Throwing Cold Water on the Notion of Hot Showers

Stepping into a hot, steamy shower is one of the most relaxing and satisfying feelings imaginable. It is often considered one of the best places to reflect on life, and also the location where many intelligent ideas are born. Despite all of the good feelings a warm shower may generate, it turns out that there is a significantly more beneficial method of taking showers, and it involves ice-cold water. Making the switch to daily cold showers improves not only physical health, but also psychological strength and willpower.

Cold showers have a wide array of physical effects on the human body, but more importantly, they also have psychological effects that can completely change one’s life. The ice-cold water on the skin results in improved circulation throughout the entire body and also improves the health of the skin and hair, due to the cold water closing pores. This is the complete opposite of hot showers, which open pores and cause skin to get rough and dry. Taking cold showers increases energy levels as well. Since the body gets so cold, blood needs to move quickly to warm up the vital organs. Heart rate increases, which results in an extremely significant boost in energy.

One concern that comes up often in conversations pertaining to cold showers is that it could be detrimental to your health. This claim is nothing more than a myth. Hypothermia cannot set in in the short amount of time one is taking a shower. One would need to be entirely submerged in water constantly for well over 20 minutes for such effects to take place. Furthermore, colds and other illnesses are not a concern because the showers boost immunity and make the body healthier overall. 

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “flinching” as, “hesitating from doing something unpleasant.” We may not realize it, but each and every one of us flinches to some extent every day. I personally have an internal struggle every morning when I have to remove my blankets and get out of bed into the much colder, less comfortable world. The issue with this is that we end up bringing this “flinching” mentality into other aspects of our lives. We will often put off an important conversation with a boss, or avoid an awkward conversation with a co-worker because it is outside our comfort zone. Cold showers will reduce this flinching to the point of non-existence.

I take a cold shower every morning. When I say cold, I don’t simply mean “not hot.” I make the temperature of my shower as cold as it will allow. Upon stepping into this icy environment, it is painful at first. The cold water feels like daggers in my skin, I lose my breath and hyperventilate for about 30 seconds, and I temporarily lose feeling in my hands. As the days go on, this does not change or feel any better–but that’s exactly the point. My days all start out with an immediate sense of discomfort and pain. Nothing I can possibly do throughout my day could be more miserable and uncomfortable than being drenched by freezing-cold water. As a result, all situations that are usually awkward or uncomfortable become significantly easier to deal with.

I have a challenge for all of you, and it’s a simple one. All you need to do is take a cold shower every day for 30 days straight. Hopefully you were planning on taking a shower each of these days anyway, so this challenge won’t end up taking any extra time out of your busy schedules. You will probably find it very difficult to convince yourself to follow through with this every day, but just do it. You will find yourself feeling more energetic, happier, more positive, more motivated and significantly more capable of dealing with uncomfortable situations. Cold showers have changed my life, and now I challenge you to allow them to change yours.