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“It can be as simple as just naming three things you see; three things that you can touch in front of you; three things that you can smell or taste in the moment,” she explains. “If you can just find three things that you can see, 3-3-3 of certain groups, that can actually ground you in the moment and help [the feelings of overwhelm] pass a little bit more.”

It forces you to think of something—anything!—other than the situation that’s making you feel uneasy. Colors, sounds, shapes—anything that’s easy to spot in front of you. In case you need a visual, here’s a similar grounding exercise Harris shares over Instagram.

If that practice still doesn’t calm you down, another helpful way to cope with in-the-moment distress is to actually change how you view the situation, she notes. “If you don’t see it as a horrible thing is happening, you can start to reframe it a little bit. That’s very helpful,” Harris explains. In fact, in a study of college students assigned to give a speech, reappraising (aka reframing) or accepting their nerves was more effective at reducing physical distress than suppressing their feelings. In fact, reappraising was shown to be the most effective technique of the three when it came to moderating those feelings.



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