“Let’s go!” I scream as a turn the shower dial all the way to the right. “Woah! Yeah!” I exclaim as the cold water hits my skin and I feel my body jolt from its dormancy. Two minutes later I am wired and haven’t yet had my morning cup of Joe.
I have gone on a few different cold shower kicks over the past few years. Every time I restart one of them, I ask myself in amazement, “why did I ever stop?” Of course, as soon as I cave and take a hot shower, my question is convincingly answered. Nonetheless, the point remains: more people should take cold showers. The health benefits, both biological and psychological, and largely unverified by rigorous scientific experiments, are just too great not to give them a go. Just to name a few:
- Natural Espresso: The rush of blood and increased heart rate gives you that natural energy boost you’ve been searching for without success. If you’re a natural grinder or want to become one — whether it’s your latest business idea or that stack of books you need to plough through — you’ll be able to stretch your productivity even farther.
- Immune System Booster: Increased blood flow and circulation may provide a natural immune system boost, leading to fewer sick days at the office and more paid time off. Sounds nice during a global pandemic, no?
- Hair and Skin Never Looked Better: This one may be more for women, but men can profit too. While hot water does a number on the skin and hair, cold water is good, temporarily restricting your pores and decreasing redness and puffiness. (Did you know actress Katherine Hepburn and scientist Charles Darwin were both proponents of cold showers?).
- Mood Booster Baby: While it’s not a cure for depression, mind you, preliminary studies have suggested cold showers provide positive effects on alertness and moods (If you don’t remember Bio 101 very well, the mechanism has something to do with increased electrical impulses sent to the brain and the release of neurotransmitters like norepinephrine).
With benefits like that, one would think they were paying for some over-priced, faddy health product sold on a TV commercial. Instead, apart from the potential emotional trauma, cold showers won’t cost you a thing. In fact, you will actually save money because your water and energy usage will drop.
More importantly, in modernity — this unprecedented period of comfort and luxury — cold showers serve a quasi metaphysical function. It’s one guaranteed moment everyday where I have to exercise my will by doing something that I know won’t be comfortable, but that I know is good for me (for those who have previously doubted, this will convince you once and for all that free will exists). It’s a tiny opportunity for toughness and grit, features modernity has kicked to the curb like an outdated fashion.
Not yet sold on the benefits? The good thing is that you can (easily?) verify them for yourself!