Sonya Thomas lcsw

Five Finger Breathing

Here is another technique to assist in managing anxiety.  It is called Five Finger Breathing, and I encourage you to add this to your arsenal of self-soothing tools.  I know I will.  The below is taken from this article (you many need to refresh your screen a time or two when clicking on the link in order to get to the Medium article), in case you want more backstory on what is occurring in your brain when you are anxious. Now, for the exercise . . .

Start by placing the index finger of one hand on the outside of the pinky finger on your other hand. As you breathe in, trace up to the tip of your pinky, and as you breathe out, trace down the inside of your pinky. Then on the next inhale, trace up the outside of your ring finger, and on the exhale, trace down the inside of your ring finger. Inhale and trace up the outside of your middle finger. Exhale and trace down the inside of your middle finger. Continue until you’ve traced your entire hand, and then reverse the process as you trace from your thumb back to your pinky. What’s it like to trace even a few fingers? Better than getting caught up in worry?

Five finger breathing is great because it brings several of your senses together at the same time. You watch and feel your fingers while paying attention to your breath. This is not only multisensory, a combination of seeing and feeling, but it requires awareness of multiple locations as well — two of your fingers, one on each hand, and your breath.

Until next time, wishing you resilience.