At the moment of writing, I’m on a 25-day streak of cold showers. Yep that’s right people, for 25 days I have been willingly stepping into a ball shrinking shower that’s been set to cold as a polar bears arse – and I’ve liked it. Why? Because cold showers can change your life!
Why cold showers?
Well, the physical benefits of cold showers are out there for everyone to see, if you’re interested Brett McKay goes into detail in the video below. But what I’d like to tell you about is the other benefits I’ve felt and how its changed my life for the better. Recently it’s been as if I’ve
Well, the physical benefits of cold showers are out there for everyone to see, if you’re interested Brett McKay goes into detail in the video below. But what I’d like to tell you about is the other benefits I’ve felt and how its changed my life for the better. Recently it’s been as if I’ve woken up from a deep sleep, I’ve been doing pretty much nothing for the last couple of years, just getting by. Nothing terrible, nothing great either, but a little more than a month ago things just clicked. It started with me giving up alcohol for a while, then I did a 5-day juice fast but it’s no coincidence that things really got motoring when I started taking cold showers. As a direct result of cold showers, I’ve started
- meditating every day
- dealing with those painful tasks I’ve been putting off, that take up valuable brain space
- finishing jobs that have been sitting for ages
- running again
- learning to play the guitar (something I’ve always wanted to do)
Basically, cold showers have taught me to rip the band-aid off in just about every situation. Which not only makes an unbelievable difference to your effectiveness as a person, a father, a businessman but also makes you much happier because you’re not carrying around loads of crappy jobs in your head.
So, first of all, I have to thank Joel Runnion from Impossible HQ for being a major inspiration on this topic. I’d originally heard about cold showers from an article on the art of manliness that had them referred to James Bond showers. He’d turn the shower cold for the end of his showers. Bret McKay from the art of manliness has a great article on it but his video should give you the idea.
But Joel has brought it to a whole new level. He’s’ been an advocate of the benefits for years and had an ios app that helps you build the habit. Thankfully, me being and android man, he’s just released an android version on the play store. The app helps to keep track of your showers, times them (if it is not 5 minutes it doesn’t count) and even has a leaderboard to aspire to.
The Cold Shower Technique
It’s relatively simple you just have a 5-minute cold shower every day, but I’m imagining that everyone has their own ways of getting through it. My technique is as follows
- Turn on some tunes (very important)
- Turn your shower to cold
- Start the cold shower therapy app
- Dance backwards into the shower while listening to the voices in your head scream reasons you shouldn’t be doing this.
- Get out after 5 minutes and know you’re going to have an epic day
The shoulders are a good place to start, to get that brown fat activated. The music lets you dance which helps you hide the unmanly squirming as you transition new parts of your body under the icy flow. After the 5 minute buzzer, thank you app, turn off the shower and know that you’ve started your day being epic. It only takes moments for your body to go into overdrive warming you up and by this stage, you can take on just about anything.
It’s much easier to have a warm shower then turn it down to cold but that defeats the purpose slightly. I want to feel the flinch as much as possible, hear the voices telling you not to do this, and just do it anyway. Once you get used to listening to the voices and ignoring them, you realise how often the pop up during the day. Doing their best to put you off other tasks that you know you should be doing.
After I’m towelled off I sit down and meditate. Becoming consistent with the cold showers has allowed me to use it as a trigger to really get my meditation practice consistent again.
People will think your nuts, but taking on the day after already faced down a cold shower makes everything much much easier.
Have you tried cold showers? or do you think its just plain crazy, let me know in the comments.