3-3-3 rule to calm anxiety & panic attacks

When we see someone going through anxiety or panic attack, it helps to know how to help them.

When you or someone near you is going through an anxiety or panic attack, what can you do? How can you of of help? What should you ask them to do and what should you not?

The 3-3-3 rule is a useful coping mechanism to help an anxiety attack to pass.

We actively bring our focus to one sense at a time.

First to our vision, next to our hearing, and finally to our movement.

This way, our mind (which is feeling anxious) needs to focus on one of the senses to be able to complete the task. Switching the attention towards one of the senses helps reduce the focus on the anxiety attack and give something that our mind can focus on temporarily. Whether we remember to do it ourselves or remind a friend who is going through an attack, helps give the mind a structure to focus on and an activity to complete. The activity grounds us in the present, helping the anxiety attack to pass.

5-4-3-2-1 technique

Some use the 5-4-3-2-1 technique for their anxiety attacks as well. Concept is still the same. Switching the focus to complete one activity using one of the senses.

  • 5 things that we can look around and name
  • 4 things that we can feel
  • 3 things that we can smell
  • 2 things that we can hear
  • 1 thing that we can taste

Every student NEEDS to know how to identify an anxiety / panic attack and help their friends & family members in a timely manner when in need.

One thought on “3-3-3 rule to calm anxiety & panic attacks

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.