There are thousands of tips on managing stress and anxiety, but they usually show their results over time. If you start meditating, you likely won’t reap the benefits until weeks later, once your body has experienced the perks and is able to acclimate to the long term effects. When looking for quick relief or a fast reboot, therapists believe one trick might help you snap out of your discomfort.
According to science, plunging your face in cold water, no matter how strange it sounds, is effective when trying to make yourself feel better. This is known as the mammalian diving response, and it’s an instinct we all have, making us feel better and providing us with much needed oxygen — something that is key when going through a stressful moment.
Diving in water soothes our senses, something that’s particularly helpful when experiencing strong emotions. It’s a trick that’s even used in a variety of therapy sessions. “Submerging your face in cold water is a technique for managing intense emotional arousal,” therapist Liz Kelly told Bustle. “Your heart rate slows and you feel calmer.”
The colder the water, the better the results, with the intensity of the temperature making us feel very present and, thus, away from our anxieties and concerns.
This helpful tip is simple, working by simply filling up the sink or a bowl and submerging your face in it until your eyes and cheekbones are immersed. You should feel your heart rate go down and should feel some discomfort, providing a waking jolt.
Cold water is one of the easiest methods, with actual scientific support, to help us stay rooted in the present and calm down when we need it most. While you’ll most likely need to do other things in order to cope with long term anxiety or stress, when feeling stressed and out of your body, some cold water can help you think clearly and thus resolve your problems more effectively.