3×3 Pattern for Diminishing the Stress Response – Feel Better By Looking Around

Here is a run through of the 3×3 Pattern that many folks are using as a way to calm or decrease the stress response when feeling anxious, overly excited, upset and otherwise bent out of shape.

Download this Image to put on your Smart Phone Home Screen for an easy reminder.

The pattern has a simple series of steps:

  1. Say allowed 3 things you can see outside of you, in the world around you.
  2. Say allowed 3 things you can feel inside of you.
  3. Say allowed 3 thinfs you can see outside of you – could be the same, could be different.
Repeat this Pattern 3x (i.e. name 3 things outside of you, 3 things inside of you, 3 things outside of you, 3 times around).

Now ask a simple check in question: “Do I feel the same now or different in any way?”

  • When you feel good enough to go on with life, move on to your other things to do.
  • If you notice things improving but not quiet there yet, do another round or two.
  • If you still feel really challenged, keep doing it but – slow down; don’t worry about choosing the right things to look at; decrease the number of things you feel inside from 3 to 1 or 2; shorten the amount of time you pay attention inside and lengthen the amount of time you; do the pattern with another person taking turns (over the phone works well for this too).
  • And if, all this does is makes you feel more distressed, obviously you should not do it and find somewhere else to put your attention in a way that you’ve found to be less distressing.
Please Know: There is no need to hurry, for what you see or feel to be especially important or profound, to like evergthing or not like everything – you’re just doing this pattern of moving your attention from outside, briefly inside, back to outside again and when “orienting” you are trying to give permission for your eyes to take interest in seeing the world around you and for allowing your head and neck to move so you can look around freely.

The video below will share a bit of the pacing of how this is usually done.

(A review of the science of why this works for many people to quiet or deminsih their stress response; adaptations that can be made and therapeutic lineage of where this attentional pattern comes from – which we’ll call Part 2 – will come in July 2018).

You can play along, see if you notice things being the same or different in any way after you do the 3×3?

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