I wont lie to you, cold showers suck.
But you see, that’s entirely the point!
I’ve had warm showers for a hell of a long time and they’re wonderful! Especially on cold days, nothing really beats a nice warm shower… Well that’s what I thought anyway.
The first experience
It’s 7 O’clock on a Monday morning and I’m about to jump into my very first cold shower. It’s dark outside, but I know there is frost on the ground.
I get out of bed a hightail it to the bathroom, trying not to think about what I’m going to do.
I get undressed, slide the shower door back and begin to twist the temperature gauge the wrong way.
This is a moment where I began to wonder: “Should I turn the shower on, and then get in it or should I get in it and turn it on after?”
Stupidly, I chose to turn it on first.
I don’t reccomend trying this if its your first time with cold showers because as soon as a small part of your body get wet, you’ll be tempted to jump right back out.
Instead, by getting in the shower before hand you will have to 100% commit.
Cold showers Officially mean anything below 70°F, and I would recommend going colder than you think for the first attempt.
If you dont have a temperature gauge (like me) then you can tie an elastic band around the tap and mark out where your ideal temperature is. This is especially useful if you have a SO and dont want to give them the shock of their lives!
I’ll be honest, you’re probably going to down right hate it! Great!
Cold showers a meditative experience
We all think way too much about the past and future and not enough about the present.
I can tell you for absolute certain that when you’re blasting freezing cold water on your body at stupid O’clock in the morning, you’ll be thinking about nothing else!
To really benefit from this form of water meditation try to follow these three tips:
- Empty your mind before you go in. Just spend 30 seconds or so before you go in preparing yourself, and coming to terms with it.
- BREATHE GOD DAM IT! Similar to aspects of Kundalini meditation and Mindfulness meditation, you’re gonna need something to focus on! For your first few attempts, focusing on your breath and trying to keep it nice and calm will alleviate some of the ‘Panic’.
- Come to terms with the cold. I’ve been having cold showers for a hell of a long time, and i’ll tell you right now that they’re Still cold… But you learn to enjoy it a lot more, and pretty soon you’ll want nothing but the cold. In fact, I’ve detached my mind to such an extent that its maybe 3 seconds from when I enter the room to when I’m under the water.
Just free your mind and the process becomes far easier!
The proposed health benefits of cold showers
Im no health expert but it seems like there are some big upsides of taking cold showers.
Here a some possible health benefits of taking cold showers every day:
- Improves circulation – It might feel uncomfortable to stand under freezing cold water in the shower, but your body loves it. Because the water is colder than our natural body temperature it causes our circulatory system to work harder in order to find equilibrium. Whats better is if you take cold showers regularly, they can actually make your circulatory system more efficient. So, it’s like a workout under your skin… sort of.
2. Helps fight of common colds – These cool things called leukocytes are produced when our body is shocked with cold showers and they help the body fight infection. This means that having cold showers can help to build up a resilience to colds and other common illnesses.
3. Improves metabolism – Most people will know that fat contributes to obesity and heart disease. Most people wont know however, that we are also born with brown fat.
” Healthy levels of brown fat indicate that white fat will also be at a healthy level.”
Luckily for us cold water enthusiasts, brown fat is activated by exposure to cold temperature meaning we may see an increased metabolic rate if cold showers are taken at least 2-3 times per week.
4. Increased endorphins – According to this clinical trial, taking cold showers of up to 5 minutes at least 2-3 times per week was shown to help relieve symptoms of depression. I can agree that taking a cold shower in the morning really helps set your mood up for the. Almost like a mental reset button.
5. Relieves muscle soreness – Cold showers can really help you recover after intense workouts, much like applying ice to an inflamed area. Taking a cold shower every morning will help your muscles relax and also help to repair them after a workout.
Warm vs cold showers
Lets take a side by side look at the information we’ve just discussed and see how they compare directly with warm showers
- God dam that’s cold.. (But luckily you WILL get used to it)
- Helps to wake you up in the morning
- Warm when you get out the shower
- Helps fight common colds
- Improves Metabolism
- Improves circulation
- Relieves muscle soreness
- Makes you happier as soon as you get out
- Oooooo, warm ^_^
- Does not wake you up in the morning as much as cold showers
- Cold when you get out the shower
- No research that it helps fight colds
- No research that it improves metabolism
- No research that it improves circulation
- No research that it relieves muscle soreness
- Sure it’s nice to have a warm shower, but the feeling once you get out is indescribable unless you’ve tried it yourself
The secret behind the pain
If you’ve read to this point then you’ve done yourself a favour because I’m about to drop a bombshell about the reasons to take cold showers.
Okay so here’s the crazy part. I dont take showers for any of the reasons I’ve just written about. Not because they’re refreshing, not because they’re energising, none of it.
The reason I take cold showers is because of the mental courage it takes. Whilst it has become as bit easier to deal with the temperature, the task of forcing myself to step in is just as hard.
It sucks. But that’s why I do it.
Your mind has to overcome that hesitation each and every day. You know even before you get into the shower that its not really going to be pleasant but you do it for the greater good. It takes 3 seconds of courage and you’re in. You’ve overcome the mental barrier and dealt with the temperature
This has the potential to slowly drip feed into other areas of your life, and could eventually help prepare you for public speaking, interviews, adrenaline sports, or anything that takes mental strength to overcome. There’s something you need to do because you know it’ll be fun or beneficial to you life in some way but the only way to do it is to get over your hesitating and jump in. Luckily your daily cold showers have prepared you for such a task and you overcome it with ease.
So, taking a daily cold shower could be the best routine addition you’ve made…
I’m not saying that refreshing cold showers will solve all your worldly problems, but they’re the perfect daily addition to help you be the best that you can truly be and also a great 5 minutes to get your mindfulness practice in!
Let me know in the comments below whether you have taken the plunge or whether somethings holding you back!
Looking for another great morning routine addition? Check this out!