You’ve probably read or heard it somewhere already: the benefits of taking cold showers. The miracles that will happen in your life once you start taking cold showers. The following thought, when reading about cold showers, might arise when you start thinking about it: ‘That’s not for me. I love my warm showers. I get the chills when only reading about it’. And how crazy does it sound? After you had your daily battle with your alarm, you pull yourself out of bed, still feeling sleepy, energized and not ready for the day most of the times. You head over to the shower: the saver of the day. The one and only thing that can help you wake up, make you feel alive again and give you motivation to live another day. After coming out of the shower you feel better, refreshed and ready for the next saver of the day: coffee. That shower wouldn’t save you if it was cold, right?
This might be exaggerated version of your morning routine. But I bet that taking a cold showers isn’t part of yours. And why should it be? Why on earth would you want to take a cold shower?
A question I’ve been asking myself lately. I could write this blog telling you about all the benefits I am currently experiencing by taking cold showers on a daily basis, such as no more muscle pain, incredible energy, feeling alive, courageous and victorious, but that wouldn’t make me original, would it?
So where should I start? How could I ever convince you to try taking cold showers? I probably can’t. And therefore I won’t try to convince you. I promise.
I would like to take you back to the moment when I decided to take a ‘half’ cold shower, 6 months ago. After seeing plenty videos on Facebook giving me reasons and motivation for why I should take a cold shower from navy seals to highly successful people, I started to think. “Well, they do have a point. Taking a hot shower is the easy way and does not test nor challenge my body and my mind.” And that felt like the easy, comfortable way. The way I don’t like to take in life. The way that does not challenge or excites me, but gives me the results I have always gotten. So why not try it? How horrible could it be?
At first, I decided to take it easy and allow myself some time to get used to the cold water. So first step was: taking a normal shower, getting the cleaning job done, but finishing the shower with cold water. I don’t need to tell you how hard it was to turn that temperature gauge. “AAAH AAH AAHHH’ were the first things I screamed. My breathing rate increased and my body started to tense. After a few seconds I had enough and I turned down the shower.
The results? Well, I did feel energized and awake, that was for sure. But I wasn’t too keen to experience this every single morning. It did give me a feeling of satisfaction because I did it and my thoughts couldn’t stop me from trying. The first, brief, cold shower was in the books!
After a cold-shower-week-challenge, I started to experience the benefits, such as incredible energy and motivation. I noticed that the fear or resistance disappeared and that it became just part of the daily routine. The courageous feeling gave me motivation to continue.
After a month or two, I went to a ‘Back to your nature’ workshop from Bart Scholtissen. Bart is an instructor from the Wim Hof Academy who is a qualified ‘iceman’ and teacher. After getting educated about breathing, your body and your mind for three hours, it was time to do the uncomfortable: Sit in a bath with 150 kg of ice. The next level, right?
One of the many things I learned from that workshop, was that fighting the cold would make it worse. It was all about accepting the cold, focussing on your breathing and relaxing. Not trying to resist the cold, but embracing it by just focussing on your breath. It is easier said than done, but it did take most of the coldness away.
'Easier said than done...!'
Going home, completely reborn, it was time to step up my game. No more warm water. From the moment the shower went on, till I turned it off, cold water was all I was going to get. The first week, I have to admit, it was a challenge. To step underneath a cold shower takes courage. It took some effort to overcome my limiting doubts, to take that tiny step and put myself under the shower. But after overcoming the challenge, I felt incredibly satisfied and energized.
Three months later, I haven’t taken a warm shower since. I love the feeling of that split second of pure panic, of overwhelm, of fear and of coldness. After that second the feeling of relaxation, satisfaction and energy arises because I am the one in charge, I am beating my own mind and my limiting thoughts. Embracing the cold just makes me feel amazing, if you ask me. Note: It takes time only experience the panic for a split second.
To conclude, do you need an ice bath to start taking cold showers? I don’t think so. Do I recommend taking an ice bath and doing the workshop? 100%! However, I can share my story, and give you the benefits of a cold shower, all day long, but what will it change? Are you considering a cold shower now? If you do, great! See the benefits for yourself. If not, I would have guessed so.
And you are not the one to blame. Taking a cold shower is for most people a true nightmare. Your brain will give you plenty reasons to not do it, simply because there are enough reasons not to. The one thing to blame here is that thing. That thing, that space, that limitation, however you would like to call it. That’s right; your comfort zone. An evil space that will keep you wherever you are in this nice, warm and cosy place. A space that does everything in its power to keep you where you are and will give you the results you have always gotten.
A cold shower is more than just cold water falling down on you. It is a victory. A victory that will fuel you on a daily basis. A victory that will make you realise that you are in charge and that you can decide how your life will unfold! A victory that is fuelling me every day and will keep on fuelling me.
I promised you not to convince you, so please let me challenge you to start small, like I did, and try taking a ‘half’ cold shower for a week. Just 7 days. Commit yourself to do the uncomfortable and experience the victorious feeling! For my game plan, tips and daily motivation, hit me up here! Let’s do it!
Cliche but true!