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Exercise: Mindfulness Practice for Stress

Updated: Oct 24, 2019

5-4-3-2-1 Grounding Exercise

5-4-3-2-1 Grounding Exercise

Grounding is a technique that helps us reorient to the present moment. It’s a useful technique if you ever feel overwhelmed, anxious, or disconnected from your body or environment. The “54321” exercise is a common sensory awareness tool that many find helpful to relax or get through difficult moments.


  • Notice 5 things you can see in the room.

  • Notice 4 things you can feel (“my feet on the floor” or “the air in the room on my skin.”)

  • Notice 3 things you can hear right now (“traffic outside” or “voices/conversation in the room.”)

  • Notice 2 things you can smell right now (even if it’s very subtle).

  • Notice 1 thing you can taste. (notice the taste in your mouth or notice the taste of a sip of water).

You should feel calmer and more at ease by the end of the exercise. Repeat the 5 steps more than once if needed.

Try out the technique in different situations. You may find it works well for anxiety, cravings, to focus your attention or for general relaxation.

Jennifer Frye

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