Teaching your mind how to take a cold shower should seem like a simple task — just turn the handle to cold and jump in right?
If only it was so easy.
The reality is, cold water kinda sucks — at least at first — and teaching yourself how to take a cold shower is not an easy task. It takes a significant amount of effort, mental fortitude, and desire.
But the long term benefits of cold showers far outweigh the short term discomfort you experience.
So let’s look at some awesome techniques that you can implement to help get past the mental blocks and make your next shower a frosty one!
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Technique 1: Ease-In
The absolutely easiest technique to train your mind on how to take a cold shower is to simply take baby steps and ease into it. The beautiful thing about this method is that you can do as radically or gradually as you wish!
During your next shower, start off as you typically would. However, before you get out, challenge yourself to turn down the temperature and stay under the water for 20 seconds.
You don’t have to crank it down to as cold as you possibly can, but absolutely make sure it is enough to where you begin to feel a little nervous – and you will feel nervous.
This will train you to push past your comfort zone and help you further decrease the temperature during your next shower!
Upon turning down the temperature, let the colder water hit you, count aloud to 20, and be done!
This is your first step to taking a full-blown cold shower!
From here it is simply a matter of continuing to decrease the temperature and increase the time under the water.
Eventually, you’ll start to find joy in the cold water and can begin working your way to removing the warm aspect of your shower altogether!
That's really all there is to the Ease-In Technique. Make it your own and do it at your own pace, but be sure to challenge yourself and progress in some way during each shower!
Technique 2: Power Playlist
This technique is very simple and a little more radical, but it gives you a tangible goal and can be a fun little way to challenge yourself!
First, you need to find a couple of hype songs that really get your blood boiling. Then set up a small waterproof speaker in the shower and get the water flowing as cold as you can -- you can't waste your hype song on mediocre water, so make it cold! If you don't have a waterproof speaker they are super cheap on Amazon!
Prime your song, hit play, and jump in!
Force yourself to shower and stay under the water for the full duration of the song and once the song ends, count to five and then get out!
Just repeat this every day with as many hype songs as you can until you build your cold shower power playlist!
Eventually, you will find some joy in the cold water and won't need your hype music to get yours through the experience.
What you will be left with is an amazing habit and music playlist that you can use for other difficult tasks in your life!
Technique 3: Deep Breathing
Alright, this next technique is probably the hardest but it will absolutely amplify the benefits you reap from showering in cold water.
Rather than focusing on music like in the last method, this time we are going to focus on deep and meditative breathing!
On its own, deep breathing has tremendous oxygenating benefits such as lowering stress, improving mental clarity, and increasing energy -- to name a few. You can essentially think of this technique as a cold shower and meditating bundled up into a few cold minutes.
Two birds, one shower!
So to start, get the water running as cold as possible, take a couple of deep breaths in preparation, and jump in!
When the water hits your body your first instinct will be to take a deep breath. Let this reaction occur and slowly exhale this large breath through your nose.
Continue to inhale and exhale deeply through your nostrils while trying to keep your focus off the cold and on your breathing!
The reason that we want to use our nose is that because the nostril is smaller than the mouth which allows our lungs more time to extract oxygen from the air.
By using this technique I absolutely guarantee that you will feel significantly different after your shower -- in a fantastic way.
Deep breathing during cold showers is very addictive and I highly recommend giving it a try!
Technique 4: Contrast Shower
A cool little technique that you can do to gain the most from your next cold shower is something called “contrast showering.”
This is when you alternate between cold and hot water.
While this isn't considered a “pure” cold shower, having radical changes in water temperature has some very awesome health benefits that cold water alone can’t fully provide.
1. Improved circulation
Firstly, because blood is prioritized to different parts of the body at different body temperatures, alternating between hot and cold water can do wonders to improve blood circulation.
When your body is exposed to cold water, blood is pushed to your organs to keep them warm. However, when exposed to hot water, blood rushes to your skin.
2. Helps the Lymphatic System
Your lymphatic system is a part of your immune system that functions by pumping a fluid called lymph through vessels. This lymph fluid cleanses your body by carrying away toxins and waste.
Just like blood, lymph fluid is pumped through vessels, however, unlike blood, this fluid is pumped through the body by muscle contractions and not the heart.
This means that if you aren’t using your muscles -- like when working a desk job --, this fluid isn’t flowing and can become stagnant.
However, by alternating between hot and cold water these lymph vessel contract and relax causing them to pump the lymph fluid without muscle movement.
So besides giving your body a break from the cold, contrast showering can have some pretty significant effects on your overall health!
So that about covers our techniques for teaching your mind how to take cold showers!
So as you can see, teaching yourself how to take a cold shower doesn't have to be pure torture. There are a few simple tricks that you can utilize to make the process easier and more fun!
Cold showers may at first suck – really really suck – but the more you take them, the more joy you’ll find in it. They truly are a life-changing habit that can rippling effects throughout your entire life from its amazing health benefits to its astonishing effects on your willpower and mental clarity.
Bathing in cold water is a part of our history and evolution, and it seems from modern science that the closer we bond with that history the more benefits that shower upon us!
So take up the challenge and teach yourself how to take cold showers. You won't regret it!