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5 Grounding Techniques to Help You Manage Daily Anxiety

5-4-3-2-1 Technique

What are 5 things that you can see? Look for small details such as patterns on the walls, ceilings, floors or other items around you. Maybe you notice how the light reflects off a surface, or an object that you may not have noticed before

What are 4 things you can feel? Notice the sensation of clothing against your body, the sun or wind on your skin, or even the feeling of your body against the chair you are sitting in. Pick up objects and examine how the weight feels, the texture of the object and any other physical qualities about that object.

What are 3 things you can hear? Pay close attention to the sounds that your mind may have tuned out, such as a ticking clock, distant traffic sounds, or even how the trees make noise as they blow in the wind.

What are 2 things you can smell? Try to notice smells in the air around you, like an air freshener or freshly mowed grass. You may also look around to find something that has a scent such as a flower or an unlit candle.

What is 1 thing you can taste? Carry gum, candy or small snacks for this step. Pop one in your mouth and focus your attention closely on the flavor and texture of the snack of choice.


Choose at least three topics from a pre-created list, such as the one below. Name as many items as you can in each category. Spend a few minutes on each category to come up with as many items as possible. For an added challenge, try naming items in a category alphabetically. For example, bear, cat, toad, zebra.




Fruits and Vegetables



Five Finger Touch

This technique walks you through the process of reducing anxiety while also taking you on a journey. First start off by finding a comfortable sitting space, if possible and take 3 deep breaths.

Touch the tip of your thumb with the index finger of your opposing hand and think of something you love to see. Slide your finger down your thumb and back up to the tip of your index finger and think of something you love to touch.

Slide your finger down and up to the tip of your middle finger and think of a sound that you love to hear.

Slide your finger down and up to the tip of your ring finger and think of something you love to smell.

Slide your finger down and up to the tip of your pinky finger and think of something you love to taste.

Finish by tracing over your hand again and say or think “I am calm, I am safe and I am present”.

Cold Water Hand Dunk

There are a few different ways for you to use this technique. You can run your hand under cold water feeling the sensation over your hands. You could also dunk your hands in a bowl of ice-cold water while noticing the sensations in your hands. Another option is to have a few sips of cold water while feeling the sensation of cold water in your mouth and notice the sensation as you swallow.

Muscle Relaxation Release

This exercise is a good one to utilize when needing to relieve stress when in public situations.

Close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing. Slowly breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.

Make a fist and squeeze your hand super tight. Hold this for a few seconds noticing the tension.

The slowly open your fingers and feel the difference, notice the tension leaving your hands.

Repeat 2-3 times and notice how you feel afterwards.


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