3-3-3 anxiety rule

What is the 3-3-3 Rule for Anxiety?

Anxiety is a medical condition that affects millions of Americans. While it is common in certain situations, such as stage fright or talking in front of a classroom, it can be a daily life disturbance for many of the patients who visit us here at Collective Counseling Solutions. Fortunately, there are ways to manage anxiety, especially generalized anxiety and panic attacks, that may impact your quality of life. One strategy that is extremely effective in helping patients calm down with anxious thoughts and feelings is that of the 3-3-3 rule. Let’s take a look at how to spot anxiety and how the 3-3-3 rule works to calm and relax the mind.

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is more than just nervousness. It is a stress response that can happen at the most inconvenient times when patients have generalized anxiety disorder or regular panic attacks. It is a trigger to the body’s fight-or-flight response and often presents with:

· Excessive worry

· Muscle tension

· Fatigue

· Difficulty concentrating

· Restlessness

· Irritability

· Sleep disturbances

Many patients with anxiety may want to talk to a doctor after their diagnosis about ways to manage their stress and anxiety, either with medication or in-the-moment techniques and modalities.

How does the 3-3-3 rule work for anxiety?

For individuals who are starting to feel their anxiety ramp up or are at a low level of anxiety at the moment, the 3-3-3 rule can help as a grounding technique. It forces one to focus on their immediate surroundings to shift their brain’s focus from anxiety to being in the present moment. The rules

involve these three steps:

· Look around and identify three things that you can physically see with your eyes.

· Listen to three sounds that you hear in your current environment

· Move three parts of your body, whether it be wiggling your toes or fingers or rotating your wrists

When you recenter your focus on your surroundings and your body, you will be able to momentarily shift your brain into paying closer attention to you and your present environment and away from your anxious thoughts.

Why does the 3-3-3 rule for anxiety work?

The reason the 3-3-3 technique works is because it is:

· Simple

· A great way to provide immediate relief and relaxation

· Versatile, able to be used in various situations

· Empowering

What else can help with anxiety?

There are several other treatment methods that might help patients who deal with anxiety on a regular basis, including therapy and medication. When paired with these treatments, patients find the 3-3-3 technique to be even more effective and may find it easy to perform. It can reduce one’s reliance on panic attack medications, such as Xanax, to help calm the mind and body in the moment.

Learn more about therapy and other techniques for managing anxiety!

While anxiety might be an unavoidable part of life for many, it doesn’t have to be life-altering. Instead, learning how to manage and maintain lower levels of anxiety will help you in the long run in keeping control of your emotions and physical well-being. If you are looking for a therapist who can assist you in finding out more about anxiety and anxiety management, we invite you to find a therapist on our website that can meet your needs. We are always open to new and returning patients ready to take control of their lives—and their anxiety—once and for all!

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