Grounding techniques - the 54321 method

Updated: Mar 1, 2021

This technique is incredibly effective for bringing anxiety levels down. It does so by engaging the senses, and anchoring us in the present moment. I have practiced this with adults on my diploma course - it's a commonly used safety and stabilisation tool in trauma therapy, and I've since also used it with my children who really engaged well with it.

It could be a nice, accessible activity to do within the classroom to support regulation during the school day, and the more it's done, the more likely a child is to start to access it independently themselves as and when they need it.

Some tips for using this technique:

  • Focus on as much detail as you can (e.g. I can see a big, dark blue chair with a high back).

  • 'Notice out' loud (though this isn't essential, especially since you might use this in a group).

  • If you can't really taste something, imagine eating your favourite food and how that would taste.

  • Don't rush through it - inhale and exhale slowly as you focus on each of the senses.

Feel free to print off this A4 pdf for your personal or classroom use...

My 5 steps to a calmer me
Download PDF • 157KB

Emma Spillane is an education trainer and consultant who specialises in attachment and trauma. She is currently taking bookings from primary school settings for 'trauma-informed approach to wider school reopening' training sessions (co-delivered with Bristol Lead Practitioner (Theraplay South West) Catherine Eveness).

Further information about training and consultancy services.

Sign up to Emma's mailing list for useful tips, resources, information and updates on training here.

60 views0 comments