The 5-4-3-2-1 Mindfulness Trick

5-4-3-2-1: Back to the present


When it hit me that actually this lockdown might hold consequences much bigger than anything linked to the virus itself, I nearly had an anxiety attack. I found myself in a desperately chaotic world. The ones I enjoyed reading-dystopian literature-except that now, all of it seemed very real.

I started losing breaths and my heart was beating so fast that I thought I was going to die. Amidst the blurry vision and the sickening nausea, I remembered what my friend taught me in order to call myself back to the present moment... It’s called the 5-4-3-2-1 trick. It’s pretty simple.


5 things you can see.

Wherever you are, try to take notes of 5 things you can see.

Right now(the time i’m writing this), my phone is next to me. It’s rectangular and midnight blue and it appears to fit right in my hand. On my right hand side there’s a small bottle of sunscreen and it’s of a vibrant orange. It can be anything that you set your gaze upon.


4 things you can hear. This one particular helps me to be in the present moment.


3 things you can feel. Anything that is close to you, that you can grab. It can be the wind too.


2 things you can smell.


1 thing you can taste.


If ever you are struggling with the 1 thing that you can taste, it can be replaced by the 1 thing you love about yourself. Like mine, sometimes when I don’t have any after taste in the palate, I like to think about my eyelashes and how in sunlight they look beautiful.


I tried this technique a few times and found it to be a beautiful way to get myself grounded in the present moment. It might not work for you but there is no harm in trying. In such uncertain times, if you find yourself hovering too much about what might happen, catastrophizing the future and that it’s hindering you in every way… remember that you are not alone. We are all in this together.


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