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All of us worry sometimes. There are times though, when worry or anxiety can seem like it’s taking over your life. I often work with people who are troubled by worry or anxiety and collaborate with them to come up with solutions that are going to work for them.

5-4-3-2-1

Calm balance

There’s an exercise that might be helpful for you to practice and experiment with to put worry aside and get back into your life. It’s called 5-4-3-2-1 and one of the great things about it is that you can do it anywhere anytime. This is how it goes:

Look around. What are 5 things you can see? What are 5 things you can hear? This one may take some concerted effort. Really stop and listen. What are 5 things you can feel? Can you feel the chair you’re sitting on? Your feet on the floor? What else can you feel?

Now what are 4 things you can see? Don’t worry about making sure they’re different than the first 5. What are 4 things you can hear? Again, it’s okay if some or all of them are the same as above. What are 4 things you can feel?

Look around again. What are 3 things you can see? Are you seeing a pattern in this exercise? What are 3 things you can hear? And 3 things you can feel?

What are 2 things you can see, hear, and feel? Finally, what is 1 thing you can see, feel, and hear?

Where are you now–in your head or in the room? You can repeat this as many times as needed. Many people find this exercise helps bring them back into the here and now. How about you?

What else helps you put worry or anxiety aside and get on with your day? I’d be interested in your feedback!

About the author:

Renée Meggs is a Registered Psychologist who works with adults and children to help them do what works, both in counselling and coaching. If you’d like to book an appointment or inquire about my services, please e-mail me at reneemeggs@focusedsolutionscounselling.com and/or go to my website at http://www.reneemeggs.com. I can meet with you in person, on the phone, or on-line.

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