It is an unsettling time and there is so much change. Times like these can be difficult for young children to navigate. ‘5,4,3,2,1’ is a tool that can be used to help stop the out-of-control train of thoughts and worries. This can be done with very young children. It is a way to bring the mind back to the present moment and calm the visceral response that accompanies worry.
Let’s give it a try:
- Sit in a comfortable position on the floor or in a chair. Start anywhere: the car, bedtime, the playground, the grocery store.
- Take a big breath in through the nose as if smelling a beautiful flower and blow it all out from the mouth as if blowing out birthday candles. Take (5) breaths like this. This will immediately begin to calm the body.
- Now, look around the room.
- Name (5) things you can see. Anything. Example: a teddy bear, a picture, my foot.
- Name (4) things you can feel. Example: blanket, chair, sweater, teddy bear, cold air.
- Name (3) things you can hear. Example: breathing, legs moving against the chair, the air conditioning, mom.
- Name (2) things you can smell. Example: detergent on clothes, fresh air.
- Name (1) thing you can taste. Example: toothpaste, air.
The mind cannot focus on two things at the same time. Focusing using the five senses and noticing items around the room takes the place of the upsetting train of thoughts and brings the mind to the present moment.
Give it a try and leave a comment on your experience.