Lady Smarts These 3 quick tricks might help calm you in moments of panic

Studies show this activity can help you identify unhelpful notions and think more realistically.

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Tools for calm play

Tools for calm

(Illustration by Women's Health)
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Whether you're seeing a therapist and need some between-session help or you just can't make it to a pro right now, these cognitive behavioral therapy strategies may soothe you during moments of panic or when your mood hits rock bottom.

The Ice Trick

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(Illustration by Women's Health)

Hold an ice pack underneath your eyes, above your cheekbones, for 30 seconds.

The discomfort can distract you from a racing mind.

The chill in this area also triggers a reflex in the parasympathetic nervous system, slowing breathing and heart rate, which can help provide a sense of calm.

This is what it's like to suffer from depression.

The Trash Trick

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(Illustration by Women's Health)

Write down on paper negative thoughts like "I can't do anything right," then honestly ask if they fit the facts.

Research shows that our thoughts are often distorted in ways that make us feel bad.

Studies show this activity can help you identify unhelpful notions and think more realistically.

The Stair Trick

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(Illustration by Women's Health)

Sit comfortably, close your eyes, and breathe deeply. Visualize every detail of slowly walking down a spiral staircase, from the lighting to the feel of the handrail to the sound of your foot hitting each step.

The more vividly you can immerse yourself in this grounding exercise, the less room there is for intrusive thoughts.

This article originally appeared in the May 2017 issue of Women's Health. For more great advice, pick up a copy of the issue on newsstands now!

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