Mastering the Five Senses Practice for Stress Reduction

August 8, 2023

Table of Contents

Additional Resources

Stress and anxiety are increasingly common in our fast-paced lives, and it can be difficult to find effective ways to manage them. One simple and effective technique that can be practiced anywhere, anytime, is the five senses practice, also known as the 5-4-3-2-1 senses exercise.

This exercise is a mindfulness practice that involves using your five senses to ground yourself in the present moment and become more aware of your surroundings. By engaging all your senses, you can reduce stress levels and improve your overall well-being.

Let’s explore the five senses practice and how it can help manage stress.


First, look around and notice 5 things you can see. Find a quiet space to sit or stand comfortably. Take a moment to look around and notice the colors, shapes, and textures of your surroundings. Focus on one object in particular and examine it closely. Take note of any details that you may have overlooked before.


Second, shift your focus to 4 things you can feel. Wiggle your toes or stretch your arms and legs. Take note of the feeling of the ground beneath your feet or the chair beneath you. Wiggle your toes and notice how they feel against your shoes or against the floor.


Third, listen for 3 distinct sounds you can hear. Listen to the different tones and pitches, from the sound of traffic or birds outside to the hum of the air conditioning. Try to take notice of the sounds without judging them.  After some time, you may start to notice a few more sounds, including subtle sounds, than when you first started.


Fourth, focus on 2 things you can smell. Take a deep breath in through your nose and focus on the smells around you. Notice the different scents and how they make you feel.


Lastly, find one thing you can taste. If you have a snack or a beverage nearby, take a moment to savor the flavor. Notice the different tastes and textures in your mouth. Sipping on a warm cup of tea or indulging in a piece of dark chocolate can also be a relaxing treat.

Incorporating the five senses practice into your daily routine can help reduce stress levels and promote relaxation. By focusing on the present moment and engaging your senses, you can attempt to tune out distracting thoughts and promote a calmer state of mind. The next time you’re feeling stressed, take a few moments to practice this five senses exercise and give your body and mind the break they need.

Let’s start together

Get Healthy, Stay Healthy—Feel Better.

Continue Reading