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  • Writer's pictureAndy Fortuna

5 steps to a more calm and grounded mind

Most people are constantly on the go with errands to do, responsibilities to uphold, family to care for, and of course our own health and training to manage. It can be so overwhelming.

I myself am prone to anxiety and overthinking. At times it feels like my mind is running a million miles per second, while a giant monkey is attached to my back.

In this blog, I want to talk about a technique I was taught and continue to use to help combat anxiety and stress.

Stress is the number one problem that we all have and many of us do little to take care of it.

An uncontrollable amount of stress to the mind and body can lead to the breakdown and the manifestation of all sorts of diseases.

DIS-EASE when really broken down means not at ease, unbalanced, and not in harmony.

Our daily stressors overtime can develop into more severe syndromes and conditions if not managed properly.

One of my long term clients shared with me a technique he uses to manage stress and help ground himself. I later learned it is known as the 5,4,3,2,1 method. This method uses the body's 5 senses: hearing, seeing, smelling, touch, and taste to bring awareness and mental presence.

Commonly practiced by acknowledging:

  • 5 THINGS around you that you can SEE-

  • 4 THINGS around you that you can TOUCH

  • 3 THINGS around you that you can HEAR

  • 2 THINGS around you that you can SMELL

  • 1 positive THING around you that you can TASTE

Hence the name 5,4,3,2,1 method...

I found this technique to be so helpful and powerful, that it is now a staple in my qigong training and daily routine. I went ahead and simplified the technique further to just 2 items for each sense and found it to be much easier for me personally.

Here are the steps I use for 5,4,3,2,1 method :

While standing with knees slightly bent and eyes open, take 3-5 deep breaths and allow yourself to center and feel the ground underneath. If you’re seated, sit at the edge of the chair and make sure your feet are flat on the ground.

Now move to each step below and continue your deep breathes:

Step #1: Acknowledge 2 THINGS around you that you can SEE : This could be the wind blowing through the trees, birds flying by, or even ornaments on your wall.

Step #2: Acknowledge 2 THINGS around you that you can TOUCH: I usually use articles of clothing like my shirt or pants but anything nearby will work

Step #3: Acknowledge 2 THINGS around you that you can HEAR: Focus in on nearby cars or birds chirping, really try to locate the origin of the sound without having to turn and look for it.

Step #4: Acknowledge 2 THINGS around you that you can SMELL: This could be difficult depending on your sensitivity to smell but the scent of nearby flower bushes are my favorite. If you can't smell anything in particular focus on 2 deep in inhale and exhales through the nose.

Step #5: Acknowledge 2 positive THINGS about yourself: This could be your mood, feeling, achievement etc

The best way to ensure you’re managing your stress levels, is to do so through a steady daily practice.

Try adding this technique into your daily routine or whenever you feel overwhelmed. This could help bring anxiety, worry, and stress down to a more manageable level (and maybe gone altogether).

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