Cold Showers for Brain, Mental health, and Performance: 6 Benefits of Taking Cold Showers


Cold Showers for Brain, Mental health, and Performance.

Cold Showers for Brain, Mental health, and Performance.

“We have become alienated from nature. But, the cold is capable of bringing us back to what we once lost” quoted Wim Hof aka The Iceman. In this article, ‘Cold Showers for Brain, Mental health, and Performance’ we shall look into the astonishing benefits that cold showers offer to our brain, mental health, cognition, and even physical health. We shall also peep into some interesting facts about the same, also exploring the right way to take cold showers.

1. Stabilizes Mental health and Improves Performance

According to Science Direct, we lack certain physiological stressors that have been experienced by primates(eg- cold swim) and that is yet another reason for depression, along with the environmental factors. In a survey, subjects experiencing depression were subjected to cold showers once or twice daily. This was continued from several weeks to several months. It was found that cold showers activate the sympathetic nervous system and increase the levels of neurotransmitters in the blood. Noradrenaline and beta-endorphins are released by the brain. Noradrenaline is a hormone that makes you happy and euphoric too, at times. It also helps in increasing attention, focus, performance, boosting mood, and memory storage. Beta endorphins are known to reduce stress and maintain homeostasis. They are also known as pain modulators due to their ability to block pain signals, thus reducing the sensation of pain to the body.

2. Anti-depressive effect

Moreover, when you take cold showers, due to the presence of a large number of cold receptors on the skin, an overwhelming amount of electrical impulses are sent from the peripheral nerve endings to the brain and according to studies this results in an anti-depressive effect. Coldwater showers can effectively relieve the symptoms of depression.

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3. Can help with Psychosis

Psychosis is a severe mental disorder that can entrap a victim in hallucinations and delusions to such an extent that they lose touch with reality. Cold hydrotherapy or cold water showers can work as mild electroshock to the sensory cortex (the region of the brain concerned with receiving and interpreting sensory information from the five senses).

4. Helps overcome laziness and reluctance

Nothing is better than a cold water shower when it comes to overcoming laziness: physical and mental. Undoubtedly, it can get you rid of laziness. Sometimes in our lives we suffer from what is called ‘mental inertia’, which is the reluctance in taking action; to wish to change something but can’t take progressive action that actually lets you alter the situation. As stated earlier, cold water showers can be exceptionally good for your performance, mental health, and even emotional well being in ways that you would never expect.

5. Increased Oxygen flow to the brain

Oxygen deficiency in the brain can make you easily tired, causes acute fatigue, weakness, dizziness, attention-related troubles, digestion problems, irritability, and even depression. Mere oxygen deficiency can make you vulnerable to more than 100 chronic diseases.

Taking cold showers can increase the amount of oxygen flow to the brain and this is known to benefit the brain in several ways. Increased oxygen flow can repair brain tissues and also decrease inflammation which is the primary cause of brain fog. It’s a widely known fact that oxygen helps your cerebrum function much better than usual.

6. Improves Circulation

According to the Journal of Applied Psychology, a cold shower can cause increase in arterial pressure(both systolic and diastolic), pulse pressure, and pulse rate in normal people. And it can also improve blood circulation due to the variance in the body and water temperatures. Unlike warm water, cold water doesn’t deprive your skin of moisture, make it scaly, and itchy. Instead, it helps maintaining the natural balance.

Wim Hof Aka The Iceman

A discussion of cold showers would be left incomplete and meaningless without any reference to Wim Hof, also known as The Iceman. Wim Hof(Born 20 April 1959) is revered across the world for his sterling ability to withstand freezing and chilling temperatures.

After the death of his wife, he was left alone to deal with his 4 children. Apparently, it was quite tough for him. But, he found comfort in something that sane people would find uncomfortable-the ice. Yes, you read it right. Wim Hof found comfort in ice, which insidiously developed into his crazy love.

He holds a Guinness record for swimming under ice. He went to the extremes by completing a full marathon in Finland in freezing temperatures (-20 degrees Celsius). He literally scaled much greater heights in life by climbing Mount Everest and Kilimanjaro wearing nothing but shorts and shoes. He has several other achievements to his credit.

Wim Hof suggests everyone to get comfortable with the cold and make it an integral part of life. Wim Hof method is known to be a simple yet very powerful method based on the foundation of three pillars namely, breathing, cold therapy, and commitment.

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Comfort can ruin your life

As rightly stated by Neale Donald Welsch, American author, “life begins at the end of your comfort zone. Comfort can ruin your life in all ways. Leaning back on your couch, binge eating and binge-watching can be very cozy and comforting. But, it will take you nowhere but a dead alley. Great things were never achieved within one’s comfort zone. The problem with many people today is that they loathe and fear being ‘uncomfortable’.

Similarly, as humans, we find warmth very comforting. Apparently, there’s nothing wrong with it. But, the benefits that cold water showers offer outweigh the former. Cold showers can literally jolt you awake from the unconsciousness housed in your brain.

How to take cold showers?

As humans, many of us, tend not to do what’s uncomfortable to us. And that is the precise reason why some of us lag behind. Sometimes things of little value could actually make a greater difference. Cold showers, for one, can help you get rid of that mental inertia lodged in your brain.

If you’ve decided to take cold showers, there are ways in which it needs to be done, and certain precautions to be followed.

First of all, take a firm decision to take cold showers and most importantly stick to it. This is the most primal step. Stay resolute. The cold is quite discomforting yet highly beneficial to your mental health and performance.

Once you’ve taken your decision, and stepped into the bathroom, don’t just pour out cold water outright, especially in the initial days. Start slow, at your own pace. Take your own time.

Despite the fantabulous benefits offered by cold showers, sometimes they might not just fit the occasion. Don’t take cold showers if you are sick. If you are suffering from ailments like cold, cough, fever, etc. taking cold showers is not recommended. Avoid cold showers during winter. Some of us tend to be stupid freaks at times.

Do not be afraid of the cold. For, it is good and harmless as long as the right precautions are followed. People usually prefer cold water at 20 degrees Celsius. According to Minnesota Sea Grant, our bodies can sustain even sub-zero temperatures for at least 10 mins. Your cold water shower wouldn’t probably kill you.

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Concluding: ‘Cold showers for brain, mental health, and performance’

As rightly stated by Wim Hof, unless you are willing to experience new things, you will never realize your full potential. And that is exactly why this article has been made; to let you experience something new. Probably many of us are aware of cold showers but have never taken them seriously. It’s time to take action.

I hope my article, ‘Cold showers for brain, mental health, and performance’ is of assistance. Subscribe to my newsletter and get all updates delivered straight into your inbox. And the best is yet to come!


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