This post is about a technique I have learnt to bring yourself back into the moment when everything seems too much and you are overwhelmed with anxiety.
It’s a really handy thing to know because you can use it anywhere.
It’s called 5 Things because you stop what you are doing and look around to find 5 things you can see. Then you listen for 5 things you can hear. Finally you try and name 5 things you can feel.
Here’s an example:
5 things I can see – the floor, a window, a curtain, television, carpet.
5 things I can hear – traffic in the distance, a fan, people talking, a dog barking, the washing machine.
5 things I can feel – my breath, the chair beneath me, my hair on my neck, the soles of my feet on the floor, the muscles in my shoulders.
This can all be done in your head and no one would know what you’re doing.
I use an adaptation of this on a daily basis with my son. Every morning after we come downstairs we open the front door and name 5 things we can see. I love this start to the day as we get into the now and it’s also teaching him new words.
I’ve also used it to calm my son down when he is upset. I walk around the room we are in and show him 5 things, it’s a great way to distract him from whatever had upset him.
Next time you’re feeling overwhelmed with anxiety, I hope you’re able to give this a go and see if you can come back to the moment.