Mental Wellness: How to Cope When Having a Panic Attack!
Photo Cred: HelpGuide.Org

The 5-4-3-2-1 method is a type of grounding technique and a type of mindfulness. It helps direct the person’s focus away from the sources of the panic attack.


Johannesburg, South Africa (19 January 2021) – Panic attacks are very real and very scary. I have found so many family members and friends who are experiencing this for the first time in their lives, and it is largely due to the uncertainty around Covid and what it means to us individually.

My Mum started having these panic attacks because she is in a retirement village, and basically being kept away from human contact and affection. It is a very very real fear.

I did some research for her, and I found these 5 things to try when a panic attack is experienced: The 5-4-3-2-1 method

Panic attacks can make a person feel detached from reality. This is because the intensity of the anxiety can overtake other senses. The 5-4-3-2-1 method is a type of grounding technique and a type of mindfulness. It helps direct the person’s focus away from sources of stress.

To use this method, the person should complete each of the following steps slowly and thoroughly:

  • Look at 5 separate objects. Think about each one for a short while.
  • Listen for 4 distinct sounds. Think about where they came from and what sets them apart.
  • Touch 3 objects. Consider their texture, temperature, and what their uses are.
  • Identify 2 different smells. This could be the smell of your coffee, your soap, or the laundry detergent on your clothes.
  • Name 1 thing you can taste. Notice whatever taste is in your mouth, or try tasting a piece of candy.

Sources: Debbie De Beer Gatt 
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Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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