Building science-backed habits is important for our mental health. Remind yourself to hug someone you care about with our helpful mental wellness app WHOLE. Get it free at getwhole.co/ .
Panic or anxiety? Try holding ice in your hands (or/and your mouth) and focusing on the temperature and texture can definitely help!
Making contact with ice cubes during a panic attack or when anxiety hits is considered what’s called a “grounding exercise.” A grounding exercise is something that “changes your sensations” and “brings a new sense of mindfulness. This is like a jolt to the system to steer it away from the panic response and release chemicals into the body that counter panic and axiety by slowing down the release of cortisol (the stress hormone).
And since the shocking cold temperature of ice can feel painful, this also can prove helpful. Instead of these panic-induced neurotransmitters, pain receptors are stimulated and sometimes the endorphins that help us cope with pain are released.