top of page
  • Writer's pictureKennedy McLean

5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Grounding Technique

This is known as the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Grounding technique. Grounding techniques turn our attention away from thoughts, memories, or worries, and refocusing on the present moment. This sensory awareness technique is a grounding exercise with 5 steps that can significantly help reduce symptoms of anxiety or trauma triggers.

How To Do It:

Start by taking a few slow breaths.

5. Look for FIVE specific things in your surroundings. It could be a pen, a spot on the ceiling, a car. Just count 5 things that you can see.

4. Next, acknowledge FOUR things you can touch around you. Maybe it is your hair, a pet, or the ground under your feet.

3. The next step is to listen for THREE things you hear. This can be any external sound. It could be a car driving by or the furnace. Try to focus on things you can hear outside of your body.

2. Now acknowledge TWO things you can smell. Maybe you at home and smell something in the kitchen or coffee brewing, if you are outside maybe you notice the way the air has a certain smell.

1. Finally, notice ONE thing you can taste. What does the inside of your mouth taste like, coffee, toothpaste, something you ate for lunch?

If you are currently experiencing symptoms resulting from trauma or high levels of anxiety, psychotherapy can help you learn to manage your symptoms in the here and now. On a more long-term basis, it may enable you to live symptom-free. Send me an email to book a consultation or your first session

About Kennedy

Kennedy has been working in the field of addiction and mental health for 10 years. She currently runs a virtual private practice treating clients throughout Ontario.   

Kennedy's practice currently focuses on trauma, attachment, couples therapy. Associate therapists work with people of all ages experiencing a wide range of concerns such as stress, depression, anxiety, relationship distress, and grief for example.

Anything written in blog posts are the thoughts of Kennedy. They are intended to offer information that may be interesting or useful for contemplation.


Nothing written is intended to be a substitute for seeking professional help.

bottom of page