Our real-life stressful situations pose a devastating effect on our physical and mental health. Anxiety is something that all of us have experienced at some point in our lives. Feeling stressed out, worry and fear can affect your daily routine significantly. 54321 technique is a useful tool to restore peace within you.
This is a sensory awareness method that helps to relax and you can easily move through difficult situations. It connects you to your present moments and reduces your anxious responses.
What Is A 54321 Technique?
54321 techniques are mindfulness practice that helps reduce your disturbing thoughts and irrelevant worries. It helps to slow down and break your anxious thought chain.
54321 techniques is a five-step exercise model that aims to calm down your overwhelmed mind to be present at the moment. It stops your racing thoughts and helps to restore your wandering mind in one place. When your mind bounces around in various anxious thoughts, you are unable to focus on your moments.
You keep on moving from one line of thought to another resulting in a vicious cycle of fear, panic, and unprecedented worries. This method uses your sense organs to resolve your anxious responses.
What Is The Purpose of 54321 Techniques?
Any anxious moment can rob you of your present peace of mind. It has been found that a stressful life situation makes us vulnerable to feel helpless and restless. The 54321 technique is an effective method that helps to regain control over your racing and troubling thoughts. The main purpose of this technique is as follows.
- It has the potential to focus your mind on activities, other than the anxious thoughts bothering you.
- You can get distracted from your flashback worries and engage in meaningful resolution of your problems.
- The process involves you in tasks and makes you grounded in your present moment. You can “be present” and enjoy your moments fully.
- It enables you to concentrate on what is happening around you physically, maybe in your body or in your immediate surroundings.
- 54321 techniques remove your trapped thoughts that can make you feel anxious and perturbed.
- This powerful tool teaches you to be attentive in your surroundings.
- You can learn ways on how to stay calm in times of crisis.
- This method aims to teach you ways to deal with mental restlessness and instant responses.
- This practice helps to reconnect and realign your energies with nature. It makes sound emotions and clear thoughts.
- The goal is to detach and heal your emotional pain. You gain control over your thoughts.
- It involves focusing on your physical sensations and blocking your racing thoughts to get inside the realm of consciousness.
- It handles those flashback thoughts that cause overwhelmed emotional responses.
- This therapeutic method aims to handle dissociation from nature and keeps you focused on your moments.
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is your natural response to life stress. It is a continuous feeling of some irrational fear and apprehension about what bad things will happen to you. Anxiety is marked by tension, excessive nervousness, worry, and a variety of physical symptoms that are unsettling and can seriously affect your day to day living.
You always have a sense of impending danger, which is irrational. For some people, regular life events such as public speaking, going in for a job interview, shifting to a new city may cause fearful responses and nervousness.
A Quick Look at Anxiety Symptoms
Anxious symptoms can have a debilitating effect on your everyday life.
- Excessive and irrational worry that is intrusive and stops you from accomplishing daily tasks.
- The agitated mood can bring a host of physical signs such as shaky hands, racing heart, and dry mouth. This continues for an extended period.
- You feel mentally restless and there is no peace of mind.
- Mental fatigue due to an excess of worry.
- Poor concentration and inadequate working memory.
- You may have trouble falling or staying asleep.
- Tense muscles and constricted body movements.
- You might get panic attacks that are marked by intense and extreme feelings of fear.
- Feeling anxious in social settings.
- Fear of humiliation in front of others.
5 Steps of 54321 Technique
The 54321 technique is a simple grounding exercise that uses your sense organs to help you relax and feel calm and thoughtful. It aims to reduce your anxiety symptoms’. This method keeps you going in hard times. You can try out this method in various life situations when you feel tied up in negative thoughts and anxious feelings. Let’s see the steps involved in this mental exercise.
Start with deep breathing exercises. Be mindful of your thoughts and feelings and be aware of your present surroundings. You will have to purposefully observe your immediate surroundings, using each of your senses.
1. See any 5 things around you
Try to notice all the small things around you. See 5 things around you. It can be a pen laying on the table, a used coffee mug lying on the floor, a bird sitting on your window sill which catches your attention. It can be anything around you that you see with a lot of detail and patience.
Here, you are acknowledging and becoming aware of the 5 things around you. When you do this, your racing thoughts will be checked. You can be present in your real moments.
2. Notice 4 things that you can feel
Touch any four things around you and feel the texture. It can be your hair, a glass of water, or your pillow, cuddling your pet. Whatever it may be, feel the things and focus on every small detail. Experience your touch sensations.
It helps you to reduce your anxious thoughts and keeps you in real-life situations. You are no longer disturbed by your flashback thoughts. Try to feel the texture and finesse of the things you touch.
