5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Grounding Exercise for Panic Attack - SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information
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Old 08-21-2017, 02:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Grounding Exercise for Panic Attack


I don't know if this has been posted before but I thought I'd share just in case.

I had a panic attack at a medical facility today. I was saying mantras in my head. In the beginning I was focusing on my breath, but I had stopped and I didn't notice. Everything I thought was fine, but then the panic voice in my head just took over so loudly that I couldn't not listen to it. I'm so annoyed at myself.

That being said, the nurse was super kind, compassionate, and soothing. She taught me a grounding exercise (and she taught it in a way that my therapist didn't do when he once told me a grounding exercise. It's hard to explain, but she explained it slowly, methodically, and repeated it until I understood. )

This is what you do. Instead of focusing on your body sensations during the panic attack or what your mind is telling you, focus on this:

5 things you can see or enjoy seeing - and really think about the details
4 things you can hear or enjoy hearing
3 things you can smell or enjoy smelling
2 things you can taste or enjoy tasting
1 thing you can touch or enjoy touching

I also remember seeing on a tv show a similar grounding technique, in which you say the colors and objects of what you're seeing in front and around you and repeat the colors.

I think these grounding exercises are going to be more helpful than the mantras because instead of just saying something quietly in my head, they will connect me to my senses.

I hope this helps someone out of a panic attack. They're just the worst.
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Old 09-03-2017, 09:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
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That was super helpful
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Old 09-06-2017, 12:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the reminder I meant to send her a thank you note. :-)
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