Have you ever been plagued by anxiety and wished there was a quick, effective way to calm down? Well, we're excited to tell you that your freezer might just hold the solution! Enter vagus nerve icing, the latest hack that could provide you with the much-needed relief you crave.
Let's start by talking about the vagus nerve, which is the longest cranial nerve in our body, running all the way from our brain to our abdomen. It's responsible for regulating critical body functions such as heart rate, respiratory rate, digestion, and reflexes like swallowing and vomiting. This nerve plays a crucial role in our parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), which controls the "rest and digest" mode. When activated, the vagus nerve signals our body to calm down by slowing the heart rate and reducing blood pressure.
Research has shown that stimulating the vagus nerve with cold can effectively regulate the nervous system and lower heart rate. This leads us to vagus nerve icing, which has recently been making waves on TikTok. Thanks to a video by Frankie Simmons, many people now rely on this method to kickstart their sleepy nerves. In her video, she swears by its effectiveness, claiming that she can get herself back to sleep in just 15 minutes instead of the usual hour and a half! But it's not just a TikTok trend; vagus nerve icing is used as a distress tolerance skill in dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). DBT is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on handling tough emotions without becoming overwhelmed. It's a short-term coping strategy that can quickly reduce the intensity of emotions.
Now, here's the part you've been waiting for - how exactly do you activate the vagus nerve with cold? There are a few ways to do this: you can splash cold water onto your face, hold your breath and submerge your face in cold water, hold a soft ice pack over your eyes, drink ice-cold water, or take a cold shower. By trying any of these methods, you could potentially find a quick fix to calm your anxious mind and body. Remember, taking care of your mental health is crucial, and it's okay to seek help whenever you need it. So, don't hesitate to try this method out - your body and mind will thank you for it!