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Struggling With Anxiety? Try These 5 Ice Cube Hacks By A Psychologist

today18 January 2021

Background

Having anxiety is normal. After all, it’s what happens when our body recognises that it’s time to go into “fight or flight” mode. When presented with stress or danger, the body pumps adrenalin through the body – allowing it to cope with the situation at hand.

 

 

However, when one is inexplicably experiencing anxiety on a regular basis – to the extent that it affects one’s ability to go about one’s daily life – that’s when anxiety becomes a problem. Especially so, when anxiety is triggered by something that isn’t actually a danger. Nevertheless, it’s becoming increasingly common for anxiety disorders to develop in people as a result of factors like (but not limited to) stress, genetics and upbringing.

 

 

With that being said, more and more people are finding themselves looking for ways to deal with their anxiety. One of the simplest ways that experts recommend is to zone in on one’s senses. This involves choosing a sense (for example, sight or feeling) and putting one’s energy into focusing on that sense. Of course, this tends to be easier said than done, especially when you’re already in the “fight or flight” state. Luckily, clinical psychologist Julie Smith has a hack that can be done at home or at a restaurant.

 

@drjuliesmithTop 5 Anxiety Hacks With Ice ? ##anxiety ##panic ##panicattack ##anxietyattack♬ ROCKSTAR – DaBaby, Roddy Ricch

 

In a TikTok, Dr Smith demonstrates five ways in which ice cubes can be used to help reduce anxiety and curb panic attacks. She explains in the video that the very physical sensation brought on by the ice cube will ground you while its coldness helps to lower body temperature and heart rate. This is important because anxiety and panic tend to cause “derealisation”, forcing the individual to experience detachment from their surroundings and causing them to look at the situation in a dreamlike, foggy or disoriented state. By appealing to your senses, especially touch, you’re able to bring your conscience to focus on the tangible. The coldness will then work to breakthrough the disassociative feelings. So what does Dr Smith recommend you do?

 

1. Hold ice in your hands.

Focus on the texture, the chill. This focuses your mind on the discomfort, de-escalating the symptoms of your anxiety.

 

2. Move the ice cube along your arms.

Take note of how your body reacts to the ice and the sensations they cause.

 

3. Hold it in your mouth.

Put the ice cube in your mouth and push it to the roof of your mouth.

 

4. Rub the ice on your face.

In reducing the temperature of your face, your heart rate will also decrease.

 

5. Wash your face with ice-cold water;Β  the ‘Ice Diver’s Technique’.

This may be the most complicated way of all 5 tricks but it’s the fastest way to alleviate anxiety. What you need to do when you feel overwhelmed is to fill a large bowl (or your sink) with water and ice. Then, take a deep breath and submerge your face (especially your forehead, eyes, temples, nose, and upper cheeks) for at least ten to fifteen seconds. If you need to, repeat this process until your nervous system has calmed down.

 

 

Although these tips have been proven to help and are recommended by clinical experts on the matter, it is not a once size fits all solution nor is it a long term one. Because the experience of anxiety is not something that is entirely in one’s control, it’s important to take precautions to understand what can trigger one’s own anxiety. Speaking to a healthcare professional is the best way to avoid allowing your anxiety to grow. At the same time, ensure to be wary of the way you treat yourself: healing comes from within so make sure you’re more resilient against negative feelings and thoughts by giving yourself the love you need.

 

 

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be a substitute for medical advice. We understand that everyone’s situation is unique, and this article was written in the hopes it will help alleviate anxiety where possible. Anxiety is complex, and this post does not take into account the unique circumstances for every individual. For specific questions about your health needs or that of a loved one, seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition. Never disregard the advice of a medical professional, or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this Website.

 

 

*Cover image credits:
Artwork: Instagram / @katschneids
Ice: Instagram / @domsli22

Written by: Marissa Anne


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