The holidays are almost upon us and with all of the good stuff comes some have-to’s which may cause us anxiety. Have to’s like seeing distant family who trigger us, or cooking for thirty impatient guests. Maybe you have some social anxiety and find yourself withdrawing when around people for way too long. Whatever is going on with you, here is a quick way to ground yourself. This is a tried and true practice (share with anxious kids too!).

The 54321 Coping Technique:

Firstly, locate your breath and notice it. Follow the breath in and out, in and out (set timer for 30 seconds and watch the clock as you simply breathe).

Then, notice 5 things you see around you. State (inside voice is fine too) each thing as you see it.
Acknowledge 4 things you can touch around you. List them as you touch them.
Witness yourself hearing 3 things (external only) and list them.
Focus on 2 things you can smell.
Taste 1 thing (already in your mouth…gum, coffee, etc.)

Try this deceivingly simple tool when anxious, stressed, or spiralling downward into your own private hell. No need for that. You can control the way you feel (to a certain degree) by grounding yourself to each specific moment.


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