A while ago, I decided that I wanted to try taking cold showers. Insane, I know, but I heard about it on YouTube and had read about it online, and it seemed to bring a lot of benefits to the body, including:
- Healthier hair and skin
- Strengthens the immune system
- Mimics a caffeine boost
- Increases productivity
- Minimises susceptibility to stress
- And many more…
But for me, the main reason I wanted to try it was because I used to really struggle with brain fog/tension headaches. So, back in February, I set out to take cold showers every morning, and this is a week by week review of how it went…
I think I knew the first week was going to be difficult, but it was actually quite amusing taking on this challenge. Every time I stepped into the cold shower it was so freezing my initial reaction was to just laugh at how crazy I was for doing this. My thought process consisted primarily of ‘WHY IS THIS SO COLD’ and ‘WHY AM I DOING THIS’ (especially in winter), but I stuck with it. It felt really good to challenge myself and I definitely still think it’s worth a try.
In a weird way, I’m slowly getting used to it now. The crazy laughing when I jump in the shower has stopped (I know, I was just as worried as you were), and I’ve been trying really hard to take deep breaths and relax under the cold water. I no longer feel like I have an initial “ugh not this again” reaction to taking a cold shower so I think that helps a lot. I’ve also been experimenting with how cold a cold shower needs to be, and I think having it on the coldest setting straight away is definitely unnecessary – it needs to be cold, but not so freezing that it’s physically impossible.
It’s pretty much become a habit now. I don’t really have to think about it; it just happens. The only day I almost broke it was on Wednesday – I was up earlier than usual for my seminar and I was so freezing before I even got into the shower. The temptation to run warm water was so hard to resist, but I just about managed to – I’ve come so far, I didn’t want to ruin it!
I think as the days are coming to an end, I’m thinking more and more about having a warm shower. It’s weird because, now that cold showers have become the “norm”, the thought of having a warm shower almost instils in me the fear I had when I initially decided to have a cold shower, and I have no idea why! It’s as if my head is thinking something bad is going to happen by me going back to my old habits, although I doubt it will be this drastic. It’s interesting that my thought process has changed this much! I will definitely be trying to cherish my last few cold showers.
Trying a Hot Shower after ages
So I stepped into a hot shower and it felt unbelievably satisfying! It’s been 30 days since I’ve had one of these so I felt so much gratitude towards it – I could really appreciate something which before I took for granted. It didn’t have quite the kick that a cold shower has to wake me up, but I still feel fairly alert.
A Week Later
Second day into hot showers and I actually willingly ran a cold shower! It might have been because I’d done a bit of yoga beforehand, so I felt like something more refreshing, but either way it surprised me.
However, since then, I’ve gone completely back to warm showers (apart from the occasional switch to cold water at the end of my shower). It doesn’t feel as refreshing having a warm shower, but it’s the “easier” option, especially when the weather is cold outside. Perhaps in summer I will dare to go back.
It’s really hard to tell whether the cold shower had a positive impact, besides from making me feel more refreshed and alert. I feel like my brain fog has subsided more, but for other reasons (binaural beats, relaxation techniques, etc.).
I think to see the true benefits of a cold shower you’d probably have to do it for a longer period of time and whilst keeping the rest of your life in a normal routine (to see if it really plays a factor).
I’m still really glad I took on the challenge though – it’s a good way of proving to yourself that you can do the “impossible”. It also made me super grateful that we even have access to hot water, because there are people around the world who don’t.
Have you tried taking cold showers?
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