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Feeling Anxious? Calm Your Mind With The 3-3-3 Rule

For various reasons, many of us struggle with anxiety in our daily lives. However, there are strategies we can use to cope with anxiety and keep it from overwhelming us. Enter: the 3-3-3 rule.


It's a super simple technique to help you regain control and calm your mind. It essentially requires you to identify three things you can see, three things you can hear, and three ways you can move your body.


“It’s basically a way of distracting yourself from your anxiety by shifting your attention to your senses,” says Aimee Daramus, PsyD, a clinical psychologist at Clarity Clinic, Chicago. This sentiment is reinforced by Leigh McInnis, LPC, executive director of Newport Healthcare in Virginia: “By redirecting your focus away from anxious thoughts, it grounds you in the present moment.”


So, when you find yourself experiencing any anxiety, why not give 3-3-3 a try? Here's how:


Look around: Identify three things you can see. Take a moment to really observe these objects, noting their details, colours, and shapes. “This process helps to shift your focus from internal anxiety to your external environment,” says McInnis.


Listen closely: Find three sounds you can hear. These could be as loud as a blaring siren or as subtle as bird song.

Move your body: Move three parts of your body. It could be as simple as rolling your shoulders, wiggling your toes, or turning your head. Pay attention to the sensations caused by each movement.


It's a technique you can use anywhere and anytime. What’s more, you can repeat it as many times as needed, until you feel more calm and collected.

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