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Five Step Strategy to Cope with Anxiety - Stress - or Panic

Updated: Nov 4, 2022

Anxiety is a natural phenomenon for many of us; for example when public speaking, performance reviews, job responsibilities and life changes, are just some of the related situations that can cause even the calmest person to feel a little stressed.

Below is a well-known five-step exercise which can be very helpful during periods of increased anxiety or even panic by helping you to ground yourself in the present when your mind is bouncing around between various anxiety-induced thoughts.

Before starting this exercise, pay attention to your breathing. Slow, deep, long breaths can help you create and maintain a sense of calmness or help you return to a calmer state.

Control your breathing can help control your anxiety

Once you find your breath, go through the following five steps to help ground yourself:

5: Acknowledge FIVE things you see around you. It could be anything, a pen, a spot on the ceiling, or anything in your surroundings.

4: Acknowledge FOUR things you can reach out and touch. It could be your nose, a book, or the ground beneath your feet.

3: Acknowledge THREE things you can hear, any sounds. Can hear your tummy rumbling, that counts! Focus on things you can hear outside of your body.

2: Acknowledge TWO things you can smell. Maybe you are in your office and smell coffee, or maybe you are in your bedroom and smell fresh linen. If you need to take a brief walk to find a scent you could smell soap in your bathroom, or nature outside.

1: Acknowledge ONE thing you can taste. What does the inside of your mouth taste like? Tea, coffee, or the sandwich from lunch?

This technique is one of many options you could use if you are feeling anxious or overwhelmed.

If anxiety is something that you struggle with, or you have trouble refocusing or coping with these feelings, please talk to your doctor or book a session with us at: to talk through other techniques and build your understanding.

Coping with anxiety and learning to see anxiety as your friend and not your enemy

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