TIPP Skill #1: Temperature

Feeling overwhelmed? Here is part one of a four-part series on a set of skills that change your physiological response to anxiety/intense emotions and can help decrease emotional intensity. This set of skills are called the TIPP Skills*.

T: Temperature

Activate the dive response to decrease your heart rate (talk to your doctor first if you have heart issues). How to:

  1. Fill a bowl of cold water (or a ziploc bag of cold water)
  2. Put your face in the cold water (or the ziploc bag of cold water over your eyes and the bridge of your nose) and immediately close your eyes and hold your breath for 20-30 seconds
  3. Take your face out of the water (or remove the ziploc bag from your face) and immediately take some deep breaths and open your eyes

Pro tip: you are trying to trick your body into thinking you are diving into cold water so be sure to close your eyes and hold your breath as soon as you come into contact with the cold water

The goal of this skill is to decrease intensity of anxiety/distress, not to get rid of emotions or solve your problems. For more in-depth information, check out our blog post on dealing with widespread panic.


*The TIPP skills come from Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), created by Marsha Linehan, PhD, ABPP