Featured Mental health

Grounding exercise: 5 steps to help calm anxiety and stress

In challenging times, it is normal to experience some levels of stress and anxiety.

These emotions can become overwhelming but there are ways of coping that can help provide a sense of calmness.

One technique is called the 5-4-3-2-1 grounding technique. It takes you through the five senses: sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell.

Doing this can help bring you back to the present moment and help ease feelings of stress and anxiety.

The visual gallery below can help guide you through the technique. It’s easy to do and can be done anywhere.

It may take some practice. Be patient with yourself and it will become easier each time you go through it.


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A post shared by Sunnybrook Hospital (@sunnybrookhsc)

Thank you to Dr. Carolyn Boulos, Sunnybrook psychiatrist for her expert review of this material.

Produced by Tereza Radman and Jennifer Palisoc in Communications & Stakeholder Relations at Sunnybrook.

View mental health resources from Sunnybrook’s Department of Psychiatry

If you need help in an emergency please call 911 or visit your local emergency department. If you’re feeling like you’re in crisis or need somebody to talk to, please know that help is also available through community resources: