When you’re in the throes of a panic or anxiety attack, pulling yourself out of it is a huge and terrifying task. One simple, go-to recommendation from experts is connect with your senses. Some people, for example, like to pick out things around them that they can hear, see, smell, and feel; this technique grounds you in your body and can help you find calm.
For a similar accessible hack, we turn to clinical psychologist Julie Smith, who is chartered by the British Psychological Society (BPS) and registered with the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC) in the UK. Dr. Smith took to TikTok recently to explain five quick ways to help you manage an anxiety attack using (of all things) ice cubes.
Confused? Dr. Smith explains her reasoning in the video. The first tip, for example, is to simply hold the ice cubes in your hands, focusing on the temperature and texture. Next, you’ll slide an ice cube up and down your arm, again paying attention to how it feels. The physical sensations force you to be present in your body while also lowering your body temperature and heart rate, all of which can help you when you’re feeling swamped with emotion or anxiety, Dr. Smith says. Check out the video above and try out these quick tips the next time you’re in need.