Cold showers could help you grow mentally stronger

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Most people enjoy a long, hot shower, right?

For many people, they are the best part of the day. Not only does a hot shower provide some time to relax, but they are also great for letting your mind drift and think about new ideas.

But imagine what it would be like if you could only take cold showers. Besides the goosebumps, would it really be all that bad?

I decided to find out for myself by taking a week of cold showers. Here’s what I learned:

Yes, cold showers are absolutely brutal. But taking them is totally worth it because it helps you build the mental fortitude you need to win in life.

Here are some things you’ll learn when you take cold showers:

1) We can do anything if we put our minds to it

The cold is my sworn enemy. I absolutely abhor it. When I'm cold, I lose control; regardless of how I was feeling before, I become moody and irritable until I completely shut down.

If humans could survive on the sun, I'd be the first to buy a one-way ticket there. I'm not joking — my ideal ambient temperature is 77 degrees or above.

So when the idea of taking cold showers crossed my mind, of course, my body was screaming, “Fuck NO!”

But mind over matter, right? I had to overcome the fear my body was feeling. And fortunately, by this point, my brain was well aware of the apparent benefits of bathing in frigid water. So there was no turning back.

It is amazing what you can accomplish with the right thoughts. This applies to almost everything in life.

Our minds are more than incredibly powerful simulation machines; they create the reality we believe and live in. If we believe something enough, we'll make it happen. We will our thoughts into existence.

We are defined by what we think. Our thoughts dictate our actions. So if you're having trouble trying something new or not getting the results you desire, start with your mind. Everything else follows.

2) Thinking can make things worse than they actually are.

In some instances, the right thought is no thought at all. While I was cognizant of the benefits a cold shower offers, that didn't make the idea any more enjoyable.

In fact, the most difficult part of taking a cold shower isn't the shower itself; it is the thoughts that precede it.

When I picture an impending cold shower in my head, it's hard not to shudder. My heart immediately fills with dread.

But you know what? The actual shower was never as bad as I envisioned.

When your thoughts are doing nothing but being detrimental, it is best to just shut them off.

Our minds like to magnify our misery. We tend to overthink our problems and make them out to be worse than they really are. As a result, we only focus on the painful aspects of a process, not the beneficial outcome.

Doing this is as nonsensical as thinking a cold shower could turn you into a yeti. This spiral of pessimism only serves to make you a prisoner of your own thoughts.

As someone who is always in their head, taking cold showers was a profoundly powerful exercise in liberating myself from this faulty way of thinking. Sometimes, it's best to stop thinking and start doing.

3) Starting your day with a small “win” sets you up to win more

Just as we can will bad thoughts into existence, we can also transform positive ones into successful outcomes. It just requires the right mindset. And to achieve this, sometimes you need a little “push.”

My ex-boyfriend was an NCAA athlete. He once said to me, “If I ever enter a race with fear, I've already lost.” Basically, he was trying to explain that if you think you are going to fail at something... you probably will.

Focusing on the worst-case outcomes and other gloomy “what ifs” only help to make them inevitable. But how can you correct this? Simple: With positive reinforcement through small victories. They end up compounding into something greater.

Small wins snowball into big momentum. And that momentum makes you unstoppable.

Tiny accomplishments show you that you can succeed. You can come out on top. You can do this.

When you start off your day, what do you do first? Do you wake up and immediately start checking emails and text messages? More often than not, this just leads to stress. It can set you off on the wrong foot. You end up feeling bogged down, hopeless, and not exactly ready to conquer the day. And it hasn't even begun!

Taking a cold shower flips this feeling upside down. You start every day with a small win. And it puts you in the right frame of mind to win more. It gets you ready to handle whatever comes your way during the rest of the day.

4) Discomfort is an inevitability... and a necessity

The modern world has allowed humanity to tap into an unprecedented level of comfort. Nearly everything is instant or on-demand.

With one click, you can get food from your favorite restaurant delivered to your door. And with the tap of a button, you can have your own personal chauffeur. Heck, you can even get someone else to walk your dogs for you with a simple text.

But I'm convinced that humans are not designed to always be comfortable. When there is an abundance of everything, it becomes hard to appreciate anything. And we start to become desensitized to everything.

With that being said, it is no wonder Twitter and Game of Thrones are a hit these days—people are dying for more action and drama in their lives. And these two things provide it practically on-demand.

Too much comfort leads to complacency. If our ancestors had all the modern marvels we have at our disposal, humanity may have gone extinct.

Our struggles fuel our growth. And our hardships allow us to appreciate happiness more.

You can't have happiness without a little bit of sadness. There isn't any sunshine without some rain.

Taking a cold shower gives you a reality check that everything is not easy to attain. By giving you a dose of hardship to deal with, you get to enjoy the little things in life again.

I know this for a fact—after my first cold shower, I appreciated something as simply as warmth and sunlight more than I ever did before.

Some final shower thoughts

But there is one big downside worth mentioning: Shower thoughts are MUCH harder to come by when you are taking a cold shower. Your mind is far too preoccupied with the cold your body is feeling. It just isn't the same as soaking in a warm shower and letting your mind drift away to explore novel ideas.

So for the creatives out there, beware.

Plus, who doesn’t love a hot shower on a cold winter day? Missing out on that experience is a big drawback of cold showers.

Perhaps the sustainable strategy is to do cold showers once or twice a week. This way, I can get the best of both worlds :)

Have you tried cold showers before? What has been your experience? Share in the comments! :) 

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Why am I sharing my travel stories?

Founder & CEO of TruStory. I have a passion for understanding things at a fundamental level and sharing it as clearly as possible.

Preethi Kasireddy
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