Occasional fear or worry is okay; however, when it comes to the point that it affects your day-to-day function, it poses a big threat. And while most people are very particular about their physical health, mental health almost always takes a back seat.
According to ADAA (Anxiety and Depression Association of America), 3.1% of Americans suffer from Generalized Anxiety Disorder, 2.7% from panic disorder, 7.1% from Social Anxiety Disorder, and many others from other anxiety issues. Clearly, we cannot ignore mental health anymore.
It is important for people battling anxieties to look for strategies that will help them combat their anxiety issues in the long run. So do you know about the 3-3-3 rule? This article discusses what is the 3-3-3 rule for anxiety and shares some other coping strategies that will help you.
What Is the 3-3-3 Rule for Anxiety?
The 333 rule is an informal yet common technique that helps you pause your anxious thoughts for a moment and take a small step towards a calm mind. So what is the 3-3-3 rule for anxiety? The 333 rule means taking in your environment and then observing a few commands to help you calm down. These include:
• Naming three things you see
• Identifying three sounds you hear
• Moving three parts of your body or touching three things
The 333 rule is not a cure for your anxiety. However, it will help you calm your anxious thoughts, take in your surroundings, and shift your focus to the present. Also, you can do it anywhere. So, no matter where you are, you will always have things to see, hear, and parts of your body to move to help you calm down quickly.
Is the 333 Rule for Anxiety Effective?
Living with anxiety has become a norm for many people. However, with the right techniques and strategies, it does not have to be a chore. The 333 rule is one such technique that helps you handle your emotions and soothe your symptoms of anxiety.
Also, it is simple and easy. You do not need anybody’s help, nor do you need a pen, paper, or other objects to do it. Moreover, you can practice the technique whenever you feel yourself getting anxious or panicking, wherever you may be.
What the 3-3-3 Rule Can Do for You
When you constantly practice the 333 technique, it will help you in the following ways:
• Helps you disengage from negative emotions and feelings
• Focuses your mind on the present
• Keeps unwanted thoughts away
• Distracts your mind with your surrounding so that it is not consumed by panic
• Keeps you in the present moment
It is a grounding technique that is easy to practice when you are in the middle of a panic attack. You do not have to rush for a pen or paper—all you need to do is shift your focus to your surroundings. However, you may not be able to reap the benefits in one go. It is a technique that takes time to build and needs practice.
5 Coping Strategies for Anxiety That Will Help You
Some other coping strategies that will help you relax your mind, divert your attention, and regain control are:
1. Breathing In and Out
This is a tried and true technique that helps one divert their attention from the subject that causes the anxiety or panic attack. While you can do it in many different ways, like counting your breath, you don’t have to worry about that.
Just focus on taking in long, deep breaths and exhaling out long and slow. It will slow down your thought process, shift your attention, and re-center your mind.
Stop focusing on the outcome or future: Anxiety often stems from “What’s going to happen?” Stop yourself whenever you realize that you are drifting to worries of what may happen. Pull yourself back into the present and encourage yourself to get the best out of your current situation. So, keep yourself focused on your current task, whether at your office working on a project or strolling in a park.
2. Take Care of Yourself
Make sure you are eating a well-balanced diet and getting a minimum of 7 hours of sleep daily.
3. Welcome Humor
Watch a funny video. As it is said, laughter is the best medicine. Divert your mind with a good comedy video or tune in to a video by your favorite comedian.
4. Talk to Someone
Talking therapies are known to cast their magic; however, you do not need a professional to vent out your thoughts and worries. A family member, friend, or even a neighbor who will listen to you and understand the state you are in will go a long way in helping you overcome your anxiety issue. Other people also go through similar things, and advice from survivors proves very precious.
5. Maintain a Positive Attitude
People often worry about things that are not even in their control. Accepting that not everything is in your control becomes the first step in the fight against anxiety. Next, you need to maintain a positive attitude and accept that whatever happens will happen for the best, although it is not under your control. You need to replace negative thoughts with positive ones and stop dwelling on things that go wrong.