top of page

54321: Your Emotional Emergency Exit Grounding Technique

Grounding techniques are strategies used in moments of intense emotions to help one re-engage with the present moment and regain control of their thoughts, feelings or behaviors. Grounding techniques are simple, yet powerful strategies for developing emotional regulation and managing anxiety, panic, or anger.

My favorite grounding technique is something called 54321. It's a simple strategy that uses your 5 senses to bring you back to the present moment. In focusing on your specific senses you can step away from the overwhelming emotions.

54321 grounding technique

Here's how you do it:

5- Name 5 things you can see. Simply name any 5 objects or things you can see in front of you.

4- Name 4 things you can physically feel. This might be the feel of the clothes on your skin, wind or AC blowing on you, your feet on the ground, etc.

3- Name 3 things you can hear. Really search for the sounds around you.

2- Name 2 things you can smell. Remember, the point here is to hone in on your senses.

1- Name 1 thing you can taste.

By focusing on the sensations around you, you will be better able to step away from the intensity of your emotions. The purpose is not to suppress or ignore your emotions, but rather, to keep you grounded to the present moment as the emotions move through you.

Like most things in life, this strategy is most effective when it's practiced regularly. So I encouraged you to practice this 54321 method every day, even when you're feeling calm. This is also a great and easy way to begin a mindfulness practice. Go ahead and give it a try!


Untitled design (5).png

Hi. I'm Katie

Licensed Clinical Social Worker providing teletherapy to adults in Florida. 

Untitled design (5).png
bottom of page
Proud Member of TherapyDen