Using the Five Senses

Using the Five Senses

by Lauren Marcinek

I am 24 years old and I have anxiety, depression, panic disorder and most recently, health anxiety. My symptoms started to severely affect me at the age of 16. I was unsure at the time what my feelings truly were and thought there was something wrong with me. My physical symptoms ranged from nausea, headaches, difficulty breathing, heart palpitations, dizziness and fatigue. And I still have them with my anxiety to this day. I had been properly diagnosed and was given a low dose of Zoloft to help.

While in high school I had severe mental battles with myself. I would go days without eating and all I would want to do is sleep. I finally met my boyfriend and my whole life took a 360 turn. Having a good support system and knowing your anxiety does not define you is so important. 

Of course I still have my days though. Nothing is a permanent solution, so I suggest to instead try to learn ways to control your thoughts and know that with mental illness you can and will have a normal life!

Anxiety can come on randomly at any time—it’s normal! I’ve learned that grounding is the best way to bring yourself back down from an attack. Here is one technique I’ve learned which uses the five senses.


  • 5 things you can see
  • 4 things you can touch
  • 3 things you can hear
  • 2 things you can smell
  • 1 thing you can taste

Today, I am a medical assistant and I work a full time job, which keeps me busy. I take Zoloft and Buspirone to manage my symptoms and have an amazing support system. I am just one example showing that normalcy is possible!

I reached out to ADAA because I want to advocate for more people with anxiety and help educate others on the subject. My hope is to help people navigate through their journey and experiences with anxiety.

Always remember you are loved and your mental illness does not define you.

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