5-4-3-2-1, the technique to calm anxiety through the senses

Have you heard of Mindfulness or mindfulness? This practice is the act of being fully present, aware of where you are. To achieve this, observation is essential.

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Within this discipline, we find the technique called 5-4-3-2-1. This is useful to focus our attention on an exercise that can help us in situations of anxiety.

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is a natural response of the body to situations of stress. By perceiving an event as a possible threat, the body prepares to face it. This generates feelings like fear, restlessness and uncertainty before what is about to happen.

Anxiety is considered the most common mental illness in the world. It is estimated that affects 284 million people, according to a report posted on the site Single Care. For this reason, many already call it “the disease of the 21st century.”

It is important that your diagnosis be made by a mental health specialist, and then indicate what is the most appropriate treatment.

How to use the 5-4-3-2-1 technique?

Following the premise of Mindfulness, the 5-4-3-2-1 technique helps to focus on the present through the senses. Faced with an eventual anxiety attack, this technique will serve to focus on different things that are around us.

For this one exerciseYou will only need your sight and your imagination, trying to place all your attention on it. Without thinking too much watch the room where you are and choose, in this order:

  • 5 things you can see at that moment
  • 4 sounds that you can hear -even if it is something minimal, like the wind or a noise from the street.
  • 3 things you can feel through touch
  • 2 smells you can identify
  • 1 that you can taste.

This trick is ideal to unblock the mind in moments of anxiety. It allows to distract the mind from thoughts that could make us feel even more anxious. It is also important that you accompany the technique with breaths slow and deep.

Using the 5 senses to place ourselves in the present moment is a way to avoid the feeling of uncertainty about the future.

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If you have the opportunity, when applying it, write each idea on a piece of paper. This will allow you to focus on the exercise with more emphasis and to distract your mind more quickly.

You can repeat it as many times as you need! Keep in mind that there are no correct answers. If at the time of practicing it, you do not remember the exact order in which you should use each sense, feel free to modify it. The most important thing is that the 5-4-3-2-1 technique helps you feel better.

and you, did you know this trick? tell us in the comments


  • Magalí Navarro

I am a web developer, designer and photographer. I love writing, traveling and getting to know other cultures. Thanks to these experiences, I learned about the impact that our actions have on the environment and the importance of incorporating sustainable habits.

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