The effectiveness of cold showers has been highly debated in online circles.
While some people believe that the benefits are nothing but a myth, other people swear by them – and believe that cold showers alone have significantly changed their life.
While science suggests that there may be some true physical benefits to showering cold, I believe that the strongest benefits of this practice are entirely psychological.
In this article, I’m going to cover 5 mental benefits of taking cold showers, and why you may consider trying it out for yourself as well.
1. Cold Showers Build Mental Discipline
To say that a cold shower is an unpleasant experience, would certainly be an understatement.
I believe that few people – even those that have been doing this a long time, truly enjoy them. They may enjoy how they feel afterwards, but the actual process of letting ice cold water flow over your body isn’t something most people look forward to.
However, it’s the simple fact that it’s so unpleasant that makes them so powerful for building discipline.
When you know that you don’t want to do something but you push forward with it anyway, this builds mental strength and makes you a more disciplined person overall.
2. They Make It Easier To Push Through Other Hard Tasks
Most people take their showers in the morning, before they go to work.
We already know that cold showers are hard, and build mental discipline. But do you know what else they build?
When you overcome a challenge first thing in the morning, you’ve already started your day with a win.
This makes it easier to continue pushing through other challenges that you’ll experience throughout the day.
Often times, the hardest part of tackling a challenge is simply developing the willpower to get started.
And once you take on and succeed with one challenge, it becomes easier to take on the next one.
3. Cold Showers Clear Your Mind
Taking a cold shower activates your stress response, as well as the area of your nervous system responsible for your ‘fight or flight’ instincts.
It’s also one heck of a way to wake up, and clear out all of the brain fog and mental haziness many people experience each morning.
After a cold shower, you’ll find yourself with a more alert, clearer mind than you would have received with a regular shower.
This, again, is very difficult at first, and you may not feel like this benefit makes the pain of the cold shower worth it.
That being said, after doing this for a few weeks, the difference becomes quite clear, and the showers do become easier.
Physiologically, cold showers have been proven to decrease anxiety, and may help aid in relieving depression symptoms as well.
Cold showers increase endorphins (also known as ‘feel-good hormones’) in your brain, improving your mood and just making you feel better overall.
Endorphins are also released during vigorous exercise, which is why some people simply feel incredible after a good run.
While cold showers are no replacement for actual exercise, it sure is interesting that they share so many of the same mental benefits!
5. Gives You A ‘Just Do It’ Attitude
Even to this day, I still have a hard time stepping in the shower when I know how cold it’s going to be.
The first time you try it, you will tell yourself every excuse in the book as to why you should just turn the temperature up and forget this crazy idea.
Eventually however, you have to give in and actually take the plunge.
The more you do it, the less hesitation that you experience. You realize that you’ll have to jump in eventually anyway, so it becomes a much quicker process.
If you think about it, a lot of us operate our lives in a state of procrastination. We know something will have to get done eventually, yet we continue to put it off until the last minute despite the fact that it stresses out, and usually leads to us rushing the task at hand.
Cold showers build a ‘just do it’ sort of attitude, developing a positive habit of getting stuff done straight away so you no longer have to worry about it.
Cold showers aren’t for everyone, and aren’t the miracle solution they’re often touted to be on the internet.
That being said, there are a lot of mental benefits associated with them, and if you’re looking to improve your willpower, this is certainly one positive habit worth considering.
Have you tried cold showers? Why or why not? I’d love to hear your thoughts through the comment form below!