Cold showers

Have you tried switching to cold water at the end of your shower?!

📷 ‘shower in the middle of nowhere’ by @takemeoutphotography via @unsplash

I’ve tried ending my showers with cold water a few times in the past but not stayed under for more than a second or two! Over the past 2 weeks or so, I’ve been getting braver and I have to admit it feels great.

After a cautious start, I can now dunk my head under the shower and stay there for a good 20 seconds. I know that’s still not very long but it’s a big increase since I started out. I’m also starting to master the art of not squealing too loudly because one day the dog was sitting at the bottom of the stairs wondering whether or not he needed to come to my rescue!

Even with this relatively short blast of cold water, when I turn the shower off, my body feels like it’s glowing in spite of cool air coming in through the open windows. I don’t have my central heating on yet and the cold showers are really helping me to feel warm as I’m getting dressed and ready for the day.

Probably the most positive thing I’ve noticed is that it makes me laugh out loud every day, which is a really mood-boosting way to start the day. AND it 100% makes me feel like a super-hero!

Health benefits of cold showers:

There are so many reported health benefits, including:

  • an increase in endorphins (our so-called ‘happy hormones’) which may help to counteract depression
  • increased alertness, clarity and energy levels as a result of deeper breathing while exposed to the cold water – all of which are ideal at the start of the day
  • improved circulation – the body will always work hard to maintain core temperature by sending fresh blood to an area which is cold, so taking a cold shower can create this response
  • increased resistance to common illnesses such as colds and flu as a result of our immune response being stimulated
  • reduced stress levels due to a lowering of cortisol levels in the blood – the cold shower itself may be a mild stressor but exposure to this type of stress helps us to be more resilient when faced with other stressful situations
  • reduced pain levels &/or a reduced perception of pain / muscle soreness in the body
  • increased willpower and self-belief – this small daily ‘challenge’ can strengthen your will-power and boost your super-hero status!

Have I persuaded you to give it a go??

The easiest way to start is by turning the dial down at the end of your usual shower, until the water is noticeably cooler. I prefer to step out of the water while it cools down and then step back in, but you may prefer to feel the temperature changing.

Once the temperature is set, focus on slow deep breaths and notice how it makes you feel. Gradually go a little colder each day until you’re at the coldest setting, and then start building up the time you spend there…

I honestly have been surprised how good this feels to me, and it’s so simple to add into your daily routine when you’re having a shower anyway.

📷 ‘the face behind the mask’ by Joey Nicotra via @unsplash

I’m going to keep building up my times because apparently that’s when the real benefits happen. And if 20 seconds makes me feel like a super-hero already, I can only imagine how much more invincible I’ll be after 60 seconds!!

PS wouldn’t you just love to take a shower in the middle of nowhere?!


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