5-4-3-2-1De-Stress and Ground Yourself

woman anxious with no support
Thank you, Priscilla du Preez and Unsplash for allowing me to use your photo.

“5-4-3-2-1  De-Stress qnd Ground Yourself” by Joan Y. Edwards

It seems there are many things that take your personal peace away from you. There are many situations in our world that make you anxious. To break out of the cycle of anxiety, you may have to confront your fears. Doing that may be very stressful. So full of stress that you don’t even want to think about the problems you are facing. But you think about them. You worry about them. They don’t go away.

I searched online last month during one of those moments when I got stressed out to the maximum…little things, big things, unusual things, weird things, sad things. I found this technique: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Calming Technique. It worked for me. Then when I was doing it, I got confused about how many to find for each sense. So I started naming 5 for each one. In that case, it would be called: 5, 5, 5, 5, 5!

Perhaps it will work for you. There are several videos and explanations. Dr. Elisha Goldstein said, “”Shift your focus…where your focus goes that’s where your energy flows and your brain grows.” Here’s a link to his video which I think explains the technique best: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1CBHilnPYGI/ I hope it helps you. Shifting your focus is what helps lessen your stress.

Use eyes to see 5 things around you.
Use eyes to see 5 things around you.


Name 5 things you can see. You can also note the color, shape, or size.

one hand
Hand. Use your hand to touch and name four things you can feel.

Name 4 things that you can feel. Touch 4 things. Note the texture or  temperature:  The texture of your sweater. The smoothness of your skin.  The coldness of ice.  Sharpness of the wind in your face.

two ears, side by side
Use your ears. Listen and name 3 sounds.

Name 3 things you can hear:

(high pitch, low pitch, soft, loud) birds chirping, people talking, noises, chatter, hum, banging, music, harsh grating sounds. Dishwasher singing. Dog barking.

Nose is used to smell.
Use your nose. Name 2 things you can smell.

Name 2 things you can smell. Perfume, flowers, food cooking.

Mouth to taste
Use mouth to taste.

1 thing that you can taste.

I hope this method helps you be calmer.

Naming 10 things you are thankful to God and others also lessens stress and anxiety.  In his book “What Happy People Know,” Dan Baker argues that you can’t be in a state of appreciation and fear, or anxiety, at the same time. The amygdala, the fear center of the brain isn’t able to work as well during times when we are actively appreciating things, people, and situations. A spirit of thankfulness keeps anxiety downsized.  It at least changes your focus. You change your focus. You change your emotions. If you are negative minded and your start thinking about all the things you are thankful for. For those brief moments, you have changed your focus on the positive. It makes way for more good thoughts. These good thoughts times may bring about solutions to keep the bad thoughts and situations from increasing and may help some of them disappear. Or at least help you manage them so you are not so overwhelmed by them..

Here is a link to a video from Therapist Aid called “Deep Breathing Exercises:” https://www.therapistaid.com/therapy-video/deep-breathing-exercise.  These deep-breathing techniques may also help you de-stress. Taking deep breaths and exhaling slowly helps you center your mind and calm your emotions.

1. Dr. Elisha Goldstein: “5-4-3-2-1 Grounding Technique https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1CBHilnPYGI
2. Boys and Girls Club Denver. “5-4-3-2-1 Grounding Technique PDF:” https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&q=5-4-3-2-1+grounding+technique+pdf 
3. Therapist Aid.com. “Deep Breathing Exercise (video) https://www.therapistaid.com/therapy-video/deep-breathing-exercise.
4. Therapist Aid.com/ “Cycle of Anxiety” (video): https://www.therapistaid.com/therapy-video/cycle-of-anxiety-video

Please leave a comment. Share what works to help calm your nerves and your mind. I love hearing from you.

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Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards, Author
Copyright © 2009-2024 Joan Y. Edwards

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6 thoughts on “5-4-3-2-1De-Stress and Ground Yourself”

  1. Thanks for sharing this, Joan. I’m glad you found something that de-tressed you. We should add–find 10 things to pray for/give thanks for!Hugs, Carol

    1. Dear Carol,
      Thanks for being happy I found a way to help me de-stress. You are right. Asking God for 10 things or being thankful to God for ten things is a good plan.

      Enjoy your day being your sweet self.

      Never Give Up

  2. Thank you,Joan. I have done a similar thing when driving to work, but I focused on things I saw that I was thankful for. My children were small and I was transporting them to daycare when I did this. They were a little fussy so I suggested we take turns naming something we were thankful for. After several rounds of taking turns, I realized I hadn’t even thanked God for the beautiful blue sky, and I was staring right at it as I was driving. Definitely eye-opening for me. I like the suggestion of the numbers and including our different senses. Another memory that came to mine was stopping to smell some hyacinths blooming in a small patch of dirt in the sidewalk when I was headed to go inside to the hospital to visit my terminally ill spouse. Sometimes we need to stop and smell the “roses.” I enjoyed this post very much. Thank you.

    1. Dear Linda,
      Thank you for writing. Thank you so much for sharing the being thankful ideas that worked to help you and your children to de-stress. It is a good feeling. It helps you release tension when you focus on other things.

      May you always find a way to lessen the tension in your life. I know that God will continue to show you the way.

      Never Give Up

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