Have you ever felt your heart racing, palms sweating, and your mind spinning out of control with anxious thoughts? We’ve all been there. Anxiety can take over and prevent you from living your best life. But what if there was a simple technique to take back control when anxiety strikes? There is – it’s called the 333 Rule. We will explain the 333 Rule and how you can use it to manage and help yourself with anxiety, calm your mind and body, and get back to feeling like yourself again. No special training or equipment is needed, just an open mind and willingness to try something new. Get ready to learn a game-changing anxiety hack that you can start using today.

According to Medline Plus;

Anxiety is a common and normal response to stress, but when it becomes difficult to control and starts affecting day-to-day life, it can be disabling. Anxiety disorders affect nearly 1 in 5 adults in the United States. Occasional anxiety is expected in life, but anxiety disorders involve more than temporary worry or fear.


What Is the 333 Rule?

The 333 rule is a simple but effective technique for relieving anxiety, alleviate nervousness and calming yourself down. It works by shifting your mind’s focus away from the uncomfortable physical and emotional symptoms of anxiety.

To use the 333 rule, stop what you’re doing and take a few deep breaths to begin centering yourself. Next, notice three things you can see around you. Say them aloud or just notice them silently. Then, notice three sounds you can hear. Finally, notice three parts of your body that you can feel, and move them. For example, you might roll your shoulders, stretch your neck, or wiggle your toes.

How It Helps

Focusing your attention on your senses helps relax your mind and body. Anxiety often involves excessive worrying about the future or ruminating about the past. The 333 rule brings your focus into the present moment, helping you avoid escalating anxious thoughts. It’s also very grounding, reminding you of the simple details in your surroundings and your physical form. This can help combat feelings of panic that make the world seem strange or unreal.

With regular practice, the 333 rule can become an automatic response when you start to feel very anxious or panicked. The more you use it, the faster it will work to help you regain a sense of calm. While it may seem too simple to be effective, this technique has helped many people lower anxiety and increase their ability to cope in stressful situations. Give it a try next time you’re feeling overwhelmed by anxiety and see the difference it can make.

How to Practice the 333 Rule for Anxiety

The 333 Rule is simple but effective. When anxiety starts to build, find 3 things you can see, 3 things you can hear, and 3 things you can physically feel. This helps shift your mind from the anxious thoughts fueling your distress to the present moment.


Focusing on Your Senses

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Look around and notice 3 objects you can see. Maybe a painting on the wall, your pet snoozing nearby, the trees outside. Focus on the details. Next, listen closely for 3 distinct sounds. Cars driving by, birds chirping, the hum of the air conditioner.

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Tune In To Your Body

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Finally, notice 3 things you can physically feel. The softness of the couch cushions under you, the warmth of a cup of tea in your hands, your breath moving in and out. Keep doing rounds of 3s until you start to feel calmer.

The Science Behind the 333 Rule

The 333 Rule works by redirecting your attention and activating your parasympathetic nervous system, which calms the body and mind. When anxiety strikes, your sympathetic nervous system activates your fight or flight response, flooding your body with adrenaline and cortisol. This can make anxiety symptoms feel intense and overwhelming.

Redirect Your Senses

By focusing on your senses, the 333 Rule helps shift your mind from worrying thoughts about the future to the present moment. As you notice three things you see, hear and feel, your mind has to focus on the sensory information, which helps disrupt rumination and excessive worrying. This small act of mindfulness has been shown to decrease activity in the anxiety center of your brain, the amygdala, and increase activity in your prefrontal cortex, the rational part of your brain.

Slow Your Breathing

Taking deeper, slower breaths as part of the 333 Rule also activates your body’s relaxation response through your vagus nerve. Your vagus nerve connects your brain and body, and slow, deep breathing stimulates it to send messages to your brain to release calming neurotransmitters like GABA. These neurotransmitters work to decrease anxiety and promote an overall sense of wellbeing.

Find Your Anchor

An additional benefit of the 333 Rule is that it helps you find an “anchor” to ground yourself in the present moment during anxiety. By focusing on your senses, you have a tool to shift your mind from worrying thoughts and redirect your attention to the current environment around you. This can help prevent anxiety from intensifying and give you a sense of control over your symptoms.

The 333 Rule is a simple but powerful tool for anxiety management because it works with your body’s natural mechanisms for relaxation and stress relief. By engaging your senses and slowing your breathing, you can activate your body’s calming systems to find respite from anxiety and stay focused on the present.

How often should I do the 333 Rule?

There is no set schedule for using the 333 Rule. The more often you practice it, the more natural it will feel to use when anxiety strikes. A good rule of thumb is to aim for 3 to 5 times per day, such as:

  • After waking up (to start your day grounded)
  • Before going to bed (to unwind your mind for sleep)
  • On your work or school breaks
  • Anytime anxiety feels heightened

The 333 Rule is a simple but powerful way to reconnect with the present moment. By making it a habit, you’ll have an effective tool for easing anxiety and maintaining a sense of calm.

333 Rule For Anxiety


When anxiety starts creeping in, simply name 3 things you see, 3 things you hear, and 3 things you physically feel. Staying present through your senses can help calm your thoughts when they start to spiral. It may feel silly at first, but with practice, it becomes a powerful tool to stop anxiety in its tracks. The next time you recognize those anxious feelings bubbling up, remember your new 333 trick. Staying grounded in the here and now will help you ride the wave instead of drowning in it. This little rule can make a big difference in taking control of anxiety.