When we are feeling stressed, anxious, or overwhelmed, it can be hard to pull ourselves out of the rut we are in. It can make it even more difficult when our loved ones say cliche sayings such as “chill out.” Despite this common phrase being thrown around loosely, there might actually be some truth to it!
Did you know that using cold temperatures can help to halt a panic attack, minimize strong feelings, and help with emotion regulation? Cold sensations can help to redirect your attention away from the strong emotions you are feeling, effectively providing a distraction. Studies have also shown that cold water can lower one’s heart rate up to 15%. It is believed that cold temperatures can help activate the vagus nerve, which induces the parasympathetic system (our “rest and digest,” relaxation mode).
What you can do to help yourself in a moment of emotional difficulty:
Hold an ice cube in your hand
Splash cold water on your face
Drink a glass of cold water
Put your feet into a cold tub
Place a cool cloth on the back of your neck
Place your hands under a cold tap
If you would like to further explore coping tools for strong emotions, or need a safe place to talk through and process life’s challenges, please contact myself at brittney@serenitynowwellness.
Scientific literature: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.