A Beginner’s Guide to Taking Cold Showers

taking cold showers

Cold showers have gained a lot of popularity over recent years.

The benefits are vast and range all the way from improving the quality of your skin to possibly improving symptoms of depression and many things in between.

If you have yet to enter the world of taking cold showers we are going to break down everything you’d want or need to know.

By the end of this article you will have a new tool in your arsenal and no excuses to avoid using it!

A Brief Overview Of The Benefits Of Taking Cold Showers

If you are one of the brave few who manages to regularly take cold showers you know the benefits.

For the other 99% of the population here are some of the anecdotal and proven benefits of cold showers.

Health Benefits:

  • Reducing Anxiety – I say this with no study for backup however cold showers are a tool I frequently used when dealing with panic attacks. You won’t be focused on anything besides the extreme cold, therefore, how can you possibly entertain worry?
  • Reducing Depression – Several studies have pointed to the idea that cold showers may be beneficial at reducing symptoms of depression.
  • Increased Testosterone – A brief glance at a professional athlete and it is evident their testosterone levels are sky high. Is it a coincidence that the majority of them take ice baths or cold showers? Hot temperatures around the male genitals are thought to lower both testosterone levels and fertility in males. By taking cold showers you are both preventing regional heat stress and kicking your testes into overdrive (the only testicle kick you ever want).
  • Improved Energy – Cold showers can effectively reduce brain fog and improve overall energy levels. The cold temperatures serve as an effective means to zap you back to reality like an electric shock for the brain. There is some further evidence that cold showers may be beneficial for chronic fatigue syndrome.
  • Improved Metabolism – Can showers can increase your metabolism by increasing your heart rate therefore boosting your resting metabolic rate. An increase in your testosterone levels would also be of great benefit to your ability to shred through fat stores.

Mental Benefits:

  • Kill Procrastination – There really isn’t anything easier to put off than taking cold showers. Teaching yourself to bite the bullet and get something done for the greater good can change your life. By removing procrastination you set yourself up for worlds of success.
  • Expand Your Comfort Zone – All good things happen right outside of your comfort zone. Cold showers are an entirely different game. If you can go way outside of your comfort zone by taking cold showers, the little things outside of your comfort zone begin to look easy. Little things can lead to big things that can eventually change your life.

Techniques To Manage Taking Cold Showers

A brief glance at the list of potential benefits of cold showers and it becomes very apparent as to why we might wish to take them.

As we attempt to follow through everything changes the second that first blast of ice water hits us.

The intense discomfort of the cold manages to easily wash away all of the reasons which seemed so great two minutes prior.

For the past 6 months cold showers have been a regular part of my morning routine.
I take one every day and I absolutely love the benefits I experience. That being said, I am sure you can guess how often I look forward to them.

Here are a few tricks I personally use to ensure I make it through and come back the next day to do the same.

Trick #1 Make A Playlist

Your greatest ally in battling through a cold shower is to simply distract yourself.

Throw together two or three of your favorite songs and get overly involved in them. Sing and dance and then move some more.

Not only will this distract you from a cold shower but it will definitely improve your mood and energy simultaneously.

Telling yourself you can make it through one song is much easier than simply standing in silence while every ounce of your body is in shock.

This is a phenomenal way to start your morning especially if you are the kind of person (like myself) who generally has a hard time getting started.

Trick #2 Be Your Own Hype Man

Change your inner dialogue.

Initially the words in your mind will probably make Satan jump out of his seat.

Instead get yourself fired up! You love cold showers!

After this you are going to kick the days ass! Nothing can stop you.

Does this thing go any colder?

Trick #3 Focus On Your Breath

If you can’t use music for whatever reason try focusing on calming your breath.

A cold shower will immediately have you breathing shallow and by trying to refocus your breathing pattern you will both distract yourself and calm yourself down.

As someone who tries to meditate daily, I find this trick extremely effective. If I can sink into a comfortable breathing pattern I am able to tune the majority of the discomfort out.

Trick #4 Imagine Somewhere Nice

Where would you like to be more than anywhere else in the world?

Visualize that place with all of the mental power you have left.

I’m sure you would much rather be on a beach in Tahiti so for five minutes let yourself be there.

Imagine you are sitting on a beach chair soaking up the hot sun.

I personally love this technique and I even use it for some endurance based exercises at the gym.

If half of your brain isn’t focused on the current pain, you have a huge advantage.
This technique might be tricky to do while listening to music or focusing on your breath so feel free to switch them up on different days to keep it fresh.

Trick #5 Ease In

Nobody said you had to hop straight in to ice cold water.

If we are being honest here, I start my cold showers off luke warm (but don’t tell anyone).

Over the course of about two minutes I steadily approach my desired temperature.

Supposedly if you drop a frog in boiling water it will jump right out but if you increase it slowly the frog will not recognize the perceived danger.

The same is often true of taking a cold shower. By adjusting as you go, the perceived threat becomes much smaller and more manageable.

Give yourself a fighting chance or you may shy away completely.

Trick #6 Contrast Showers

If you cannot handle a cold shower for an entire five minutes try switching back to hot temporarily.

You may use a 60 seconds cold and 20 seconds hot ratio or any other one that makes you more likely to actually follow through with your cold showers.

Just make sure you don’t slip back into a full hot shower.

By adding heat back in for a few seconds it will give your muscles a few seconds to ease up and additionally allow the temperature of your skin to warm up.

When reintroducing the cold water you will feel a slight recharge.

There are people who may argue that contrast showers offer just as much benefit as cold showers do.
The change in temperatures is thought to increase circulation, improve recovery after exercise, and even improve skin complexion.

What Are You Waiting For?

For those of you acting like you didn’t know the benefits of cold showers now you do.

For anyone who didn’t have the willpower to follow through: now you have some tricks.

All excuses have been removed.

I hope you bite the bullet and start taking cold showers today so you can experience the many benefits this free life-hack has to offer!

If you liked this article feel free to check out my blog Refined Mindset for non-mainstream and actionable advice to overcome depression, anxiety, and chronic fatigue!

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