Does the thought of a cold shower make you shiver in terror? Do memories of winter chill send you hiding under the covers? What if you could reframe that discomfort and learn how to use it for your own personal benefits?
Cultures worldwide have used ice baths for thousands of years to keep the mind calm while making the body healthy and strong. There is great power in strategically harnessing the energy and experience of the cold.
It takes a whole lotta mental strength to stay in an ice bath when your mind tells you to run. Learning to stay and push through temporary discomfort gives you acute willpower that carries over into other areas of your life. Have you ever forfeited long-term benefits because you doubted your tolerance for short-term displeasure? What if you could shift that?
In addition to the enduring mental benefits, ice baths deliver immediate physical results. Even a short period of time spent in ice will reduce cortisol levels for an instant reduction in stress. Then, once you acclimate to ice baths and make them a habit, you will find yourself dropping into a meditative state when facing that cold water. This sense of calm and rising distress tolerance gives you the sort of inner strength and vitality to take on any challenge.
Soaking in an ice bath also helps reduce and manage symptoms of chronic pain, anxiety and depression. As your temperature drops, your body sends blood to the brain and core, reducing inflammation linked to a wide assortment of chronic symptoms.
After only 90 exhilarating seconds in an ice bath you’ll be alert, sharp and energized. Enjoy a lasting positive emotional state for the rest of your day, potentially even the rest of your week! When you go to bed, count on truly restful physical slumber and a mind at ease.
Benefits of cold training include:
- Increased willpower
- Icreased physical endurance
- Increased metabolism
- Reduced symptoms of anxiety
- Reduced symptoms of depression
- Reduced cortisol (stress hormone)
- Reduced chronic physical pain symptoms
- Reduced inflammation
- Improved sleep
- Improved mood
I know what you’re thinking, this won’t work for me because I don’t like the cold. I’m gonna tell you a little secret: NO ONE LIKES BEING COLD!
The point of challenging yourself in the ice is not to train yourself to “like” the cold, it’s so that you can learn how to accept discomfort, learn how to accept stress. If you felt an ice bath would be a nice relaxing thing to do for yourself, there would be no challenge. The change you want will always be equal to the challenge you must face.
But maybe you’re still not sold on the cold. That’s okay!! The Wim Hof method is not just about dipping in ice. He’s also well known for his incredible breath work.
Wim Hof’s breathing technique is truly unique. In this style of breath work, you are able to deactivate your nervous system response by breathing rapidly and deeply. This will ultimately result in reduced stress, mental clarity, increased immunity and more.
Would you like to try this breath? Check out a short video by Wim Hof instructor, Jesse Coomer.