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Try This Tip to Be Present in the Moment

Show up for yourself right where you are with the simple “5, 4, 3, 2, 1 technique.”

How to be fully present
Credit: Getty Images

You’ve probably heard the oft-quoted saying, “Wherever you go, there you are.” Sometimes, that obvious call for basic presence can be oddly hard to practice. 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. The video below will show you the way. But here’s how it works.

Start by taking a couple of slow, deep breaths to signal to yourself that you are 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. They could be something beautiful, like the green branches of a tree you can see through the window, or something with no inherent meaning, like a paper clip on your desk or a water bottle on the table.

Now acknowledge FOUR things you can feel. You don’t have to reach out and touch anything, but bring your attention to the sensations you can either experience or imagine. 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.

Next, notice THREE things you can hear. You might notice the distant noise of cars passing by, the hum of a fan, dishwasher or nearby 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 that follows a shower or just the freshness of air through an open window.

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, 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 5 to 4 to 3 to 2 to 1.

Wishing you peaceful presence and authentic positivity, today and every day.

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