A woman who suffers from panic attacks has shared the simple method she uses to warn off spikes of anxiety when she feels it coming on.
Panic attacks or panic disorder is when people regularly have sudden surges of panic or fear.
The NHS says that although everyone experiences feelings of anxiety and panic at certain times, those with panic disorders regularly feel anxious, stressed or panicked at random moments, often for no apparent reason.
It recommends people not fight the attacks, but breathe slowly and deeply, reminding yourself the attack will pass, and to focus on positive, relaxing images.
One woman who experiences panic attacks shared her own solution, which was suggested by her boyfriend – and plenty of others have revealed it works for them, too.
She wrote on Tumblr : “I was just about to spiral into a bad panic attack, and my boyfriend goes ‘stick an ice cube in your mouth’.
“I’m not really sure where he got the idea, and I kinda laughed at it because I didn’t see how it would help, but he was insistent. So I did it.
“And now I’m on my second cube, because it worked.”
She said her boyfriend explained the ice cube would initially make her think ‘what the f***’ and distract her from the anxiety.
After that, the cold of the ice would shock her system and bring her back into ‘the physical world and reality’, drawing her focus to the cold in her mouth and away from thinking ‘I’m panicking’.
Other thanked her after saying they tried it for themselves and it worked, with one adding that biting into a lemon can have the same effect.
Another wrote: “It also forced your mouth to make saliva. When you go into fight or flight mode, non-crucial body functions stop working so you have more energy to do what you need to do to survive (or spiral into a panic attack).
“By forcing yourself to make saliva it helps calm you down because since fight or flight is an all or nothing response, they can’t happen at the same time.”