Ice Diving: To Help You Chill

Have you ever wondered why in the movies people splash cold water on their face? Me neither, but it turns out this has a purpose- stopping anxiety/panic attacks!  Grabbing ice cubes or plunging your face in a sink full of icy cold water (also known as ice diving) works too.

I would not suggest that you make yourself uncomfortably cold without a reason, which is this: the temperature change shocks your nervous system so it turns its focus on the coldness instead of what may be causing the anxiety. Being freezing is also an intentional distraction from the distressing sensations or emotions that accompany anxiety/panic attacks.

Because I know anxiety attacks don’t conveniently occur near refrigerator freezers or sinks, here are some other arctic ideas:

  • Freeze an almost-full bottle of water to carry with you
  • Fill a water bottle with ice cubes
  • Take a cold shower
  • Keep a soft ice pack from the freezer in your purse, wrap it in a dishtowel to keep it cold longer
  • Find inexpensive instant ice packs, the kind you squeeze to activate
  • In the winter, brrrring a ziplock bag that you can fill with snow

Happily, there are several ways to manage anxiety that don’t give you goosebumps. Make an appointment with a therapist at Yurk Counseling Services to learn more about how to chill your anxious brain.  In the meantime, I am going to go turn up the thermostat. BRB.


Love yourself, you deserve it.

Tina Gray-Siebers, MS, LPC