1 year of cold showers - not what I was expecting
I have been doing cold showers for over a year now. And I thought it is time for a quick reflection on this subject and about all the effects it has on my life.
To put my reasons for continuing in a nutshell:
Become more disciplined in other areas of life
Get grounded and be more grateful
Amazing feeling afterward
Why have I started
As I have been interested in personal development for quite a bit of time, I happened to watch and read through plenty of videos and articles illustrating all the benefits of taking cold showers. According to scientists, those bloggers, YouTubers and a bunch of other people, it has numerous positive advantages and a positive impact on your well-being, such as:
Enhances skin and hair
Promotes faster muscle recovery
Increases testosterone levels
Lowers chances of depression
Promotes emotional resilience
Drains lymphatic system
Promotes fat loss
Sounds quite good, right? So, I just wanted to give it a try.
How I got started
"I mean it is just a shower, nothing really special about", I thought. But when I wanted to begin showering cold, it was already very cold in Germany. It was not freezing, but still chilly. My first few showers were like a real shock for my body. When the cold water hit me, my breath stopped for a few seconds. The coldness struck me very hard resulting in my inability to breathe.
However, the feeling after each cold shower was absolutely great. Don't get me wrong, I am not a masochist. It really sucked to turn that knob for the cold water every single time I took a shower. Nonetheless, this great feeling of accomplishment kept me going. And I did.
What has changed during my trial
After two weeks, I slowly felt that I get used to it more and more; it starts to become a habit. The only reason why I continued, though, was the reason that I loved that feeling after each cold shower. It gave me so much; I felt very grateful, happy, satisfied and grounded.
During our German winter, the cold showers made my skin to feel burning. There were days on which the temperature was so low, that the water felt like ice on my skin. During these sessions, those breathing issues came up again; it was just too difficult to concentrate on controlled breathing.
The longer I was taking cold showers, the more I enjoyed them. I felt like something is missing when the showers were becoming warmer and warmer as the outside temperature increased in spring. Moreover, when I was showering at another place where the temperature could not be lowered enough, I had this feeling of dissatisfaction and incompleteness.
But this has also changed. Now, showering still has a number of advantages I can experience in my daily life, but it is no big deal anymore. Showering cold has become part of my routines. I do not even think about it and I cannot really remember anymore how it felt to have a hot shower.
Why I'm going to keep doing this
Surprisingly, I have not noticed any of those health benefits that are spread on the internet and in science. Most people talking about their experience claimed that they could feel a real effect on their bodies. The only physical change I could observe is that I am less sensitive to cold temperatures.
What this habit taught me, though, is are four main things. My showers do not extend longer than necessary; cold showers are very quick showers. I really appreciate this fact as it helps me to do not waste time in the morning or after my workout. I used to take very long showers as I love warm water.
Secondly, it makes me more disciplined. Discipline is like a muscle, you have to train them and the more often you exercise, the stronger it becomes. Taking cold showers takes a lot of discipline. Overcoming that uncomfortable feeling and pushing oneself to do something out of your comfort zone in one area of your life, helps you to do this in another area. So, cold showers are a great tool for me to make me more self-confident, consistent and decisive.
Thirdly, showering cold grounds me. Just before I switch on the cold water, my mind still wants me to get out of the shower and not let the cold water run over me. At this moment, I often think about it how privileged I am. About 4.3 billion people do not even have access to safe shower/sanitation facilities. Being born and raised in a developed country is like winning the lottery for me. Whenever I struggle to discipline myself and almost fail to get a cold shower, I think about the people that do not even have this choice.
Finally, when you "survived" that first few seconds of this awful feeling, you already made it. Your body gets used to the cold and you will be fine. The more cold showers you take, the faster your body adapts. However, the great feeling after each cold showers is still there. It is just a magnificent sensation to know that you accomplished it. It gives me a real kick and has become a vital component of my well-being.
Hope you liked this blog post. Have you ever voluntarily taken a cold shower? How was it? Have you ever thought to make this a habit? Let me know!
All the best,