The 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 mindfulness technique can be used to reduce stress and anxiety by helping you to re-centre your mind by focusing your thoughts and quietening your mind.
- Name 5 different things that you can see around you – describe them in detail as though creating a mental image for a blind person. Think about colours, shapes, textures.
- Close your eyes and identify 4 different things that you can hear. As with above describe them in great detail – focus your mind to pick up on more subtle and quieter sounds.
- Interact with your environment in 3 different ways using physical touch. Use your fingers, hands, toes and feet. Your skin overall, your face. What can you feel, think about textures, temperatures, objects etc.
- What 2 things can you smell? The dinner in the oven? The handwash you used earlier? What do those smells make you think of? Do they take you back to a memory from the past?
- Taste one thing in your environment, but keep safe. Go for a food item or drink. Maybe try something new. What does it taste of, can you identify the different ingredients? Is it stimulating the sour parts of your tongue or sweet? Is it hot or cold, would it be nicer hotter or colder?
Well done, how did you do? Did you engage all 5 of your senses? Did you get the number of each sense? If not, that doesn’t matter, what matters is how you feel now.
Hopefully you will feel calmer and more centered. Engaging with your environment and your senses is a great way to increase you mindfulness and decrease stress levels.
Breathing and focusing on your breath is also a great way to calm and destress.
Empty your mind and focus on your breathing.
Breathe in through your nose for 5 seconds.
Breathe out through your mouth to empty your lungs.
Repeat this 5-10 times. If you have the time it would be great to do the breathing exercise before and/or after the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 exercise.