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  • Kathy Shimpock

5-4-3-2-1 Game - How to Live Stress Free

Last month we explored mindfulness breathing. This month we take a sensory approach to awareness.

The 5-4-3-2-1 game brings you quickly back into the present moment by connecting with all your five senses.  Focusing on the sense of seeing, hearing, smelling, touching, and tasting can reduce stress, worry and anxiety.  This game soothes racing thoughts and emotions.  It brings your mind back to the present moment. 

Here’s how it’s done.   

  • Begin by naming five things you can SEE around you.  For example, a picture on the wall, stars in the sky, or your hand. 

  • Next name four things you can FEEL. For example, your fingernails, the floor beneath your feet, or the chair you sit on. 

  • Now name three things you can HEAR. For example: a dog barking in the distance, a clock ticking, or the sound of someone breathing. 

  • Next name two things you can SMELL.  For example, a candle, food cooking, or the smell of freshly mowed grass. 

  • Finally name one thing you can TASTE. For example, a lemon, chocolate, or mint. 

With some practice, you can move through each sense very quickly, finding yourself grounded in the present reality and able to face the situation before you. Practice 5-4-3-2-1 whenever you feel stressed or anxious.

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