Anxious? Here's 5 Things to do Right Now

Rachel Schallon is a Licensed Family Counselor at ABT Counseling. She sees all kinds of patients but has a special place in her heart for teenaged girls. 

Whether facing issues of self-esteem, depression, or anxiety, Rachel recommends a simple mental exercise to relieve moments of anxiety.

“Take five minutes and focus on your five senses,” she explains. “Step away from whatever is causing you anxiety. Maybe it’s changing the scenery, going outside and taking a brief walk. Breathe deeply. Then choose one of your senses and identify five things. For example, maybe you notice five different objects you see.”

The activity continues with each of the remaining senses: four things you hear, three things you feel, two things you smell, and one thing you taste. Take a few moments and ponder each one.

“This little exercise is a simple way to take the anxious thoughts in our head and put them to the side for a few minutes,” she adds. “What’s cool about it is that you can do this anywhere. And, it relaxes the body and the mind at the same time.”

The next time you are feeling anxious, step outside, breathe deeply, and identify with your senses. Use the example of going for a walk in the woods. Pinpoint these things:

5 objects you see with your eyes. For example, a tree with fall colors in the leaves.

4 sounds you hear with your ears. Can you hear the leaves rustling together or a babbling stream nearby?

3 things you feel with your touch. Maybe you pick up one of those fresh fallen leaves or feel the breeze against your skin.

2 things you smell. A campfire burning nearby or the smell of autumn in the air.

1 thing you taste. A mint or the coffee you brought with you on the walk.

Breathe deeply as you identify these things with your senses. When you take just five minutes away from your stress and anxiety and focus on what you can identify with your senses, Shallon says you’ll be amazed at how healthy it is for your mind.

If you’d like more information on choosing a therapist to help in dealing with anxiety, stress, or depression, click here.