3. Identify 3 things that you hear
In this process, hear any 3 sounds around you. It can be the sound of the television program going on. The sound of utensils being used in your kitchen. It can be the sound of your wall clock or verbal fights among people in the courtyard. Focus on the sounds, as if you want to hear it. Do not make judgments of the nature of the sounds coming in, just relax and listen.
4. Notice 2 things that you can smell
You can smell any 2 things around you. Simply feel the subtle smells present near you. It can be the fragrance of the clothing you are wearing, the aroma of a room freshener, the fragrance of the burning incense sticks or scented candles. Even if you cannot find any smell nearby, think of 2 of your favorite smells. Try to be aware of it.
5. Taste any 1 thing that you like
You can have a cup of coffee, or let a piece of chocolate melt in your mouth. Acknowledge the taste of any 1 thing that you would like to taste at that moment. Feel the taste of food in your mouth. You can also name the different tasty foods that you like eating.
The process ends with belly breaths. This calm down kit aims at reducing your flashback thoughts and keeps you grounded in the present situation. It restores a sense of peace within. Your agitated mind and disturbing physical symptoms will start taking a lower count.
What is a Grounding Technique?
54321 is a grounding technique. Grounding methods are coping strategies used for anxiety, panic attacks, and insomnia. It is a mindfulness practice that teaches you various ways to connect with your present moments. You can distract yourself from what you are experiencing to focus on here and now. It connects you to the various things happening around you.
Examples of sensory grounding by using 54321 techniques
Sensory grounding is a personalized procedure. What works well for one may not be applicable to the other person. You need to find out what works well for you.
- Listen to a piece of soothing music.
- Make a call to your friend.
- Try to listen to birds chirping and connect with nature.
- Read aloud your favorite comic.
- Singing a song or humming a tune.
- You can put your hand under running water.
- Take a cool shower
- Hold on an ice cube and let it melt on your hands
- Rubbing a lotion in your hands
- Cuddle your baby’s hair and focus on how you feel
- Sniff cloves or cardamom and feel the essence
- You can light a scented candle and feel its aroma.
- You can smell essential oils.
- Lick your favorite chocolate bar.
- Chew a peppermint.
- Squeeze lime juice and feel its sour taste.
- Taste chocolate cookies dipped in herbal tea.
- Take a bite of your favorite pastry.
- You can write a creative blog
- Read your favorite magazine
- Complete a crossword
- Play an online game
- Count all the small things that you see around you.
20 Benefits of 54321 Techniques
The various benefits of this sensory awareness practice are as follows
- It is a helpful tool to relax and get through life’s difficult moments.
- You feel calm and at ease with your anxious thoughts.
- It improves your immune responses, by reducing instant physical discomforts that result due to excessive worry.
- This method reduces emotional stress and elevates your mood.
- It reduces irregular sleep patterns and insomnia.
- Controls blood pressure.
- It is a useful exercise that brings in clarity of thoughts and feelings.
- You can recharge your physical and mental energy by calming down your negative emotions.
- Being fully present in your real moments with no flashback thoughts.
- You feel connected to your immediate surroundings.
- It reduces momentary reactions of fear and psychological restlessness.
- Improves anxiety-related symptoms of muscle stiffness and chronic body pain.
- It allows you to think, act rationally and sensibly in stressful times.
- Your fears and anxieties will become subtle and you will have better control over your emotional responses.
- You feel safe, calm and composed. Less liable to be swayed away by your racing thoughts.
- Improves your power of concentration.
- You are more alert and mindful of your feelings and behavior.
- Brings balance of your physical energies and emotional state of mind.
- The method teaches you resilience, endurance and inspired solutions to problems.
- You can observe your feelings slowly by being present in your moments.
Make grounding exercises a part of your daily living. Even simple breathing exercises for 5 to 10 minutes can help you overcome anxiety.
It is imperative to understand the root cause of your anxiety. Then only, you can take adequate coping strategies to help yourself. Always take some time out of your daily chores and involve in activities that you like.
You must follow a regular exercise regime, preferably a mindfulness practice that reconnects you to your present and controls your irrational fear. It’s time to heal within and live a stress-free life.
A teacher by profession, postgraduate in applied psychology and a former school psychologist, Chandrani loves to live life simply and happily. She is an avid reader and a keen observer. Writing has always been a passion for her, since her school days. It helps to de-stress and keeps her mentally agile. Pursuing a career in writing was a chance occurrence, when she started to pen down her thoughts and experiences for few childcare and parenting websites. Her lovable niche includes mental health, parenting, childcare and self improvement. She is here to share her thoughts and experiences and enrich lives of few, if not many.