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Anxiety Awareness: Reduce feelings of anxiety with coping strategies like mindfulness. Practice mindfulness with the "5-4-3-2-1" method, using all 5 senses to feel present. (Source: Mayo Clinic )

Mindfulness: Decreasing Stress and Anxiety

Date:
August 01, 2022

In 2022, there is no shortage of things that can spike our anxiety if we let them. You can help to reduce feelings of anxiety with coping strategies like mindfulness.

 

Anxiety tends to live in thoughts of the future, worrying about what-ifs and uncertainties. Mindfulness is the state or practice of being fully present in the moment and consciously aware of what is happening around and within you. Being mindful requires nothing but a little time and attention, and it shifts your focus to the present and away from anxious thoughts about the future.

 

There are many different ways to practice mindfulness. One easy and fun way to try being mindful is the 5-4-3-2-1 Method, where you use all five senses to pull you back to the present. It only takes a couple minutes and you can do this anywhere, such as your desk at home or while walking outside.

 

  • 5 Things you can See – Look around and identify five different things you can see. “I see the cup” or “I see the stone on the path”
  • 4 Things you can Feel – Notice four things that you already can feel on your body or things you can easily touch. “I feel the shirt on my back” or “I feel the leaf on this tree”
  • 3 Things you can Hear –  Listen for 3 sounds you can identify. “I hear a car passing by” or “I hear a bird chirping”
  • 2 Things you can Smell – Identify two things you can smell, or if you can’t find something to smell where you are, think of and name two of your favorite scents. “I smell this flower” or “I like the smell of cranberries”
  • 1 Thing you can Taste – Notice one thing you can taste, either something you can taste naturally or that you may have with you. “I taste the chapstick on my lips” or “I taste the coffee”. If you cannot taste anything, think of and name a favorite taste.

 

For added effect, you can try saying the things you identified out loud. Focusing on all your senses has a grounding effect and counting the items can interrupt worried thoughts. Give it a try next time you are feeling stressed or anxious!

Visit Mayo Clinic for more information.

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