on its visual elements like the colors, shape, size, etc.

4: What are the FOUR things you can touch?

Look around for any four surfaces that you can touch with your fingers and feel them. Walk around the room, if necessary, and start grazing your fingers on any object you can find.

Touching with your fingers is important because the skin on our fingers have an enhanced ability to make us feel and interpret the physical nature of the surface, like its texture, smoothness, etc.

Once you identify the four things you can touch, say to yourself as you feel its surface:

I can feel the surface of the desk
I can feel the surface of the pillow cover
I can feel the surface of the wall in the room

As you touch the surfaces of the four objects, become aware of how they make you feel and try to focus on the physical nature of the surfaces, like the texture, roughness, etc.

3: What are the THREE things you can hear?

Pay close attention to your surroundings. Try to identify any sound you can hear. It can be the noise of distant traffic or the sound of your rumbling stomach. Identify any three sounds you can hear and say it out loud to yourself:

I can hear distant traffic noises
I can hear the chirping of birds
I can hear the honking of a car

Once you notice the three sounds, try to identify what those sounds are and where they might be coming from if it’s difficult to understand.
What’s important is to pay attention to what you hear without any judgment.

2: What are the TWO things you can smell?

Close your eyes and take a sniff of the air around you. Try to identify any particular smell in that air. It can be the scent of a perfume or the smell of paper if you’re in the office. If you don’t smell anything, in particular, you can simply try to remember two of your favorites scents. 

Once you identify two specific smells, say out loud to yourself:

I can smell the scent of a perfume
I can smell fresh cookies in the oven
or,
I love the smell of chocolate
I love the smell of my favorite soap

Again the important thing to remember here is to become aware of the smell without any judgment.

1: What is the ONE thing you can taste?

Become aware of any leftover tastes inside your mouth. It may be something you had at breakfast like orange juice or even your toothpaste from when you brushed your teeth.

This can be tricky and maybe a little gross as well. If you have something like a piece of gum, pop it in and focus on its taste.

If you can’t identify any one taste, in particular, try to remember your favorite taste.

Once you have identified the one thing you can taste, say aloud to yourself:

I can taste the orange juice inside my mouth
I can taste coffee inside my mouth
Or,
I love the taste of fresh juicy strawberries

Become aware of the taste and try to remember where it came from inside your mouth.

Complete the exercise by taking a deep breath into the belly and relax.

Extra Step: How do you feel after the Grounding exercise?

After you complete the exercise, pay attention to how you feel right now.
If possible, try to identify and say out loud to yourself the way you feel like this:

I feel calm and relaxed right now
I feel steady and confident right now

Acknowledging that 54321 grounding exercise has relieved you of anxious feelings can give a massive boost to your confidence. 

Acknowledge the shift in your mindset after the exercise and take control of the situation.

54321 Grounding Exercise Infographic

The 54321 grounding technique is one of many different techniques to help you ground yourself to the present moment and relieve anxiety.

Cultivating mindfulness is the key to reducing anxiety in your life.
Hope the 54321 grounding exercise helps you next time you get tangled up in anxious thoughts.


Pin For Reading Later

Practice 5-4-3-2-1 Grounding Exercise To Relieve Anxiety And Panic Attacks Quickly

FAQs

  1. What is the 54321 method?

    The 5-4-3-2-1 technique uses our five senses to ground our consciousness to the present moment.
    This five-step technique will anchor you to the present reality when your head is bouncing with all the anxious thoughts.  
    Becoming mindful of what you observe in your surroundings through our five senses can help you regain control to handle the situation effectively.

  2. How do you ground yourself with 5 things?

    Once you regain control of your breath, follow these five steps to ground yourself out of anxiety:
    5: What are the FIVE things you can see?
    4: What are the FOUR things you can touch?
    3: What are the THREE things you can hear?
    2: What are the TWO things you can smell?
    1: What is the ONE thing I can taste?

  3. Does grounding help anxiety?

    Practicing grounding when you are in the middle of an anxiety attack can help you return to your senses and take whatever action is necessary.

1 thought on “54321 Grounding: Manage Anxiety And Panic Attacks Quickly”

  1. Grounding is an effective way to calm anxiety during a panic attack. In this process, you identify objects around you to help your brain recognize where you are. This creates a sense of comfort because you know where you are and you feel more in control of the situation. Combine this with

    Reply

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