The 333 rule explained and how you can practice it too
This technique consists of looking around when you sense a panic attack coming on, you need to start focusing on naming three things you see. Then, identifying and naming three sounds you hear. Finally, the rule involves moving three parts of your body and these parts include your ankle, arm and fingers. This method has proven to be very effective for me when coupled with deep breathing. I find it so calming on my stress and anxiety, that whenever my brain starts to panic and run away with itself, this process brings me back to the present moment and helps me center my mind.
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health issue in the United States, and research shows they are thought to affect over 40 million adults.
Every day is a struggle, but different management techniques exist
Anyone with a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) knows that sufferers can never be totally free of this disorder, but having tips and techniques on managing its impact is undeniably very helpful. Panic disorders are very unpredictable, however they are always omnipresent below the surface of our chests and when the occasional worry kicks in, our minds are never truly at ease. In my case, things that seem irrelevant to most people, such as driving to a new place or meeting someone new, send my mind into overdrive and plunge me into a whirlwind of stress, where I feel nothing but anxious. Over the years, I’ve learned to deal with my condition, yet I still find myself being caught off guard from time to time, especially when I have something new to do.
Being forced out of my comfort zone is often what triggers my invasive thoughts and that tight feeling in my chest, for example, I was recently tasked with training a new coworker on a system, and I was unable to sleep for half the night beforehand. I know this doesn’t seem like much of an achievement, but when I look back at when I was fighting against myself in an attempt to refute the acceptance of this disorder, I wouldn’t have slept for a single minute the night before. If my battle, or as I now prefer to call it, my journey with GAD has taught me anything, it’s to be less harsh on myself. Before, at the start of my journey, whenever I felt an attack coming on, I was so unprepared and would always beat myself up for handling things so badly afterwards.
How the 3-3-3 rule has helped me along the way
Overtime, I’ve learned that GAD is something I have to live with on a daily basis and that isn’t going to go away anytime soon. Coming to this realization gave me the nudge I needed to understand that I wasn’t to blame and that I didn’t deserve to suffer, or feel like a prisoner in my own body or mind. If I wanted to have any semblance of a normal life, I would need to look at ways to handle my emotions and techniques to soothe the symptoms of anxiety. I tried breathing techniques and distracting my mind with different resources, but nothing ever really seemed to work for me. Then, one day whilst speaking with a friend, she told me about a revolutionary trick which combined both breathing exercises and distraction mechanisms; in other words, the 333 rule, which leads me to where I am today; a happy and fulfilled GAD sufferer!
Editor’s opinion - Give it a go too!
This rule has changed my life and altered my perception on how I view my condition. Knowing that this trick works for me means I’ve decided that my illness ought to take a back seat and can’t be at the center of everything I do. I’ve let my disorder control me for way too long, it’s about time I took the power back and started to life my life to the fullest!
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