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A Positive Path with Holly Lebowitz Rossi: The 5-4-3-2-1 Technique

The author of the Guideposts blog, A Positive Path, shares a technique that will help you feel connectedto yourself and your surroundings.

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I’m Holly Lebowitz Rossi, writer of the Guideposts blog, A Positive Path.

You’ve probably heard the oft-quoted saying, Wherever you go, there you are. Sometimes this obvious call for basic presence can be oddly hard to practice. So I’m here to show you a simple way to ground yourself wherever you are today. It’s called 5-4-3-2-1 Technique, and it’s designed to involve all your senses in connecting you with yourself and the space around you.

Start by taking a couple of slow, deep breaths to signal to yourself that you’re ready to begin. Now, notice five things you can see from where you are right now. They could be close by or off in the distance, could be something beautiful like the green branch of a tree outside your window, or something with no inherent meaning like a paperclip on your desk, or your water bottle on the table.

Next, acknowledge four things you can feel. You don’t have to reach out and touch anything, but simply bring your attention to the sensations you can either experience or imagine right now. This could be your socks wrapped around your feet, your hair brushing against your ears, or the smooth texture of the leaf of a nearby plant.

Now, notice three things you can hear. You might notice the distant noise of cars passing by, or the hum of a fan, dishwasher or a computer or you might recognize the simple sound of your slow breathing or a lovely silence around you which is its own kind of sound.

Now, acknowledge two things you can smell, the whisper of a recent meal, the clean scent of following a shower or just the freshness of the air in the room or through an open window.

And finally, notice one thing you can taste. This could be toothpaste, the flavors of the lunch you just finished, or just a moment to notice whether the air coming in and out with each breath tastes warm, cool, sweet or harsh or anything in between.

This technique works best when you get very specific about what each of your senses is picking up. If you’re alone, you can even name each thing out loud to fully experience each sense as you ground yourself from five, to four, to three, to two, to one. Wishing you peaceful presence and authentic positivity, today and every day.

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