One Simple Technique to Alleviate Stress

These times are stressful for a lot of us, so I want to share a simple technique that has helped reduce anxiety.

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.
Stress Relief and Meditation

Mindfulness isn’t difficult. We just need to remember to do it.

Sharon Salzberg

These times are stressful for a lot of us. As I was writing this I began to list the many ways stress shows up, but  that in itself felt stressful, so I decided not to head in that direction.

Instead I thought I’d give you one simple technique I learned from WW I’ve been using with success. It relates to mindfulness, which in my mind keeps bringing me to the importance of staying present, being in the moment, being here now. 

When we’re feeling stress, we are either worrying about the uncertain future or reflecting on the past with regrets. When we’re in either of those places, our body jumps into that ‘fight or flight’ mode and causes our body to bring the future or past into present which causes a physical reaction of our heart rate and breathing to quicken and our blood pressure to rise. 

I have learned this one simple technique that helps to calm me and bring me into the present. 

It’s called the 5-4-3-2-1 technique. It taps into the space I need to pull me out of the future past and bring me into the present moment. Breathe deeply throughout these steps.

  1. Take a deep breath. Look around your space and name five things you see while you pause briefly on each thing./
  2. Breathe deeply. Focus on four things you can feel on/in your body. Perhaps it’s the sensation of sitting in your chair or the touch of an item close to you.
  3. Close your eyes. Listen. What sounds do you hear? Identify three. Is it the sound of children playing outside or a door slamming in your home? Keep breathing deeply.
  4. Are there two items you can smell? It could be the flowers on your desk or the smell of a burning candle.
  5. Notice one thing you can taste. Take a sip of a drink you have close by or think back to the last thing you tasted.

Take one last deep breath. Check in with yourself.

What is a de-stressing technique you use?

Written by Pat Obuchowski

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Courtesy of gerasimov_foto_174 / Shutterstock

Mindful Parenting

by Juliann Garey

“Mindfulness is the state of being fully aware of the present moment — and not caught up in the STUFF that can cycle in the mind.”, With Beau Henderson & Author Joy Rains

by Beau Henderson

My Simple Technique For Living In The Moment Every Day

by Alissa Jablonske

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.