Every day, we hear bits and pieces about new coping mechanisms for anxiety. Some say that ice cubes on your neck or a cold shower can do the trick, while others claim that a rubber band on the wrist can bring relief. However, “sour candy” is now stealing the show as one of the most effective coping mechanisms for hampering anxiety symptoms and panic attacks.
So, is this another trend? Or does it really work? Let us figure it out together.
Wait… what? Sour Candy!!
Exactly! This is what we were thinking, but apparently, the effects of sour candy on anxiety and panic attacks are surprisingly impressive. In fact, many mental health experts have it that the intense taste of sour candy can distract the mind from the wave of negativity when anxiety or panic attack is about to strike. Instead of focusing on fear, shallow breathing, shaky hands, and rapid heartbeats, the brain will divert its attention to the strong sensation in the mouth.
In other words, anxiety hits when the feeling part of our brain (the Amygdala) activates the fight and flight response. This response can only be alleviated when our brain zeros in on the present moments through our 5 senses. So, when we resort to sour candy, our brain focuses on the sense of taste, and the thinking part of our brain (the frontal cerebral cortex) sends a message to the “Amygdala” that we are actually safe, thus putting an end to the panic attack that was on the verge of happening. However, sometimes sour candy will not completely stop panic attacks, but rather reduce its intensity.
But is this coping mechanism healthy?
Please keep in mind that these “sour candies” are not magic wands. They can’t cure anxiety or panic attacks, and relying heavily on them can create maladaptive coping skills. Believing that you can only be safe when you eat sour candy will actually cause more anxiety, especially if you run out of them one day.
Moreover, consuming a lot of candy can negatively impact your blood sugar and cause racing heartbeats, shakiness, and agitation, which are somehow similar to anxiety symptoms. Furthermore, what can work for others won’t necessarily work for you. So, it is better to consult an expert before going with the flow.
As you can see, sour candy can actually work, but it’s not the ideal solution. That is why, it is highly recommended to consider therapy, meditation, a healthy lifestyle, and regular exercise to beat anxiety instead of depending on unhealthy distraction strategies that can “permanently” fix the problem.