5 easy steps to de-stress and ground yourself! 5個簡單的步驟，幫助你減低壓力！
Photo credit by Elīna Arāja
The phone rang, and I glanced at my phone quickly. It was my sister.
"Hello?" I answered.
"Hello?" I asked again nervously.
And then it came: sounds of her sobbing and hyperventiling traveled through the phone. She has been struggling with frequent anxiety, and this time, she was hit with a panic attack. I wasn't able to be with her physically, but what I could do was lead her through a coping exercise over the phone.
"Breathe, breathe, breathe... now, tell me 5 things you can see..."
This technique is the 5-4-3-2-1 coping technique.
Begin by taking long and deep breaths to calm down, you can put your hand on your chest to feel the rising and falling of your chest as you breathe in and out. Once you've done that, follow these steps to help yourself be more present, mindful, and grounded.
5: Name 5 things you can see. It could be the pen on your table, a spot on the wall, or anything in your surrounding.
4: Name 4 things you can touch. Maybe it's your hair, the fabric of the chair you're sitting on, or even the ground under your feet.
3: Name 3 things you can hear. This could be any external sounds. Like the sound of traffic, the humming noise of the refrigerator, or the grumbling of your stomach.
2: Name 2 things you can smell. It could be someone cooking in the kitchen, or the perfume/cologn you have on today. Or it could be an item that you can literally pick up and smell, like a pillow or a soap in the bathroom.
1: Name 1 thing you can taste. What does the inside of your mouth taste like? Coffee, mint, or your lunch from earlier? If there happens to be some food or candies near you, you can taste it slowly, and describe the texture and taste of the food to yourself.
This coping technique can help distract and remove you from your anxiety, nervousness, or panic attacks. It helps ground you in the moment as you focus on the here and now, and leaves no additional space in your mind to think about anything else other than the task (naming 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 things) at hand.
Everyone struggles with some level of anxiety, you're not alone! Next time, if you find yourself in an emotionally out-of-hand situation, try the 5-4-3-2-1 technique and experience the calm it brings.