I take an ice cold shower every morning and for a very good reason, to brainwash myself into knowing that I’m in charge over that little voice in my head.
Who’s the boss – I am!!
Taking control over that monkey mind, is one of the absolute most important things to me. By having a freezing cold shower every morning, I am constantly training my mind to know who is boss! When I tell myself to do something, I do it, period! I won’t listen to the little voice in my head, trying to persuade me it’s too cold, that I don’t have to do it, that it will be freezing and unpleasant etc…
By ignoring my little monkey mind and stepping into this freezing cold water, I’m training my mind to understand who is boss! I won’t listen to the chatter and objections that might pop up in my mind. I am the boss and this daily routine helps me train myself and my monkey mind to always know who is boss and who calls the shots.
By doing this for a while, it just turns into a natural habit but the power it gives me (control of acting when and how I want to) I have with me all the time. Honestly, taking a freezing cold shower is the best way I know of to train this ability and ingraining in my body and mind who’s in control of the decisions and actions. On top of this, there are also other great reasons for taking a cold shower!
The benefits of an ice cold shower (or a swim)
1. Stress Reduction
Stress reduction is one of the main benefits as the cold water stresses the body both mentally and physically. By making this a daily routine, you train your body to handle this kind of stress in a better and better way. This trained stress reduction works in your everyday life too, which means that you will not react to stress in the same way as you used to. You will basically build and increased level of stress tolerance which you will benefit from every day.
2. Boost your immune system
The immune system gets a boost because the body has to react to the cold water and does so by boosting the number of white blood cells. The function of these cells are to protect the body from infections, viruses, bacteria and other intruders. You are basically giving your immune system an instant boost by stepping into that cold water and just letting your body produce more of those protective white blood cells. Some of your white blood cells only live for a few days and by constantly (daily) making your body produce new ones, you are giving your immune system a daily helping hand by kick-starting the production! If your immune system is receiving this amazing treatment every day, it should help you keep the doctor away!
3. Increased blood circulation
Blood circulation increases in your body and this happens as the body has to respond to the cold water. The activity in your body increases to fight the cooling of your body. So blood is instantly sent to your organs to keep them warm. This in turn stimulates cell growth and organ function. Even your skin will benefit from this increased circulation and hence you will not only feel better afterwards, you will also look better!
4. Improved fertility
Fertility might even be improved by taking these cold showers or swims. There have been studies on the opposite, that people who use the sauna frequently have significantly lower sperm count then people who don’t. This can potentially do the opposite as you are exposing yourself to the cold water.
5. Focus and Alertness
You will feel extreme alertness and ability to focus afterwards. It might be pretty obvious that if your body immediately has to respond to adapt and “protect” you as you get into that cold water, you will feel fully awake in a matter of seconds! There might be a few moments where it’s harder to breathe (if it’s a really cold chock to the system) but this eases after a few seconds (if not, get out!).
As your body is getting a kick-start of the day, you will feel amazing and alert once you step outside! Kick-starting your body like this will also mean that you will burn more calories than you would otherwise do. If you also take a swim at the same time, your body will have to work even harder to cope with both the cold and the exercise, hence it makes perfect sense that you will burn more calories than you would otherwise do.
6. Endorphin production kicks in
Endorphins will be produced as it does when you are exercising, feeling pain or being stressed. Experiencing cold in this way is very similar. To handle the pain, endorphins are produced to block the pain and to control your emotions. Endorphins can block pain but they are also the ones giving you that great feeling after an exercise. The same thing happens when you have taken a cold shower. You are producing endorphins and when stepping out of that cold water, you will feel great!
I love it!
I absolutely love cold showers because of all the great benefits they give me. Both mentally and physically and it’s a great way to kick-start my body in the morning. This is part of my morning routine as you probably already know and I also say my affirmations during these cold showers. By doing this, I train myself to focus on something else rather than how cold the water is and it also makes it easier for me to stay there a bit longer even if it’s freezing cold.
To get started with this practice I would recommend you to take your normal shower and then when you are done, just finish off by lowering the temperature consistently till you reach the minimum. Stay in for a few seconds, tell yourself out loud “I am the boss”! Do it again and again! Make sure you stay long enough to gain control over your breath as it might be a bit shallow at first…
As always if you have any health issues, consult with your practitioner first as this is by no means any medical advise. Use your own judgement.
Again, I absolutely love telling myself and my mind who is the boss!
Actions to take:
- Check out my morning routines and make cold showers part of yours too!
- Habits of the highly successful – Just copy them!
- Habits – how to create great ones!