🎯 Today’s Mission:
To successfully complete today’s mission:
- ✅ Take a cold shower for at least 30 secs. Try for up to 2mins if you can!
- ✅ [OPTIONAL] Share your experience with us, in the Stress Management Support Group
- ✅ Complete the form at the bottom of the page when done.
💡 More Info:
You may have felt immediate fear, stress, panic and anxiety as soon as you read that today’s mission is to take a cold shower! Ironically it could be an effective tool in helping you to cope with these very things.
Although cold therapy has been around for centuries (Hippocrates is often credited as the first person to document the health benefits of hydrotherapy in medicinal practices, followed by ancient Chinese, Egyptian, Greek, and Roman civilisations who often referred to it as “the water cure” or “hydropathy”) cold water continues to make waves in today’s wellness culture.
Ice baths and cold water immersion is a current trend and all the rage. Globally the movement has been popularised by charismatic ‘The Ice Man’ Wim Hof who preaches its many virtues. These include stress and anxiety management.
Based on the experience of people there may well be some truth to many of the claims.
There is evidence that when people immerse themselves in a bath of ice cold water, their cortisol levels drop. Cortisol is the “fight-or-flight” hormone that the body releases in response to stress. Lowering cortisol levels in the blood may therefore help reduce stress levels.
An ice bath is optimal and far more terrifying but for the average person a cold shower which is far more accessible is just fine!
Still really nervous? Maybe this will convince you.
🚿 Take the plunge
Cold showers can potentially:
- Lower Cortisol.
- Boost endorphins.
- Lower blood pressure.
- Increase circulation.
- Boost immunity.
- Boost metabolism.
- Increase alertness.
- Increase self discipline and willpower.
- Reduce inflammation and muscle pain.
It may even make you more resilient and tough! Wim Hof maintains that regularly taking cold showers imposes a small amount of stress on your body, which leads to a process called hardening. This means that your nervous system gradually gets used to handling moderate levels of stress. The hardening process helps you to keep a cool head, the next time you find yourself in a stressful situation.
Many self help Gurus love it too. Beside the health benefits they also maintain it cultivates discipline, resilience and creativity. Tony Robins plunges into an ice bath every day. Quest Nutrition billionaire and founder of Impact Theory Tom Bilyeh swears by it too.
One can only benefit by being comfortable with being uncomfortable every day, just a few seconds. The only way to know if this is for you, is to try!
❓How to do it?
Here are some tips when you start out with cold showers:
- Ease in – If this is your first time you are welcome to dive in head first and see how long you can last but that is not recommended.
We recommend that you step out of the warm water once in the shower and turn it to cold, then start with your feet, then your hands and when you feel more comfortable then cover your neck, back and then the entire body and head.
Or you can start with a warm shower and slowly make the water colder. Each time develop some comfort at the new temperature and keep adjusting. Eventually hit the cold full on and see how long you can last.
- Focus on your breath – When you step into the cold water you are likely to panic and start breathing short and shallow as a response to perceived danger. The answer to calm yourself is to breath slowly and deeply. Focus extra hard on a long slow exhale. This will signal to your body that you are not under attack/threat and assist you to control your instinctual fight or flight response. Remember the breathing techniques we have practiced already.
- Visualise and zone out – Closing your eyes as you zone into your breath may help too. Picture that you are in a beautiful place like a waterfall on a tropical island. Perhaps say an affirmation to yourself such as “I am safe. There is no danger here”. Make up your own. Shout a war cry if you want! Do whatever you have to in order to stay put.
- Embrace the suck – The first moments are guaranteed to suck and be hard. Every fibre in your body will be freaking out. This is a perfect opportunity to build your courage muscle and push through.
- Just chill – Ideally once you are done do not put the hot water back on before leaving the shower. There is benefit in allowing your body to regulate its core temperature on its own while drying yourself. Only step back into the warm shower if you cannot bring your temperature back up naturally.
- Build up – It will likely not happen on day #1 but working up to 2 mins in the morning to start your day is optimal.
➕ Expand your practice
If you loving this mission and you want more then check out this free introductory mini course from Wim Hof that includes 3 short videos that explain his techniques:
✅ Mission Accomplished?
Fill in the form below once you’re done to keep track of your progress.