Powerful techniques to optimize your emotions, beliefs, and behaviors

The Dive Reflex: for rapid lowering of anxiety/stress or elevating mood

The Dive Reflex, originally noted in cold water diving, is a first rate vagus nerve stimulation method capable of rapidly chilling down anxiety, panic, stress and body-wide inflammation as well as elevating moods. At first the dive reflex was done by dipping the face from the lips to the scalp line into very cold water for 30 seconds to 1 minute. This would quickly melt away anxiety and stress. Later it was found that a large zip-lock plastic bag filled with ice or ice cubes applied to the face from the scalp line to the lips would perform as well without leaving the user appearing like they just emerged from a river. The Dive Reflex, because of its ability to stimulate the vagus nerve, has proved helpful for:

Swift reduction of all forms of anxiety.
Rapidly dampening down a panic attack.
Performance anxiety, test anxiety, and phobia work.
Reducing body-wide inflammation.
Use in lowering intense fight/flight in PTSD work.
Reducing stress.
Lowering anger.
Thwarting worry and rumination.
Elevating moods.




Warning: Folks with a history of mental illness, PTSD, or panic are urged not to use these techniques without a therapist. If you decide to do these processes you will agree to absolve the webmaster, the webhost,, and Steve Mensing of any responsibility for the application or misapplication of these processes. There is always in any process the possibility that someone could experience some discomfort.

The Basic Steps for Using the Dive Reflex

1. Fill a small plastic bag full of ice or ice cubes and wait until the bag's surface is cold. For comfort sake, if you are very sensitive to cold, you can  wrap the bag in a thin cotton cloth.  Fill your mouth with saliva, and fully submerge your tongue for the remainder of the Dive Reflex. Either imagine a lemon slice in your mouth or use a real one to help you salivate.  Challenges with salivating?  Take a sip of lukewarm water and keep it there for the remainder of the exercise.  It will also stimulate the vagus nerve.

2. For 30 seconds to 1 minute press the ice bag to your face from your scalp line to your lips. Your skin, making contact with the bag, will feel some pleasant numbness. After 30 to 60 seconds remove the bag and put it back in a freezer or cooler. You will begin to feel mildly upbeat. Within minutes your anxiety and tension will begin to evaporate until it vanishes. Depending on each individual the anti-anxiety affects should last from 40 minutes to 90 minutes. The mood elevation should go on from 40 minutes to an hour or so. You can reapply the ice bag and perform the Dive Reflex whenever required.

Take care, Steve