Last December I decided to take a cold shower (knob turned all the way cold) every day for 30 days.
Because I read about it on a blog post just like you’re doing right now.
When I first read about the challenge, I cringed at the thought of willingly taking cold showers.
Why would anyone do that? I loved hot showers, and hated cold water (or used to, at least).
When I was a kid, I would literally turn purple when I went in the ocean because I would get so cold. I usually couldn’t stay in the water for more than 10 minutes because I would start shivering and my body would go numb. I had a very low tolerance for the cold. Never in my right mind would I have willingly taken a cold shower.
But as I read more and more into this 30-day cold shower challenge, I learned that taking cold showers has a number of widely-known benefits, both physical and mental. After reading an overwhelming number of positive experiences from other people who had taken the challenge, I decided that this was something I had to do.
Day 1: My First Cold Shower
It was 8 AM and I had a long day of class ahead of me. I stumbled to the bathroom still half asleep, took a piss, and stepped into the shower. I turned the knob all the way cold and turned on the water. Standing next to the water I extended my arm to give it a feel.
It was COLD. Really cold.
A part of me said “What the hell am I doing? I don’t want to do this” and for a good while I thought about turning the knob back to the other side and enjoying a nice hot shower just like I always had. But then another part of me said, “Man the f*** up! It’s just water.”
After a few minutes of mental preparation and a short pep talk to myself, I finally stepped into the icy cold water. Head first, and then everything else.
Talk about an adrenaline rush. It was freezing. My body tensed up, I was breathing heavily, and I felt like I was going to die of hypothermia. I couldn’t stop thinking about how cold it was, so I rinsed off my body as fast as I could and didn’t even try to wash my hair. I think I lasted about 2 minutes.
But as soon as I turned off the water I felt a warm rush all over my body, and for some reason I just felt AMAZING. It was one of the most exhilarating experiences I’ve ever had and I felt incredibly accomplished for doing it. I was wide awake and ready to take on the rest of my day.
The next few days were just as challenging as the first, but by the second week, stepping into the cold water became less difficult. Instead of thinking about how cold the water was going to be, I learned to just dive in without hesitating. It was just another part of my day.
The water was still cold, but I learned to embrace it. It was no longer painfully uncomfortable. My body gained a tolerance for the cold and I learned to relax and control my breathing. I eventually started taking cold showers that lasted just as long as when I used to take hot showers. And even though my body had adjusted to the cold, every cold shower still had the same invigorating and energizing effects that carried into the rest of my day.
At the end of the 30 days, I no longer feared cold water. In fact, I actually looked forward to each shower, because I knew how good I would feel after.
What I Learned and Why You Should Take Cold Showers Too
There are several reasons why you should take cold showers.
A simple Google search will show you that taking cold showers is good for your health in a number of ways, including improved blood circulation, increased immune strength, increased testosterone, increased metabolism, and healthier skin and hair.
Personally, I don’t know how substantial all of these health benefits are, though I can say that I did notice a difference in my skin and hair. I normally have very dry skin and hair, but after just a week of taking cold showers both my skin and hair felt significantly less dry and a lot smoother.
But more importantly, I learned that taking cold showers is just a simple way to get into the habit of doing things that scare you — the things that usually come with the biggest reward.
By willingly putting yourself into an uncomfortable situation every day for 30 days, you condition yourself to fearlessly take on new challenges, get out of your comfort zone, and master your mind.
It’s an extremely powerful tool to help you get out of a slump and start taking action to achieve your goals.
If you want achieve anything great in your life, you have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Taking cold showers is an easy way to practice doing that on a daily basis. It may sound silly at first, but once you do it you’ll be surprised by how much it carries over into other areas of your life as well.
Plus, taking cold showers make you feel fucking AWESOME. And when you feel awesome, you become awesome.
If you’re up for a challenge, I highly encourage you to give it a try.
I am officially challenging you to take on the 30-Day Cold Shower Challenge.
I promise you won’t regret it.
UPDATE: I have actually decided to do this challenge AGAIN, for my second time. After finishing the challenge the first time around I continued to take cold showers every now and then, but at some point I reverted back to taking hot showers.
Recently I’ve been doing a lot of work and feeling a little worn out, so I decided it was time for round two.
I started on Friday, August 2nd and will end on Monday, September 2nd. So far the effects are just as awesome as they were the first time around. I had a spontaneously fun weekend and have already had an exceptionally productive week, and it’s only Tuesday.
If you’re still on the fence and want some more convincing, check out the blog post that first convinced me. Still unsure? Here’s another one, and another one. And if that doesn’t do it for you, check out this thread where hundreds of other people who have taken the challenge are sharing their experiences.
You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.
***UPDATE: I recently wrote a MONSTER post about the many scientifically supported benefits of taking cold showers, the entire history of cold water therapy, and much more. Click here to check it out.***
Image Credit: By turydddu @ Flickr, retouched by JovanCormac () [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons