Step Five: Reduce Anxiety Using the Icy Cold Water Treatment

Icy Water Treatment

Two nervous systems keep us alive: the sympathetic and parasympathetic.

The parasympathetic nervous system controls all of the functions of the body (pulse, breathing, distribution of water, etc.) without our even knowing.

We activate the sympathetic nervous system when we need to be in full control (when, for example, confronting a bear when hiking in the forest or managing 20 people).

When you are anxious or have anxiety attacks, your sympathetic nervous system is running full steam ahead and the parasympathetic has been shut down for all practical purposes. The sympathetic system is in control with anxiety and is so dominant that you rarely have the mental brakes that are needed to disengage it. The fuel of anxiety is adrenaline and cortisol and other hormones.

A balance of hormones is needed for the body to generate dopamine and the other “chill out” hormones. Of the two nervous systems, the sympathetic will always overpower and overwhelm the parasympathetic which is the henpecked companion. When it comes to symptoms of Parkinson’s, the sympathetic nervous system is the bad guy and the parasympathetic is the good guy

Anxiety has to be calmed to disengage the full throttle of the sympathetic nervous system and re-activate the dormant parasympathetic nervous system (though of course is still continues to regulate our primary life functions).

How in the world do you get the attention of the sympathetic nervous system to slow down and rest? You do not do this by persuasion or “hope”. It seems so very complicated, eh?

Not really! You do it instantly with the icy water treatment. After all, if you want to turn someone off, don’t you give them the Icy Water Treatment?

Here is how to set it up so that it is available when needed.

1. Find a bowl large enough for your two hands to fit inside. 

2. Grab an Ice Cube Tray or collect water from the fridge

3. Fill the bowl half way up or so with water. 

4. Put some ice cubes in the water (or keep the bowl in the fridge).

5. When feeling anxious, immerse your two hands into the icy cold water for 10-15 seconds (or longer if you can tolerate it). 

It is as easy as that!

Keep the bowl of cold water handy and readily available at home when you need it. Why not just put it in the fridge? You can use this as many times a day as needed.

When you leave home, bring a small wash rag with you.  Why? You will obviously not have ready access to your bowl of icy cold water. When you need to calm down anxiety that begins to sizzle inside, just wet the wash rag in cold water (available in any bathroom) and wipe your face with it.

That will reduce your anxiety level too.