What is the 333 rule for anxiety?

Nearly 40 million adults in the United States experience anxiety disorders in a given year, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. If you’re one of them, you know the struggle of racing thoughts and a constant feeling of unease. But, have you heard about the 333 rule for anxiety?

This article explores the 333 Rule, a powerful technique for promoting mental wellness, and how Synergy Mental Wellness incorporates the 333 Rule into its treatments. 

Stressed Girl Sitting With Books and Papers all Over the Desk

The 333 Rule Explained

The 333 Rule is a simple yet effective technique for managing anxiety in the moment. It’s a quick way to reconnect with the present moment and interrupt anxious thoughts. According to the rule, when panic attacks strike: 

  1. See: Look around and identify three specific things you can see. Notice details like color, shape, or texture.
  2. Hear: Focus on your auditory environment. Name three distinct sounds: traffic, birds chirping, or even your deep breathing.
  3. Move: Engage your body. Move three different body parts – wiggle your toes, clench and unclench your fists, or shift your shoulders.

The 333 Rule aligns with principles of mindfulness and grounding techniques used in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which multiple studies support for effectiveness in reducing anxiety symptoms and improving emotional regulation.

Benefits of 333 Rule

The following are the benefits of practicing the 333 rule for anxiety and anxiety disorders:

Anxiety Management

The 333 Rule redirects focus from distressing thoughts to the immediate environment, empowering you to alleviate anxiety by fostering a sense of control and calmness.

Mindfulness Promotion

Engaging with the 333 Rule promotes mindfulness, encouraging you to be present in the moment and heightening awareness of your surroundings, leading to improved emotional regulation and stress reduction.

Grounding Technique

The 333 rule prompts you to actively identify three things you see, hear, and feel, acting as a grounding technique, helping to anchor you in the present and alleviate feelings of disconnection or dissociation.


The simplicity and accessibility of the 333 Rule make it a valuable coping strategy for managing anxiety disorder in various settings, providing a quick and effective method for grounding oneself during moments of distress.

Overall, practicing the 333 Rule contributes to overall stress reduction, promoting a sense of calm and emotional well-being in daily life.

How Synergy Mental Wellness Incorporates The 333 Rule Into Their Treatments

At Synergy Mental Wellness, we integrate the 333 Rule into our treatments as part of our holistic approach to mental health. This grounding technique helps manage anxiety by encouraging patients to focus on their immediate surroundings. During sessions, Michael Boas guides individuals to identify three things they see and three sounds they hear in their environment. 

Through this, they become more present, redirecting their attention away from anxious thoughts. This practice complements other offerings such as individual counseling, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques, group therapy, and psychiatric evaluations. 

Case studies and success stories showcase the effectiveness of the 333 Rule. Most people have reported feeling a significant reduction in anxiety and an increased sense of control after practicing the technique. With this evidence, we are constantly looking to improve the rule’s effectiveness and integrate new tools and techniques into our comprehensive approach to anxiety disorder management.

Tips And Techniques For Implementing The 333 Rules in Daily Life

Implementing the 333 Rule in daily life can be a helpful strategy for managing anxiety. Here are tips and coping strategies for incorporating this technique:

  • Incorporate Regular Practice Sessions: Set aside dedicated times to practice the 333 Rule during your day. Consistency builds familiarity and effectiveness.
  • Utilize Environmental Cues: Place visual cues like sticky notes or reminders on your phone to prompt the practice. Integrate it into your routine activities to reinforce the habit and accelerate your mental health journey.
  • Engage All Senses: Actively engage your senses by identifying three things you see, hear, and feel around you. This helps anchor your awareness in the present moment.
  • Adjust to Suit Different Settings: Modify the rule to adapt to various environments and situations. Whether you’re at work, home, or outdoors, find ways to apply the technique.
  • Experiment with Variations: Explore variations such as the 222 or 444 Rule to tailor the practice to your preferences and needs. Experimenting allows you to discover what works best for you.
  • Reflect on Your Experiences: Take a moment to reflect on how the 333 Rule impacts your mood and mindset. Acknowledge its benefits and areas for improvement to boost growth.

Other coping mechanisms include deep breathing exercises, journaling, and regular physical activity. Finally, consider support from a mental health professional for better results – Get personalized guidance at Synergy Mental Wellness.