Activity: 5-4-3-2-1 Game (Stress Coping Techniques for Students)

Discover powerful stress coping techniques tailored for students in this insightful blog. Empower your students with effective strategies for navigating challenges and promoting a positive mindset.

The Goal

The point of this exercise is to teach students a coping mechanism to help handle stress, panic attacks, or emotional overload.

RAMP (ASCA) Mindset & Behaviors addressed and developed:

Career: Take Responsibility; Overcoming Obstacles; Positive Attitude.
Social/Emotional: Coping Skills; Self Advocacy; Whole Self; Self Confidence.


  •  Circle of chairs
  • Pencil and paper

Step 1:

 Have everyone sit down (either on a chair or the ground) and think about five colors they see.

Step 2:

Have students think about four sounds they hear.

Step 3:

Have students touch three objects in the room and think about how they feel (they can move during this exercise).

Step 4:

Have students think of two smells.

Step 5:

Have students think of the one taste of their favorite food.

Example: I see the colors blue, grey, white, green, and red; I hear crickets, the air conditioning, people walking, and my breathing; I feel my pen, the carpet, and my shirt; I smell fresh air and my shampoo; I remember the taste of mocha-flavored ice cream.

Incorporating these five stress coping steps into their routine can be a powerful tool for students navigating challenging moments. By grounding themselves in the present through colors, sounds, textures, smells, and tastes, students create a mental sanctuary amidst stress, cultivate a sense of mindfulness, and regain control over their emotional responses. Students are encouraged to embrace these steps in moments of stress or frustration, finding solace and resilience in the simple act of reconnecting with their immediate sensory experiences.

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