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Pain and the Ice Bucket

Mental Health Moment

To measure tolerance for pain and coping mechanisms for pain, researchers filled a bucket with cold water and ice.

They told two groups of participants to place their hand in the ice bucket and keep it in the bucket of ice and water for as long as they could bear.

For one group, they told them to focus on fighting the pain.

To the other group, they told them to stay present to the feelings and accept the pain.

The researchers found that those who remained present to and accepted the pain managed to keep their hand in the bucket for a longer duration. 

What does this tell us about mindfulness and acceptance as coping mechanisms?