3 Reasons Why I Take a Cold Shower Every Morning

My phone reads 6:29 a.m. I beat my alarm by a minute. I stand up, stretch my arms in the air and then walk towards the shower. I step in and look up toward the nozzle. Breathe. I take a few deep breaths, dreading the uncomfortable feeling I’m about to voluntarily endure. I then turn the water on just enough so the pressure is strong and the water is as cold as possible. The chilly water shocks my body and the first few seconds are the worst. But then, the next minute or two aren’t so bad. I step out of the shower, feeling charged and ready for the day.

This is how I have started my mornings for over a year now. If you are wondering “why the hell anyone would purposefully take a cold shower first thing in the morning?” this post is for you. Here are some great benefits to starting your day by taking a cold shower.

1.) It Wakes You Up and Increases Alertness

While I do consider myself a morning person, that’s not to say I jump out of bed every morning with a huge smile painted across my face. I’m usually somewhat tired and groggy. A cold shower changes this very quickly. The cold water sends a jolt through my body, waking every nerve. It’s impossible not to be fully awake after your tired, comfortable body is sprayed with freezing cold water. This results in you feeling stimulated and alive! The reason behind this increase in alertness is rooted in biology.

In response to the cold shock, our breathing deepens because the body is trying to keep us warm. Therefore, our heart rate increases, and a rush of blood is released throughout our bodies. This provides a natural high and fix of energy to jumpstart the day.[i]

2.) You Embrace the Discomfort and Do It Anyway

There are a daunting few seconds between getting in the shower and turning it on, where I dread the upcoming seconds of suffering. But I know that I will feel better after. I know that the cold shower is good for me. By starting your day with a cold shower, you are consciously embracing a bit of discomfort for the ensuing benefits that you will reap.

Exercising can be exhausting and uncomfortable, but it makes us feel great. Eating roasted broccoli, tomatoes and other veggies may not be as appealing as a burger and fries, but we will feel better and have more energy as a result. In terms of work, we tend to procrastinate on the big, important assignments that need to be accomplished, and instead tackle the small, easy tasks that make us feel as if we’re being productive.

Taking a cold shower conditions us to accept and even welcome immediate “hardship” for future gain, which can significantly impact the way we live our lives. It reinforces similar, encouraging behavior for the rest of our day. Whether it’s making an uncomfortable call, reaching out to a prospect or starting a research paper, making the decision to begin each day with a cold shower cultivates a mindset where we acknowledge the discomfort and do it anyway.

3.) You Create a Strong, Foundational Habit

Taking a cold shower first thing every morning is a great way to get your day started without thinking. It becomes automatic. Having a foundational habit to start your day, like a cold shower, is powerful. It allows you to transition from being asleep to being awake. There is also something to be said about accomplishing a task right when you wake up.

This ties in with the previous point about reinforcing positive behavior. By achieving something right away, you are more likely to feel productive and therefore do more. Once you have taken cold morning showers for a month, it becomes a habit and something you’re not fully conscious of. You wake up and head to the shower — you are on autopilot.

Other potential benefits of taking a cold shower upon waking include a strengthened immune system, weight reduction and muscle recovery from strenuous exercise.[1]

As the saying goes, the proof lies in the pudding. For 30 days, consider taking a cold shower to start your day. See how you feel and how it affects the rest of your day. You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain!

[1] Borreli, Lizette. “7 Surprising Cold Shower Benefits For Your Body And Skin.” Medical Daily. N.p., 24 June 2014. Web. 26 July 2016.

[i] Wallen, Daniel. “5 Surprising Benefits of Cold Showers.” Lifehack RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 July 2016.