THE BENEFITS OF A COLD SHOWER: THE PHYSICAL AND MENTAL EFFECTS
What are the benefits of a cold shower? Nowadays, starting the day with a cold shower is a trendy activity for productivity gurus on social media platforms. So, what do we achieve by sacrificing the comfort and pleasure of a warm shower?
Taking a cold shower has several positive effects on your well-being, both physical and mental health. Although the benefits of a cold shower to the body are more solid compared to the mind, taking a cold shower might boost the mental health as well. Here are 3 physical gains of a cold shower and its some potential benefits to the mind:
Increasing the blood circulation
Your body wants to keep its normal temperature stable against external circumstances. As cold water lowers this temperature, the body compensates for this drop with faster circulation. Improved blood flow means that your organs have enough oxygen and nutrition to function well.
Lowering cortisol levels
Cortisol is a hormone released when we face a stressful situation. That’s why it is widely known as the stress hormone. A high level of cortisol can threaten your health since it may cause severe medical problems including heart disease. Taking a cold shower may help reduce the cortisol level and improve your overall health.
Enhancing the immune system
The immune system protects the body from disease-causing microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses. In other words, a strong immune system prevents you from becoming sick. Research done on people who regularly take a cold shower suggests that this habit boosts the immune system.
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Potential benefits of a cold shower to the mental health
Some research suggests that a cold shower increases endorphin levels, which makes you feel good. In addition, taking a cold shower may help you overcome depression and anxiety. Besides, anecdotal evidence shows that people taking cold showers feel good and productive throughout the day. However, the mental benefits attributed to a cold shower in these studies may be due to the placebo effect. It is because their participants might already have been expecting a positive outcome from doing this activity.
After having read all the benefits of a cold shower, now you may wonder if it has any cons. If you have health issues such as heart conditions and migraine, you should ask your doctor first. Another factor to consider is that you avoid taking a cold shower when you are already cold or sick. Lastly, be cautious about the process of incorporating this activity into your life.
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Instead of beginning with cold water, you better start with a lukewarm shower and gradually reduce the temperature. In this way, you can finish your shower with a cold water. You might try a 30-seconds cold shower at the beginning. Each day you can extend the duration of cold-water exposure a little more. To fully experience the benefits of a cold shower, you should do it regularly for at least a few weeks.
“Are Cold Showers Good for You? 4 Health Benefits.” Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, 14 June 2021, https://health.clevelandclinic.org/are-cold-showers-good-for-you/#:~:text=Researchers%20have%20found%20that%20taking,showers%20to%20improved%20cancer%20survival.
Boehlke, Julie. “Benefits of Increased Blood Circulation.” Healthfully, 28 Nov. 2018, https://healthfully.com/benefits-of-increased-blood-circulation-6395089.html.
Cherney, Kristeen. “Cold Shower for Anxiety: Does It Help?” Healthline, Healthline Media, 22 Jun. 2020, https://www.healthline.com/health/anxiety/cold-shower-for-anxiety.
Davidson, Katey. “11 Natural Ways to Lower Your Cortisol Levels.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 14 June 2021, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/ways-to-lower-cortisol.
Lindberg, Sara. “Cold Shower vs. Hot Shower: Benefits, Post-Workout, and More.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 23 Mar. 2020, https://www.healthline.com/health/cold-shower-vs-hot-shower#Whats-so-great-about-cold-showers.
Locke, Robert. “Cold Shower: Powerful Way to Improve Your Mental Health.” Lifehack, 14 Mar. 2016, https://www.lifehack.org/375978/cold-shower-powerful-way-to-improve-your-mental-health.
Williams, Chloe. “Cold Water Plunges Are Trendy. Can They Really Reduce Anxiety and Depression?” The New York Times, The New York Times, 20 Feb. 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/20/well/mind/cold-water-plunge-mental-health.html.
❝ Hi everyone! My name is Aymesey. I earned both my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Archaeology and History of Art at Koç University. Researching and writing are what I like doing most. Nowadays, I feel passionate about psychology and self-development. Hope you enjoy reading my articles!❞
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