March 1st, 2022
A little over 3 years ago, I chanced upon Wim Hof, The Iceman.
I was intrigued by his words and everything that he had proven by taking himself to extremes unforeseen before.
I was stuck in a rut and didn’t have anything going for me.
In a moment of sheer elation, I decided to try a cold shower.
Cold showers seemed all the rage amongst Productivity YouTubers, Life Hackers, and even Athletes. Wim Hof gave me the final push to turn that knob over to the cold.
Boy, I did question my conscience after turning that knob over and having chilled water gush out on my bare skin.
I am glad that I never looked back or stopped though. It’s been over 3 years since that turning of the knob that spurred me into action. Cold Showers have since been a keystone habit that has snowballed action into all areas of my life.
Cold Showers have a host of benefits for Physical as well as Mental Health.
- Improved Overall Health
- Better Skin and Hair Health
- Increased Focus and Clarity
- Revamped Metabolism
- Increased Productivity
- Higher Energy
- Improved Circulation
- Decrease in Inflammation
- Increased Testosterone
This is Exactly How It Happened
Day 1 —
There I was, contemplating if this was even a good idea at all. Even today, I feel that last-minute nervous rush questioning my choice before I turn the water on.
The first 20 seconds were excruciating, to say the least.
Later, however, I felt surprisingly energized and refreshed, to the point where I started relishing it.
Post-shower, I felt as if I had just been reincarnated with bursting energy.
Day 2 —
This day was harder than the first one, I figured that the euphoria of trying something new must have helped me through Day 1.
Was it even worth it?
This was my inner monologue as I stood there before I decided ‘screw it’ and just went for it.
Weeks 2–5 —
The days after the initial week was relatively easier.
The best part about making this a habit is you don’t need to make separate time for it or remember it.
It’s as simple as just turning the knob to cold every day you shower.
Which is, assuming you shower every day. If you don’t, I’m not sure if I’m the best person to delve out advice on personal hygiene.
The Occasional Slip Up
There were times, twice when I was down with illness and could not muster up the courage to turn over to the cold.
Once when I was in China and simply couldn’t muster up a rational argument to take a cold shower when the temperature was way below sub-zero.
This was undoubtedly the toughest part, after a hot shower for a day or two, embracing the striking discomfort of the cold was hard. However, not once did I regret it when I felt the post-shower rush of euphoria driven by endorphins.
The Cold Changed Me
Cold Showers have changed me and have inspired action and vibrancy in all areas of my life.
A simple and rudimentary change as just switching up the temperature has made an impact that has compounded itself many times over.
1. Better Overall Health —
There has been a noticeable improvement in my Overall Health and Well Being. Before, I used to be down with the occasional flu or fever, every 3–4 months.
Now, it’s barely an illness once a year.
2. Improved Recovery —
Being a quintessential gym rat, cold showers embraced me like a blessing in disguise. They drastically reduced post-workout soreness and I felt recovered much faster.
This has allowed me to breeze through my training sessions more consistently and joyfully.
3. Better Skin and Hair Health —
Going through puberty, I used to constantly battle a garage of skin illness.
Cold showers drastically reduced the tendency to scratch and have helped me maintain better skin and hair.
4. Improved Sleep Quality —
Cold Exposure helps lower core temperature and relax the nerves.
Taken an hour or so before bed, I have noticed significant improvements in my sleep quality. This has resulted in better workouts and a fresh mind to charge the day.
1. Increased Mental Strength —
As someone interested in philosophy, the concept of voluntary hardship appeals to me.
This is one of the easiest ways to implement it and it has carried over in all my pursuits.
Be it giving a public speech or before a heavy set of squats.
2. Improved Focus and Clarity —
Post cold exposure, I have consistently noted increased focus and clarity. This is primarily driven by the endorphin rush and increased blood circulation.
I have always had my best sessions of Deep Work, after cold exposure.
3. Higher Productivity —
With increased focus and clarity driving productive work sessions, I’ve also noticed an overall improvement in my ability to get meaningful work done and relax properly.
4. Increased Mindfulness —
By clearing up my head and increasing blood circulation. I can better concentrate on my Meditations and have greatly improved mindfulness throughout the day.
This has resulted in happier relationships and a more fulfilled life.
On that note, my good lad
elucidates the improved focus and endorphin rush of a cold shower eloquently in this article.
These are the top 4 benefits that I have accrued from Cold Showers.
How You Can Turn The Knob Too!
Not everyone can simply push their way through and embrace the cold. Does that sound like you?
Here are some solid pointers that I’ve tried. You can use them to integrate this practice into your daily life.
- Easing into it —
Try starting with just a few cold showers per week. Not every shower has to be cold. Go enjoy some sauna too.
- Timed Cold Exposure —
Try counting to 10 in your mind whilst the cold gushes down. Then switch back to your normal temperature. Increase this count gradually.
- Contrast Showers —
Periodically alternate between cold and hot in the shower. This greatly enhances circulation. The technique also works miraculously well for recovering sore muscles.
- Don’t go straight from Hawaii to Siberia —
Don’t jump straight into an Ice Tub while you’ve showered with steaming water your entire life. Gradually reduce the temperature of your showers over time.
Before you know it, Wim Hof will be smiling by your side.
Bad Humour? You bet.
- Just End with a Burst of Cold —
Take showers at your ordinary temperature and just turn over to the cold for the last rinse. This really helps in adapting to the decreased temperature over time. It also gives you the contrast effect.
Pay Due Heed
Make sure you keep these in mind before starting this practice.
- Make sure to speak with your doctor if you have any existing health concerns.
- If you notice lightheadedness or any abnormal symptoms, stop immediately.
- Be patient and embrace the process.
Embracing the cold, a seemingly small change in my daily lifestyle has had an insane effect on all areas of my life.
Better Health, Higher Productivity, Improved Relationships.
It has gone a long way in proving that small changes do add up and make a significant impact on your life.
The Cold Will Change Your Life, Embrace It