Far-left Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) on Monday twice dunked her face in a bowl of ice water on Instagram Live, hoping to de-stress.
“Ok so no lie I have been very very stressed out lately and today I found myself staying in a stressful mental pattern that was just creating more stress for myself,” reads text overlayed on a video AOC posted. “I wanted to interrupt that.”
“Riley (AOC’s boyfriend) and I read previously that dunking your face in a bowl of ice water can be a way of redirecting by forcing your body to do a kind of reset of your parasympathetic nervous system, so I’m going to try it,” it continues.
“So we filled this water bowl with ice and scooped it out right before dunking,” the text says.
After a countdown from five, AOC dunks her face in the cold water for a few seconds. Text overlapping the video reads, “It is very very cold…and yes my kitchen is messy today deal with it.”
As Ocasio-Cortez has her face submerged, her boyfriend Riley is heard cheering her on, “Good job, good job.”
“It gave me a brain freeze,” more text on the video reads. “But I must say it worked! Turns out dunking your head into freezing cold ice water is a pretty good way to redirect. Hope this helps someone!”
As the video continues, AOC dunks her face into the ice water for a second time.
An article from The Washington Post published last year describes dunking your face in ice-cold water as “one of the most effective stress resets.”
“One of the most effective stress resets involves submerging your face in ice-cold water while holding your breath,” the Post said. “This activates the diving reflex, which slows the heart rate and redirects blood away from the periphery of the body, toward the heart and other vital organs. These physiological changes have been shown to decrease anxiety. … If a bowl or a bucket with icy water is not at your disposal, you can press ice packs against your eyes, upper cheeks and temples while leaning over and holding your breath.”
“Stay like this as long as you can tolerate it. We typically recommend 15 to 30 seconds, although I’ve observed the effect [take hold] much faster,” said clinical psychologist Jenny Taitz.
The Post noted that “Sheri Van Dijk, a psychotherapist in Newmarket, Ontario, and the author of ‘Calming the Emotional Storm,’ warns that people with low blood pressure, heart problems or eating disorders should get clearance from their doctor before attempting this strategy.”
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