The next time you’re feeling anxious or stressed, here’s a quick trick backed by psychologists: It’s called the “5-4-3-2-1” trick, and it’s all about helping you focus on the here and now.
It’s like meditation, but easier. The idea is to focus on your five senses instead of what’s stressing you out. Here are the five steps
1. Think of five things you can see right now, and they can be anything. Like a tree, the sky, or even your own hands.
2. Think of four things you can physically feel right now. Like your heartbeat, or how warm the sun is.
3. Listen for three things you can hear. Like wind blowing, the traffic around you, or the sound of someone’s voice.
4. Think of two things you can smell right now. Things like coffee or fresh-cut grass are great but unpleasant smells work too. It just has to be something around you.
5. Focus on one thing you can taste. You can pop some gum in if you want. But even just licking your lips is fine.
Doing all of them is supposed to shift your attention to your senses. So you should feel more focused on the present instead of what’s been bothering you.