One piece of advice that changed Peter’s life

5 December 2018

Like one in four Australians, Positive Psychology Centre founder Peter Kyriakoulis has suffered anxiety for most of his life.  

Even from the tender age of 8, he remembers feeling anxious. About what, Peter’s not so sure. But what he does recall is the advice he received from his grandmother – or as he called her – his Giagia.

Peter’s Giagia suggested that he splash some cold water on his face. And just like you, Peter thought it was a strange idea.

But to his surprise, he felt significantly better. Within seconds.

Fast forward a couple of decades, and Peter has discovered something else to sooth his anxiety: free diving (the sport of diving into deep waters without breathing equipment).

For Peter, Giagia’s advice and the experience of free diving were both life-changing. And finally, after a long seven-year journey that inspired his PhD, he has the research to demonstrate why.

Peter’s life-changing research

Through pursuing his PhD, Peter has found that free diving breathing techniques are effective in slowing down the heart rate. This can provide relief for people in anxiety and panic states.

But how quick is the effect?

To put Peter’s findings into context, a typical panic attack lasts around 20 minutes.

However, Peter discovered that when people immerse their faces in cold water their symptoms of panic can reverse – within 30 seconds. This is because cold water activates the diving response, an innate human adaptation that slows down the heart and redistributes blood to the heart and brain.

In other words, these symptoms resolved 4000% more quickly. For people who suffer from anxiety, this difference is drastic and life-changing.

But what’s the practical answer?  

Not everyone can hurl a bucket of water on themselves or dive into the ocean when panic symptoms strike.

That’s why Peter has developed a simple solution. It can fit in a handbag. And, if made commercially available, it will cost less than a cup of coffee.

What is it?

A purpose-designed cooling mask.

With this mask, people will be able to activate the diving response to reverse symptoms of panic and anxiety. It may also be used as a preventative measure.

And unlike anti-anxiety medication, the cooling mask presents no risks or side effects.

So when can you get the mask?  

Peter has created a prototype of the mask, with development in its early stages. He even took his concept to Amplify Ignite in Sydney, where he pitched the idea as a finalist to a live audience.

The product concept received an overwhelming positive response, giving Peter great encouragement to make the mask a commercial reality.

With sufficient financial backing, Peter’s product can hit the market – and change the lives of over two million Australians who suffer from anxiety every year (source: beyondblue).


Do you feel overly anxious or experience regular panic attacks? Then call us on 1300 995 636 to organise a consultation with Peter – or one of our other expert psychologists.