Will Dunking Your Head in Ice Improve Your Mental Condition?

Will Dunking Your Head in Ice Improve Your Mental Condition?
Image: Warner Bros.

We test a lot of hacks from the youthful abyss that is TikTok, but today we are trying out something so austere, it has been covered in The Grey Lady. (I assume that this lady does not yet have a TikTok account, as we had to read written piece.)

In an article titled “Five-Minute Coronavirus Stress Resets,” Jenny Taitz outlines some simple ways to combat the agony of [gestures wildly] all of this going on. While some of the techniques sound like they couldn’t hurt, like taking deep breaths slowly, some of the advice jumped out as…odd.

Did I say “odd”? I meant “a mild form of torture.”

In the interest or journalism, we set out to test these methods. After the innocuous slow breathing exercise, we tried to do the opposite by breathing for a minute through a straw. (The piece suggests using a coffee stirrer, but we couldn’t even make the full minute with a regular straw.) The article says that “Learning to repeatedly welcome physical symptoms allows you to stop seeing them as catastrophic.” So basically, if you don’t die from this exercise, then you learn how easy it is to overcome it. Sure.

Finally, we tested a technique that Lifehacker Editor-in-Chief Alice Bradley has been demanding to see on camera for weeks. We dunked our heads into ice water. The writer says this “activates your body’s dive response, a reflex that happens when you cool your nostrils while holding your breath, dampening your physiological and emotional intensity.” Or is it just as bad as it sounds? Watch the video below to find out.

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