Got Anxiety?

I don’t have huge issues with anxiety, but several members of my immediate family do, so when I find something that helps, I’m always super pleased. Cold showers do bring calm with them, and my feeling is that they’d lower overall attacks, substantially. My son, who has significant anxiety, tells me that a cold shower will stop the worst attacks in their tracks. But we don’t always have a cold shower available. Thankfully, there are very effective alternatives.

First, the dive reflex. Evidently, our biology is set up in such a way that our heart-rate automatically drops if our face becomes submerged in water. I don’t think temp matters. Cup your hands under the faucet, fill with water, plunge your face in. Do it over and over until you’re feeling more stable.

Another option. A few months after I began cold showers, I discovered a Dutch gentleman named Wim Hof. I took his online class (not necessary, but kinda fun), figuring it might be cool (pun intended). I was already immersed in the cold (ok, I’ll stop now), but his facebook group was helpful, so I joined and remain an active member. I joined/took the class to learn his “brown fat activation exercises” and breathing technique. The exercises are nothing special, and I’m sadly no less chubby as a result, but the breathing technique (which you can find for free on YouTube) is the thing. I don’t enjoy the breathing technique (ok, I hate it), but I’ll tell you that when you’re done, you’re the definition of mellow. When I’m anxious, it’s my go-to. I have to do 3-4 rounds of 40 breaths each round. I know I’m there when my fingers are tingling and I’m losing count in my head. And after I’m done, I have to just sit there for a few minutes, until I actually have enough give-a-damn built up that I want to move back into life. I’m that mellow.