Monday, August 17, 2015


One very helpful tip when learning how to manage extreme emotions was T.I.P. I use this when I get to the point of so much emotion that I cannot think clearly or tap into the Crisis Intervention skills, as, I am not thinking clearly at this point and I am seeking out a knife or something to cut myself with.

TIP is an acronym that stands for:

Tip the temperature of your face with ice.
Intensely exercise.
Pace your breathing by slowing it down OR:
Progressive muscle relaxation.

But when I am in an extremely emotional state of mind I essentially stop thinking rationally.
The ice is the most effective tool for me. In order to get myself to a place of being capable of processing information, I must find a way to essentially "reset" my nervous system. Fortunately, all mammals have something called the "mammalian diving reflex" that forces the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) to kick in, which functions to relax and calm us down.
Reflex is activated by icy cold water (not freezing) on the face. In particular, the icy cold water must hit the parts of the face just below the eyes and above the cheekbones for the dive reflex to be activated.
- Fill a bowl of icy cold water
- bend/lean over
- hold your breath
- put face in icy cold water for 30 seconds
- make sure the area underneath eyes/above cheekbones (most sensitive part of the face feels the icy water.

Or any icy cold gel mask over/around the eye area.
Cautions of using this technique:
1. Activating the dive reflex slows the heart rate, so anyone with heart problems or a slow heartbeat should avoid this strategy.
2. Those with eating disorders should avoid activating the dive reflex, as this is dangerous for the heart.

Benefits of using:

Provides immediate relief and is intended to get you into a functional state of mind where you are capable of using problem-solving skills to solve the intense problem at hand.
Most people use Intense exercise to relieve stress, but unfortunately this doesn't help me. I am a smoker and have health issues that prevent me from doing this. So I rely mostly on the Temperature (ice). I don't do it the way the tell me to use it either.
It takes me too long to wait for the sink to fill up with cold water, I want immediate relief from the distress I feel, so I grab an ice pack from the freezer and put it under my eyes, behind my back by my neck, or on my wrists. This is what's effective for me.
It usually prevents me from doing any harm to myself. I can return to a state of mind where I can use other "skills" or "tools" that I've been taught, and I can move forward in a more "normal" fashion.

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