When you are feeling high levels of stress, anxiety or intense emotions, what are some strategies for a rapid reduction of symptoms. It’s important to manage stress and anxiety because symptoms – such as chest tightness or shortness of breath – can mimic those of asthma or COVID-19.

Psychologist Gianine Rosenblum, PhD, explains the “dive response,” a technique that involves submerging your face in a basin of cold water while holding your breath for 30 seconds. This can rapidly reduce the heart rate and calm the mind. (Consult your physician first if you have heart problems.)

If you’re not comfortable with the “dive response” technique, a similar strategy is to fill a large Ziploc bag with water and a couple ice cubes and rest it over your eyes and cheeks while holding your breath for 30 seconds.

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