Known as the "5-4-3-2-1 technique," this mindfulness practice helps to control anxiety through the five senses. The goal is to break free from negative thinking and focus on the present moment.
• First, find five things in your environment that you can see. You might rest your eyes on the lamp in the corner, your own hands, a painting on the wall. Take a moment to really look at all these things; their tex-tures, colors, shapes. Take your time to run your eyes over every inch and take it all in.
• Next, try to find four things in your environment that you can feel or touch. Feel the weight of your body against the chair, or the texture of the jacket you're wearing, or reach out to feel how cool and smooth the glass of the car window feels against your fingers.
• Next, find three things that you can hear. Your own breath. The distant sound of traffic or birds.
• Next, find two things you can smell. This might be tricky at first, but notice that everything has a smell, if you pay attention. Can you smell the soap on your skin, or the faint earthy smell of the paper on your desk?
• Finally, find one thing that you can taste. Maybe the lingering flavor of coffee on your tongue. Even if you can't find any-thing, just dwell for a moment on what your taste buds are sensing. Are they really "off" or does your mouth almost have a taste of its own, when you stop to become aware of it? Stay there for a moment and explore that sensation.
As you can see, it is a simple technique that we can do very quickly. Let's remember that these are not exercises to get rid of anxiety, but rather to make the difficult moment more manageable.
The next time you experience anxiety, focus on seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling, and tasting, allowing your senses to take over and releasing thought patterns that don't help us at all.
one day at a time.
#MentalHealth #Anxiety #GeneralizedAnxietyDisorder #mindfullness