How to deal with a pain or anxiety flare-up using the 5-4-3-2-1 Grounding Technique.Jan 12, 2023
Add this article to your bookmarks for when you have a pain or anxiety flare-up.
This 5-4-3-2-1 Grounding Technique is designed to ease your state of mind so that you can get through challenging moments. The goal is to use your five senses to focus on the moment and avoid multiple anxious thoughts.
Before you begin and throughout, it’s important to take long deep breaths.
#5 I See. Look at 5 things you can see and say them out loud or to yourself. It doesn’t matter what the items are - the idea is to focus on the visual details.
#4 I Touch. Name 4 things you can touch and notice the textures and temperatures of the items. Describe how they feel with your fingers.
#3 I Hear. Name 3 things you can hear. You can include your own body - your breath, your heartbeat, the fridge's hum, the drone of cars, and the birds in the trees.
#2 I Smell. Name 2 things you can smell. Purposefully smell something you like - open a packet of coffee beans or ground coffee, a spice in your kitchen, lavender oil or your favourite perfume.
#1 I Taste. Name 1 thing you can taste. If you don’t have food or drink to hand, can you sense a flavour in your mouth? You can also say out loud what you enjoy tasting. Some people find it helpful to carry fresh limes with them.
You may need to practice this sequence several times - that is OK.
TIP: Practice the 5-4-3-2-1 Grounding Technique when you are not in flare mode - it will therefore come more naturally to you when you are in need.
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