Here's Why I'll Never Turn Back
The idea of a cold shower has always sounded dreadful. The showers I preferred were long and steamy, so when my little brother told me he had been taking cold showers, I thought he was a psychopath.
He did catch my attention though.
He said the benefits were undeniable; he discovered a more luscious head of hair, skin he wasn't akin to scratch, and a stronger mentality from overcoming that daily cold plunge.
I had an especially difficult time controlling my urge to scratch from the sweat and friction of my daily workouts. Also, the luscious hair thing..
So, I gave it a whirl. I thought I'd try it once and see how long I can do it for.
The first cold shower was memorable and awful. It was a hybrid of shower on, shower off, and more so continued in that format for the rest of the week.
Still, I was shocked.
The impact was immediately noticeable; my skin felt calmer, and my hair felt more nourished and less dry.
This shouldn’t have been too surprising considering the research online. Aside from increasing endorphins, improving metabolism, and helping circulation; cold showers reportedly give your skin and hair a healthy glow!
Was I treating every shower like a Navy Seal operation? Sure, but my body was thanking me, so I continued every shower like I was gearing up for war, tactical and highly efficient.
The second week of cold showers were more of the same; I’d turn the temperature knob to the coldest setting and remind myself “it will all be over soon.” Every shower was more encouraging than the next as their physical benefits became more obvious to me.
My itchiness was practically non-existent and the compliments on my hair from my work colleagues only fueled my determination.
The third week was different... I could feel something powerful awakening within myself. I was actually beginning to crave these cold showers; everyday became a personal competition with myself on how long I could stay under for.
I was conditioning my mind and body to be receptive to the universally uncomfortable state of being cold.
Curious as to why this was happening, I discovered Wim Hof, a method combining meditation, breathing techniques, and cold therapy training to achieve increased states of enlightenment.
I especially liked their mantras; my favorite to chant in the shower was “allow your body to do what it was designed to do.”
By the fourth and final week, cold showers were simply showers. The induced stress became normalized. On reflection, my experiment was a success in many ways past the immediate physical benefits of healthier skin and hair.
Every freezing plunge nurtured my confidence and helped me redefine the limitations I placed on myself, enabling me to push those boundaries further.
I found myself craving more challenging goals, I became more stern on promoting positive habits while removing negative ones, and I established more discipline in my daily routines.
I had no idea that overcoming a daily challenge so seemingly small could help me in so many ways.
My experiment ended 3 months ago and I’ve continued to take cold showers ever since.
I'll admit, every now and then, I'll take a warm shower.
They are more incredible than I ever remember.