So I was surfing the web a few days ago and found an interesting article about how to help calm yourself when have an anxiety of panic attack. Most of the article was information I had encountered before in my travels… You know “breathe” and how anxiety serves a biological function based on evolution. Meaning our ancestors didn’t have many of the luxuries we had, heightened anxiety served them well to keep them prepared for calamity.
So here we are in 2019 and social expectations along with personal internal pressure has increased anxiety for many of us. As I read the article here I was struck with the recommendation to “run cold water over your wrists”. I hadn’t heard that one before. The wrists contain major arteries so in theory cooling them down is akin to “chilling out” and that does make sense. Cooling them will cool the rest of your body as the blood is pumped.
As some of us suffer from elevated heart rates from anxiety this could prove to be a pretty valuable coping mechanism. The article claimed (without citation) that cold water on the wrists reduce cortisol. You can read another post I made on cortisol here
Cortisol is released into your blood from the adrenal gland and it is one of the anxiety/stress response hormones. Cortisol increases your blood sugar, or rather increases the rate in which you metabolize blood sugar to increase your energy so that your brain can deal with the anxiety source. In my travels I have found that control Cortisol is one of many things that can help relieve anxiety and panic attacks.
The worst part about anxiety and panic is the sense that you are losing control and you don’t have a way to stop the intrusive thoughts. Cortisol creates the conditions for your body that induce this perpetuating feeling as you metabolize more and more glucose your brain is fed and ready to promote its survival mechanism (more anxiety). I haven’t tried this method myself but if I can the next time I have a bought with anxiety or panic I think I might give it a shot.
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