The Cold Shower
FEELING STUCK IN A ROUTINE?
Do you get that feeling like everyday is the same, and you never get round to making that change you know will help you? Comfort gets in the way, we overthink things, we talk ourselves out of it. Before you know it, you’re in the same place as you’ve always been, wondering years later why you’re still stuck in a rut. Excuse after excuse. I’ve been there and there’s a nifty trick I use to snap myself into a better routine. THE COLD SHOWER…
Put simply, our minds ‘prefer’ a warm shower, a cosy one, that you can stay in for a long time and enjoy. But just because that’s what our minds want doesn’t mean it’s good for us. In fact, our minds are very used to getting comfortable, it’s in our DNA to stay in routine, to get comfortable with what we know and to deviate as little as possible from normality. The reason being that new experiences mean new thought patterns for the mind to process, which in turn means using more energy than doing what it already knows.
No wonder you’re stuck in routine, because the more comfortable we get, the more comfortable we get used to, the more comfortable we crave.
It makes sense somewhat in hunter gatherer times, one has to retain as much energy as possible as resources were scarce, but in our modern lives we have more resources than we need so retaining this comfort really doesn’t make sense now, it should be the opposite, we should feel more comfortable taking risk. Of course, we are thousands of years of evolution, so a concious change does take time, and you have to begin re-wiring your way of thinking to break out of this routine.
SHOCK THE SYSTEM
If you can handle it, the best thing to do is to turn the shower onto a cold setting and then get in. I usually sing or make lots of noise and sometimes swear, to let out the strong feelings that come my way. Immerse yourself in the water, and you’ll be surprised how quickly you get used to it. If you feel like that’s way too much, then begin by having the last 20 seconds of your shower in a cold burst. But don’t stand away from the water, get yourself in and then gradually work towards having a complete cold shower.
Before I started having cold showers, I would listen to my minds monologue. “Ooh cold shower, can I handle it? Will it ok for my body? I’m worried, it’s freezing, I can’t do it, maybe tomorrow, I didn’t sleep well last night, let’s try tomorrow” Fear has to be overcome. So simply, do not allow yourself to say no. The night before, make an intention that you’re going to do it in the morning or in the evening, and stick to it.
WHY ARE COLD SHOWERS SO EXHILARATING?
There is lots of scientific evidence behind the benefits of cold showers, from increasing white blood cells to boosting metabolic rate, but I want to talk about philosophical reasoning. We spend so much of our lives in routine, and after a while we know this is boring and want to break out. But we always lack the energy and impetus to do so, as we are evolutionary hard wired to be lazy. What I believe the cold shower is , is a microcosm of life, that if you want the complete, enthralling experience, you have to be comfortable with the uncomfortable, you have to do things you normally wouldn’t do, keep growing. This is what a cold shower does, it generates courage through overcoming fear.
It pushes you in to doing something scary, that you are initially scared of, then once you have completed it, you realise that it wasn’t bad at all, in fact, it becomes addictive, because facing fears is addictive, it makes you feel alive. In order to feel alive, to feel the full experience of life, we need to take risks and be comfortable with failure and recovery. Trial and error is the cornerstone of evolution, without courage, we would not be where we are today. The cold shower shows us that we are stronger than we believe we are, and that we have the strength and courage inside of us to continue to develop and evolve, as long as we take the first step. Turn on the cold…