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  • Writer's pictureNicole Herway

Stack Your Coping Skills!

We've all heard the typical coping techniques: take a deep breath, phone a friend, go for a walk. Those are great for a moment, but I have clients asking me, "What if I try the coping skill but it doesn't work and the trigger keeps triggering me?" My answer: "Stack your skills! One skill might not be enough. Keep engaging in the grounding technique so you're not engaging with the trigger. Wear out the trigger. Show it your skills are stronger than it."

Here's a new skill to add to your coping skill toolkit that you can use as a stand-alone skill or along with other coping skills. The skill: 5 Senses.

5 - List 5 things I see

4 - List 4 things I hear

3 - List 3 things I feel

2 - List 2 things I smell

1 - List 1 thing I taste

Real life demo time!


Notice the thought: "I'm feeling overwhelmed."

Notice the emotion: "I'm feeling overwhelmed and burned out."


5 - I see my book, my pen, my mouse, my water bottle, the frame on the wall

4 - I hear the sound of the air conditioner, a car driving by outside, the clock ticking, the

3 - I feel the grooves on my pen, the edges of my toes inside my shoe, the keyboard under my fingers

2 - I smell freshly shaved pencil shavings, the smell of a cardboard box

1 - I taste the fresh water I just drank

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