Friday, March 2, 2012

Cold Showers

I absolutely love stepping into steamy showers and slipping into dreamy bubble baths, so taking a cold shower every day will definitely catapult me out of my comfort zone. But I have to say, my cold shower last night before bed was a shower experience like no other. I started with lukewarm water and gradually lowered the temperature as much as I could stand. What I noticed: 
  • I was present. Usually my showers are mindless acts of routine. I can barely remember whether I've rinsed the conditioner from my hair as I'm reaching for my towel. But this was different. I could actually feel the water on my skin. When I stuck my face into the water, it was like I felt (in cheesy slow motion) each droplet that hit my skin. I was much more conscious of the sensations I was feeling and what I was doing. I remember every minute of that (admittedly short) shower! It was a glimpse into mindfulness that I hadn't appreciated before. 
  • I let go. Perhaps I was just distracted by the cold water, but it seemed like all the thoughts that had been stewing in my brain simply washed down the drain. When I emerged from the shower, my mind was more clear, I had let go of my negative thoughts and I felt calm.
  • I was surprisingly warm. Usually when I leave my hot shower and step into the steam of the bathroom, I want to instantly wrap myself in the warmth and comfort of my over-sized, fluffy towel; the floor seems cold and I quickly step into my slippers. But stepping from the cold shower, I wasn't as teeth-chatteringly hypothermic as I'd anticipated. I was chilly for sure, but the chill quickly melted into a mellow warmth.
It may be that I noticed these things because taking a cold shower was a new experience for me. Regardless, I really look forward to the next one.  Don't get me wrong, it's not easy to force yourself under cold water, and it absolutely took my breath away as I stood under the water and, at the end of my shower, closed the hot water tap ALL THE WAY . I instantly vaulted backward (possibly dangerous in a bathtub). But, I forced myself to inch as far into the shower stream as possible (read: I stuck my arms into the frigid water and some dripped on my toes).

For anyone who hasn't read about the benefits of cold showers and thinks this is just self-torture, check out some of these links:
(PS. I don't endorse any of the sites above. I just think they make for interesting reading.) 

If you know of any great articles on Cold Water Therapy, please post them. I'd love to read them.

1 comment:

Natalia said...

Awesome!! I'm 11 days into cold showers and adore them. They are still painful and cold and I still have to coach myself through them and sometimes jump up and down, but they are such an amazing enhancement and jump start to my day.
Good stuff!