Lately it seems like the universe is conspiring to make me do the experiment I have planned on the benefits of a cold shower.
I’ve had this one on my radar ever since I first read 7 Health Benefits of a Cold Shower on The Art of Manliness. However, I freely admit that I’ve been afraid. This is one of those tough experiments that it’s tough to get terribly excited about.
There are a host of incredible benefits associated with cold showers: improved circulation, healthier hair and skin, depression fighting benefits, increased energy, weight loss, and the list goes on.
However, I want to say this up front: there are potential issues associated with cold showers for people with fevers, high blood pressure and heart disease. As always, I am the subject of my own experiments, and I don’t recommend following in my footsteps without consulting medical professionals.
The real kicker for me was the discussion on cold shower therapy by Joel Runyon. The idea of building mental toughness and conquering fear, when you combine that with all the other potential health benefits, I had to face facts and realize that this is the kind of challenge that can lead to awesome results.
Benefits of a Cold Shower – Day 1
I started the water as cool, and I must admit, I got a bit cocky. My brain started to rationalize. Maybe cool water was okay to start and I could work my way up, or maybe I still had time to try something else.
I stared at the tap, and I had a sense of deja vu. I’d felt exactly the same way when I was about to bungee jump, or before every stand up comedy routine I’ve ever performed. There’s an urge to run or hide that you need to conquer, and there is a mental muscle that you need to exercise to overcome that reflex. If you don’t work it often enough, it gets lazy, and the fear reflex can overcome your muscle.
So, the cool shower was pleasant, but then I finally cranked the dial all the way to the right. It was definitely a shock. I was awake, my heart was pumping, and I didn’t need any more help waking up in the morning. However, even though a cold shower is a small thing, I still felt a bit of that same sense of victory that I felt when I forced myself to walk up on stage to start my stand-up comedy routine.
Life is made up of small victories, and I had one this morning before I left my house. I’m not sure about all the physical benefits of a cold shower, but the mental benefits seem immediately clear.