I'd heard such fantastic things about cold showering and the benefits it has for those who struggle with anxiety and depression. So, I decided to give it a go for a month!
I'd read multiple mental health magazines and articles online that cold water showering had proven health benefits, especially for those who struggle with anxiety and depression. The shock of the cold water supposedly helps to produce an anti-depressive feeling as the nerve endings of the skin travel to the brain.
I was keen to test this theory and decided to trial cold showering for one month. Every shower I took was freezing cold. To begin with I had to progressively get used to cold water exposure by starting off tepid and slowly decreasing the temperature throughout a shower until it was cold. I have to say at the beginning, I HATED IT. I was not used to the shock and the first 2 weeks testing this out seemed more like a chore and challenge then something that would help with my mental health.
However, the benefits of cold water showering soon outweighed the negatives.
The experience became almost meditative. You have to channel your inner stamina and strength to acclimatise to the temperature change. You feel resilient and incredibly powerful that your body is capable to control it's urges to run away and to remain calm.
I felt like a super hero, I'd already started my day feeling empowered. While everyone else is walking around having had a relaxing, warm morning shower, I was super human.
I would come out of a shower feeling so awake and energised and ready to begin my day. This is something I found really surprising as my depression often causes me to be the very opposite. I struggle to get out of bed, and walk across my flat let alone be productive with work and consider the possibility of exercising and socialising.
While the thought of jumping into an icy shower when you wake up is the most horrendous idea, it truly made me feel like I was going to get something done that day.
For anxiety I also think it was fantastic. I had an episode of ruminations one evening which lasted throughout the night. I thought I would try cold showering as a method to see if it would help me out of my anxious state.
For a minute or so the terrifying intrusive thoughts disappeared as I focused on my breathing and the feeling of the water over my head and down my body. It makes you focus, and the shock regulated my breathing. I came out feeling refreshed and as though I had washed away my anxieties. I slept easy after this.
For me cold water showering is as an instant relief from anxiety.
It's as though nature is giving you a natural, cooling hug from head to toe and while the feeling takes you by surprise upon entry to the shower, words cannot express how fantastic I found it.
I have extended my use of cold showering past my month's trial, and I currently have no intention on returning back to warm showers. Maybe when the weather makes a turn for the worse I might go back!
Warm showers are brilliant for relaxing muscles, helping you to sleep and to feel comforted. But, cold showers are another form of hydrotherapy and relaxation.
Other benefits I noticed were also:
- Smoother, softer hair
- Clearer skin
-Sweating less throughout the day
I have filmed a video of my experience over on our YouTube channel- Wave Subscription Boxes. Linked below:
Give it a watch and let me know what you think! Also give cold showering a go! You won't be disappointed.