Cold Showers

I know, I know…

For the years in which I’ve been obsessing over personal development, taking cold showers was the one thing people preached that I easily brushed aside. I tried it once and promptly decided, “fuck that.”

But for whatever reason, I decided to give it another go this past week. I’ve done it everyday.

Cold therapy boosts the immune system and reduces inflammation. I don’t really know what the hell that means.

Instead, the benefits I’ve taken away have been much more psychological. When you step forward and the freezing cold water hits your skin, your fight or flight instincts kick in. Obviously, our tendency is to go “oh fuck,” and step away as quickly as possible. Some people develop mental toughness by just enduring the freezing discomfort; but I’ve taken a different approach.

Before embracing the water, I take a deep inhale. Stepping into the shower, I release an even deeper exhale. If I focus solely on the breath at that moment, as if I’m breathing into the areas of discomfort, I can barely feel the cold sensations.

When guys or gals who aren’t trained in martial arts try to fight, you often see them flinching and flailing their arms around spastically. Again, this is them losing control to their flight or flight mechanics. Trained fighters however, are much calmer and more composed under such instinctual strains. Time seems to move at a slower pace for them.

This is what happens in a cold shower. You’re basically training yourself to slow down time when your mind wants your body to go crazy and escape.

Pain is not the same as suffering. Suffering is often a choice.