Cold showers may not seem like something right for you, especially if you live anywhere aside from the tropics. You might dread the feeling of taking a cold shower, a sense of stabbing every part of your body with a thousand cold, wet knives.
But, you may not know the fact that cold showers are perfect for you, to the point that they can even change your life. And no, this is not a joke.
While in this article we are going to focus on the mental benefits of a cold shower, there are some other fantastic scientifically proven benefits which cold showers offer as well. They are the following:
- Increasing alertness;
- Improving the immunity;
- Easing stress;
- Relieving depression;
- Increasing blood circulation;
- Sleep improvement;
- Elevating testosterone;
- Speeding up the metabolism;
- Activating fat loss;
But, if the benefits mentioned above are not enough for you, perhaps the following five psychological and mental benefits will:
1. You Learn to Accept
Every day when you wake up, and you know that you are about to step up in a cold shower, you eventually learn how to accept things. Accept what?
Accept that sometimes you will have to do something that you may don’t want to do. That the environment in which you live in, is not always going to feel the best or be the best for you, and by learning to accept, you will learn how to be thankful for the things that you have in life. Because the more you recognize the bad, the more you will appreciate the good.
If you look for the countries in the world, you will find out that the nine most prosperous nations in the world are located in Northern Europe and Canada as well. But, what those countries have in common? They are all cold.
So, morning after morning of cold showers, the experience of going outside, as well as accepting the freezing weather, will all teach you to accept what you have to deal with. This is what makes it easier to be happy.
2. You Learn to be Humble
It is always important to have something in your life that can pop your balloon and knock you back to the ground when you get too – big headed. For a lot of people, that “something “is usually a cold shower.
Do you remember the once famous ALS ice bucket challenge? All of us loved those videos, and every celebrity from Oprah to Bill Gates played some part in it. Again and again, we enjoyed watching celebrities get dunked in ice-cold water. But why was this so?
The reason for this was because we wanted to see them drenched and shivering. We wanted to see them humbled actually.
As an individual, you may feel secure and awesome, but the moment when you step into a cold shower, you will shiver and internally beg for it to stop, just like every other person.
The cold shower has a way of being daily life’s great equalizer – it is the one moment that we have in the modern world where nature has complete power over us with temperature.
Every morning, reliving this moment can keep you on the ground, as well as remind you that you are human, just like everyone else is.
3. You Learn to Tolerate
You have to learn to be uncomfortable – this is a piece of advice that anyone who wants to achieve something must always remember.
But, when you don’t know how to be uncomfortable, you will end up spoiled and bratty, never letting yourself get dirty or exhausted or sweaty, even when you are working towards something that you want.
There is one famous type of meditative technique which teaches this, which is called Vipassana meditation. This is where you meditate in complete silence, for about 10 hours during the day, and for some hours, you are not allowed to move at all. You should ignore everything – scratches, itches, sore backs, cramped legs – until eventually, you learn how to control your body with your mind.
In this same way, cold showers add value to us. They teach us how to tolerate stress and uncomfortable situations. Our mind learns that it must figure out how to cope with conditions which cause the body angst and stress. Cold showers will help you to become the owner of your body, not the other way around.
4. You Learn Discipline and Willpower
Willpower is the most potent human trait, as it determinates everything that you will do with your life. It measures how much you will resist temptations, control addictions, get enough sleep, keep yourself healthy and in shape, as well as being smarter and better person in general.
It is the most significant trait that a person can develop, and a lot of people who lack it to achieve greatness believe that willpower is something that a person is born with.
But it is not – just like a muscle, willpower, and discipline have to be practiced, used and exercised to be made stronger. In a book, which is called The Power of Habit, a study is cited which discusses how one group of hungry students were allowed to snack on cookies; there was another group which was forbidden to eat cookies, and they could just have radishes.
After that, they were tasked to solve an impossible puzzle, with the goal to see how long it would be until they gave up.
The group that has eaten cookies spent 19 minutes on the puzzle and the group that has eaten radishes, spent 8 minutes. Why was this so?
Because, just like muscles can, willpower can also be drained. The second group had already exhausted their willpower when they stopped themselves from eating cookies, and the first group still had all their willpower instead. This means that willpower can also be strengthened.
And this is what cold showers do. In just one minute a day, your willpower can be improved. You should stand in the cold shower without moving and without resisting, and in that way, you will build up the wall of willpower within you. This willpower, as well as discipline, can be applied in different areas of your life.
5. You Learn How to Meditate
The world record holder for dozens of temperature records, Wim Hof, can outlast and survive temperatures which would turn other people into shivering piles of bones. A lot of scientists have studied this man, and they have found that he has the strange ability to control his immunity by using his mind.
The best part of this is that he teaches students how to do this, and cold is the number one training tool.
Wim Hof believes that all lies in our breathing. As soon as we feel a rush of cold, our body naturally starts gasping for quick breaths. When we learn how to control our breathing, fighting against the natural tendencies of our body, we enter a state of meditation. This meditation will wash us of our regrets, stresses, and anxieties, giving us a start to our day that a warm shower could never fulfill.
Cold showers – the medicine to life
If the things we mentioned above didn’t convince you to start taking cold showers, then nothing else will. You should turn off the water heater and embrace the cold that is running from your shower nozzle. Eventually, you will start to see what is all the fuss about.
As seen on Ideapod.com