5-4-3-2-1 Grounding Exercise

Have you ever heard that expression “you can’t see the forest for the trees?” It’s natural to sometimes feel overwhelmed, or to have trouble seeing the bigger picture of where you’re at in life when you’re focusing on the details of a problem, or problems you’re experiencing. It’s tough to take control of a situation, relationship or challenge and find your way to a resolution, when your mind is overrun with details, memories and things to feel anxious about.

Next time you feel like this, we’d like you to try the ‘5-4-3-2-1’ Grounding Exercise:

This technique can help you draw your focus away from individual details, relax, and re-focus your attention on the present.

How to:
1. Describe 5 things you see in the room. Say them outloud, or write them down.
2. Name 4 things you can feel (such as “my shoes on my feet” or “my hands on my desk”)
3. Name 3 things you can currently hear (“birds outside” or “keyboard keys clicking”)
4. Name 2 things you can smell right now (or 2 smells that you enjoy, or have positive associations with)
5. Name 1 good thing about yourself

Repeat these steps if needed. You might find the 5-4-3-2-1 exercise is helpful in falling asleep, when dealing with cravings or for relaxing at the end of the work day.

Enquire Now

We welcome self referrals to our service, in addition to referrals from medical practitioners and other professionals.

To refer clients to Westlund Counselling, or to the AIDS Action Council Client Services team, simply submit your information and a member of our team will be in touch.

Client confidentiality is of utmost important to us. You do not need to provide your full name upon referral, just a valid phone or email for us to contact you on.

If you are a medical practitioner wishing to refer a patient or client please use our Referral Form.