Understanding The 3 3 3 Rule For Anxiety Management

Dealing with anxiety is hard. It can make it difficult to concentrate on things you need to get done. It can turn your seemingly best days into nothing more than a cloud of uncertain and stressful thoughts. 

It is an understatement to say that anxiety makes it difficult to enjoy the smallest of joys in your life. And if you have ever tried to manage it, you know how impossible it can feel without the right sets of tools. 

Over time, different tools and techniques have become popular as ways to manage anxiety. If you have been on the Internet recently, you might have heard about the 3 3 3 rule for anxiety management. 

If your first thought was to be skeptical about the new trend, we get you. Feeling a bit doubtful about a triple things rule claiming to help you manage anxiety is okay. 

To help you get a better understanding of the trend, in this post, we are going to dive deeper into what the 3 3 3 rule for anxiety is, its applications, and its potential to help you manage your anxiety. Let’s get started.

3 3 3 rule for anxiety

What is the 3 3 3 rule for anxiety?

The 3 3 3 anxiety rule is a grounding technique that helps an individual redirect their attention from the physical and mental symptoms of anxiety to three senses – sight, hearing, and movement. 

Grounding techniques are tools and tricks that help people cope with occasional and chronic anxiety. Using the 3 3 3 rule for anxiety, you can stay grounded in reality rather than spiraling into the vicious cycle of your stressful or triggering thoughts.

A therapist favorite, the 3 3 3 anxiety rule is often recommended to those dealing with anxiety or trauma. It is an easy and effective tool to utilize your senses to retake control of your emotions. 

Read more: 5 Effective Stress-Relieving Activities That Actually Work

How does the 3 3 3 rule for anxiety work?

The 3 3 3 rule has three basic components that help you stay grounded in the present moment and prevent you from spiraling. It uses your environment and senses to take your focus off what’s fueling your anxiety and bring you back to where you are currently standing, sitting, or lying down.

The three components of the 3 3 3 anxiety rule are as follows:

1. Sight – 3 things you see.

For the first part of the 3 3 3 rule, sit still for a while and focus on your surroundings. Focus on the things that are part of your vision. Then, name three things that you can see around you. Pay attention and notice the details on these objects. 

For instance, if you see a flower pot, notice the color of the pot or the kind of flowers put inside it. The purpose of the first step is to stop and make you focus while battling intrusive thoughts.

2. Hearing – 3 things you hear. 

In the next step, move your focus from sight to hearing. Focus on identifying three things in your environment that you can hear. Take a mental note of the pitch, loudness, and clarity of these sounds. 

You can also spend some time figuring out what these sounds are. Is it a bird? Or a car alarm? Or a vehicle horn?

3. Movement – 3 things you can touch.

The final step in the 3 3 3 anxiety rule is movement. In this part, choose three parts of your body that you want to move. For instance, you can wiggle a toe, move a finger, shake your head, and much more. 

This is the final step in helping you reconnect with your physical environment and your own sense of self.

Does the 3 3 3 rule for anxiety actually help?

A lot of people find the 3 3 3 anxiety rule beneficial for managing their anxiety. It combines the benefits of an efficient grounding technique with an easily memorable technique (given its unique name). This is something that you can possibly remember in a moment of intense stress and use to ground yourself.

The 3 3 3 rule helps you manage your anxiety by creating a much-needed space between your actual self and what’s stressing you out. It allows your brain to take a break from the constant stream of stressful thoughts. It also prevents dissociation from reality and helps you snap out of it.

Read more: Brewing Balance – 9 Best Teas For Stress And Anxiety Relief


The 3 3 3 rule for anxiety is a unique grounding technique that has gained immense traction on the Internet and for all the good reasons. It helps you dissociate from your anxiety symptoms and provides immediate relief. 

The techniques like the 3 3 3 rule haven’t undergone immense research. Therefore, we cannot recommend them as the best. With that said, it has been proven to be an effective grounding technique that you can try to manage your anxiety. 

Apart from this, there are other types of grounding techniques to help you calm your mind. To read more about them, click here.

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