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Stacey Permaul MBACP Counselling & Psychotherapy in South East London and Online

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

This is a simple technique I use when I can feel myself getting overwhelmed by anxiety or fear or stress (or ‘insert emotion here’).
It’s easy to remember because it’s just 5,4,3,2,1.
So, if stresses are feeding your anxiety monster, it might help ground you for a bit.
I suggest either taking yourself out to a green space or sitting down somewhere quiet, facing out of a window if you can.

5️⃣ things you can 👁
4️⃣ things you can 👂
3️⃣ things you 👃
2️⃣ things you 👅
1️⃣ thing you can 🖐

The great thing about 5,4,3,2,1 is that it’s relatively discreet (except if someone catches you munching on a leaf), and it’s brilliant at snapping you back into the present moment. The here and now.
Anxiety loves to project us forward into the scary unknown uncertainty that is the future. It doesn’t love the present quite so much so it simpers off for a bit with its tail between its legs.
Anxiety monsters can do one for a bit thank you very much. You got this, you beautiful soul you 💚

Rectangle Breathing Technique


1️⃣ breathe in for the short sides
2️⃣ breathe out for the long sides

Drawing a rectangle forces you to take longer exhalations and shorter inhalations.
This encourages a slower, deeper and more controlled breath which helps to calm your anxiety and lower heart rate.
Such a simple exercise but so powerful when things feel a bit overwhelming. You can even imagine putting that anxiety monster inside the rectangle if you like 😊.
You got this, beautiful souls

Effects of Scrolling on Anxiety

I love social media, but so does my anxiety monster. Nothing feeds it better than mindless scrolling until 2am. A rabbit hole of reels, posts and stories.
The problem with mindless scrolling is that it will subtly enable those unhelpful and harmful messages you may have received throughout your life.
It can trick you into believing in those comparisons you are making with others you see on social media.
It can cheat you out of valuable sleep, making you believe that ‘just a few more minutes’ is really all it will be...even an hour later.
It can rob you of the time you carved out for physical fitness.
If you’re feeling particularly anxious right now, thank you for reading this post, now put your phone down/laptop away and go for a walk if you can. Or have a glass of water. Or call a friend. Or read a book. Or watch a funny programme. Or cuddle your pet.
You won’t miss out, I promise. We will all still be here posting stuff when you come back. Go do something lovely for yourself, beautiful soul 💚

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