Coping Skill – 5-4-3-2-1

Be awakened to what surrounds you



Our worries and fears rarely live in the present tense. The live in the past and in what might happen.

When high anxiety or panic ambushes you, try this easy technique to channel your brain into rational thinking once more, back into the present tense.

In summary, the main difference between the nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system is that the former is responsible for controlling both voluntary and involuntary functions of the body, while the latter is only responsible for regulating the body’s rest and digest response. 5-4-3-2-1 invokes the the latter through distraction to return rational thought.

How it works:

The sympathetic nervous system (SNS) is responsible for the “fight or flight” response, which is activated when the body perceives a threat or stressor. It increases heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, and blood sugar levels, while decreasing digestive and immune system activity.

The parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS), on the other hand, is responsible for the “rest and digest” response, which is activated when the body is at rest or in a state of relaxation. It slows heart rate, lowers blood pressure, increases digestive and immune system activity, and promotes restful sleep.


When entering a challenging moment think about: –

5 Things that you see

4 Items you can touch

3 Noises you can hear

2 Aromas you can smell

1 Sensations you can taste







Other Compatible Coping Skills

How many stars would you award this coping skill?