The 3-3-3 Rule For Anxiety: What Is It And How It Helps
Imagine you’re sitting in your room, relaxing, then out of nowhere your palms begin to sweat, your heart rate increases, and you feel out of control – this is what having anxiety feels like. One moment you’ll be relaxing and the next, you’ll be feeling all out of sorts…
For many people, anxiety is triggered by an event such as an argument, moving to a new city, or going through a tough time. Other times, anxiety can be triggered by your bottled-up emotions, feelings, or thoughts.
It is completely normal to get overwhelmed or nervous but when these feelings are persistent and begin to interfere with your daily functioning, then it can be diagnosed as an anxiety disorder. One of the most common anxiety disorders (worldwide) is Generalized Anxiety Disorder or GAD, which can cause panic, overwhelming fear, heart palpitations, trembling, shaking, or even experience panic.
Of course, to help with anxiety, there are some long-term and short-term therapy treatments or
medications. But everyone struggling with any anxiety disorder can’t benefit from making
lifestyle changes or alternative ways to reduce stress and anxiety.
Then, what can help with anxiety?
In this article, I’ll be helping you understand one particular self-help strategy to manage anxiety. The 3-3-3 Rule For Anxiety. Practicing this 333 rule will help you relax your body, find your center, and regain your control.
The 3-3-3 Rule For Anxiety
When it comes to anxiety, stress, or even panic attacks there are some things you can try to ease your mind.
This 333 rule might not seem as extensive as other techniques but it is a very simple yet effective technique to reduce stress and find your calm, even if you’re overwhelmed at work.
Whether you sense your anxiety at work or home, the 333 rule for anxiety asks you to focus on:
Take a pause and look around you. Bring your attention to three physical objects around you. Look at them and name them. Pay close attention to the details. For example; You see a flower vase, a bottle of water, and a book. Pay close attention to each object. What color is the vase, what about the design? Is the water bottle full? Is it cold, hot? What kind of book is it? Paperback, hardcover?
Next, you need to look around for three things that are within your sight and hearing range. Listen to three sounds you can hear and name them. Again, pay close attention to the details, for example; the pitch, the cadence of each sound.
The last thing you need to do is engage your sense of touch. Choose three body parts you can move. You can use your arm, legs, and ankles for this part. For example; wiggle your toes, rotate your ankles, tap your fingers, move your arms, etc.
With the three senses engaged – sight, sound, and touch – you can create a soothing symphony in your mind to pull you out of your panic.
Combined with deep breathing, the 333 rule can have a calming effect on your mind and body. Practicing this technique will help with anxiety, center your mind, and bring you to the present
The Benefits Of The 3-3-3 Rule
Living with anxiety or an anxiety disorder is not easy but when you employ the right techniques, managing anxiety and panic can be easy. If you’re constantly struggling with managing your anxiety or being overwhelmed at work, you can practice the 333 rule.
By practicing this technique, you can learn to:
- Helps you pull away from negative emotions and feelings
- Keep your mind away from unwanted thoughts
- Helps distract your mind from the panic
- Helps you stay in the present moment
Grounding techniques such as the 333 rule may not be easy to practice when you’re in the middle of a panic attack, and especially difficult when dealing with anxiety at work. It might take time to build the technique but keep practicing.
Additional tips to help you:
- Even if you don’t feel distressed, keep practicing the technique. It might come in handy when you do experience distress.
- Don’t wait. If you just feel a little stressed, practice the grounding exercise. It’s better to not wait for when the stress or anxiety becomes too much.
- When you’re practicing the 333 rule, make sure you keep your focus on your environment only. Don’t focus on your feelings but the things around you.
- Check-in with yourself 10 minutes before and after. Rating your distress before and after can help you understand how well your grounding technique worked.
- Keep your eyes open. Many people find closing their eyes helpful but when you’re practicing the 333 rule, make sure you keep your eyes open.
Grounding techniques, whichever you prefer, can help you regain control, find your calm, and help relax. If these techniques are not helping, it is suggested you reach out to a professional for help. Remember, this technique can also help if you’re struggling with generalized anxiety, health anxiety, or just overwhelmed at work.
I hope this article helped you understand the 3-3-3 rule for anxiety. If you found this article helpful, let us know in the comments below!
Be kind to yourself.