Coping Skill: Sensorial Stimulation

Hands hold ice to cope with anxiety as a CBT coping skill taught by a psychologist.

Sensorial stimulation is a helpful tool for coping with anxiety and panic.

When it comes to utilizing coping skills to manage ongoing anxiety/panic attacks the brain can be a powerful tool to utilize to counteract biological symptoms. Biological symptoms of anxiety can include an increase in heart rate, nausea, increased in blood pressure, or difficulty breathing.

One helpful tool is to use sensorial stimulation, in other words, the power of distraction. Go to the freezer and grab an ice cube and hold it in your hand as long as you can. This technique will instantly “shift” your focus to the current sensation of numbness and the “anxiety” will temporarily be forgotten as it is difficult for the brain to focus on two sensations/feelings at the same time.

This technique will allow you to regroup and provide you with more time to collect your thoughts. Furthermore, it can be used to explore cognitive behavioral skills to optimistically reassess the situation.