Grounding Activity for Anxiety


Often when we are experiencing anxiety, we can begin to notice our anxiety in our racing thoughts, discomfort in the body, and/or in non-typical behaviors (pacing, interrupted sleep, etc.).

One way to decrease anxiety is to bring your mind and body back into alignment and awareness by doing a grounding activity through connecting with our senses. This anxiety practice is often called the "5-4-3-2-1" practice.

Consider practicing connecting with your senses with the following prompts. Practice the exercise in times of lower anxiety to feel better prepared to use in times of higher anxiety.

Notice and name FIVE things you see around you. Notice and name FOUR things you can touch around you. Notice and name THREE things you hear. Notice and name TWO things you can smell. Notice and name ONE thing you can taste.

This grounding activity can be taken with you wherever you are, in the middle of a school exam, laying in bed, sitting on the couch, or while a child is in a tantrum. It's simple, it's free, and you can take it anywhere - that is my kind of anxiety busting activity!

So 5-4-3-2-1 go and practice this anxiety practice so it is there for you in a time of need.

Sara Hughes-Zabawa, LCSW

Sara works from a holistic approach, focusing on issues such as depression, anxiety, grief, chronic pain, disordered eating, faith transitions, stress management and serving the LGBTQ+ community. She offers coaching/consultation and therapy services to individuals, couples and families.

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