The Zen of Ice Cold Showers

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Ego
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The Zen of Ice Cold Showers

Post by Ego » Fri Jan 15, 2016 8:28 am

The Zen of Ice Cold Showers

https://medium.com/the-lighthouse/the-z ... .c4512q7zi


The next time you shower, set the water to be cold. Not just cool or lukewarm, but ice cold......

Now recognize the fact that you are feeling something unusual but that it’s ok. It’s just a signal from your nerves to your brain. You’re not dying. You’re not in danger. You’re simply experiencing something far outside the normal boundaries.

And if you don’t panic or try to escape the feeling by moving around quickly or tensing up or getting impatient to escape, everything will remain as it is, and there’s nothing all that terrible about doing just a little longer what you’re already doing right now.

That’s a superpower. Your mind is able to be stable and calm and focused against almost any force, any challenge, any problem. Your brain is like the large jets most people fly in, which are built for insanely greater stress, power, and force than most of us will ever experience on any flight. You can thank your ancient ancestors for that. They lived and died in unimaginably horrible conditions, building and fighting and hunting and reproducing in the barren deserts and frozen mountains, terrified of the night and striving with their last ounce of strength to stave off the moment when hunger, thirst, disease or predators would inevitably snuff out their precarious existence.

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Chris
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Re: The Zen of Ice Cold Showers

Post by Chris » Sat Jan 16, 2016 2:47 am

I the Scottish shower some time ago, and but delayed trying it as hot showers are my 2nd favorite thing.

But last week at the end of a shower, I just decided to flip over to cold. My body's uncontrolled response was... laughing. It's pretty great; something I look forward to at the end of a shower now. The most important thing (mentioned above) is to avoid trying to cope. Let the whole body be soaked in cold water, don't just let one part adjust to the temperature.

I'll continue with this.

7Wannabe5
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Re: The Zen of Ice Cold Showers

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sat Jan 16, 2016 9:03 am

...then, after that, you could have somebody wrap you very tightly in plastic wrap from neck to toe.

Also, it's kind of a different experience when you slip off a boulder and wind up in Lake Superior in April with all of your clothes on.

themodernchap
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Re: The Zen of Ice Cold Showers

Post by themodernchap » Wed Jan 20, 2016 9:02 am

I still do this at the end of every shower and have done for years. As a result my circulation is great, I sweat fast in warm places and I am never cold. Its really good for you physiologically as well as psychologically.

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Re: The Zen of Ice Cold Showers

Post by jacob » Wed Jan 20, 2016 10:54 am


steveo73
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Re: The Zen of Ice Cold Showers

Post by steveo73 » Wed Jan 20, 2016 5:24 pm

I'm doing it now but it's really hot where I live now and the cold shower is actually warm. I won't be doing this in winter when it is freezing.

zarathustra
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Re: The Zen of Ice Cold Showers

Post by zarathustra » Wed Jan 20, 2016 9:06 pm

This is something I would try if I didn't love silky smooth legs as much as I do. Goosebumps push the hair up and ruin all the hard work of leg shaving. :(

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Kriegsspiel
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Re: The Zen of Ice Cold Showers

Post by Kriegsspiel » Thu Jan 21, 2016 9:12 am

It's 15 degrees out, and my water heater went down yesterday. I decided to camp in the basement then shower at the gym in the morning because I had been painting and doing other house stuff. Then I remembered this thread. It was only painful until I went numb. Once I stepped out of the shower and towelled off, roughly 70 seconds after I got in, I actually felt pretty good.

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Re: The Zen of Ice Cold Showers

Post by enigmaT120 » Thu Jan 21, 2016 1:45 pm

For some reason, we didn't have a water heater through most of my high school years, so I took cold baths. At least once there was ice rattling in the pipes. I was in sports and PE so had hot showers at school, but I wasn't always there.

I don't remember that time fondly, and enjoy warm showers now. I also think warm water rinses off shampoo better, which is another indulgence I use.

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Ego
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Re: The Zen of Ice Cold Showers

Post by Ego » Thu Jan 21, 2016 3:03 pm

jacob wrote:He sells it better than I did: http://earlyretirementextreme.com/cold- ... later.html ...
I hadn't seen that. I really liked the tolerance zone post.
http://earlyretirementextreme.com/toler ... owers.html

I liked it so much that today was day number one of the "Don't Touch the F#(&!^% Cold Knob on the Faucet Experiment"

It was cold. But it felt good afterward.

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Kriegsspiel
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Re: The Zen of Ice Cold Showers

Post by Kriegsspiel » Thu Jan 21, 2016 10:14 pm

Day 2 went better than Day 1. Utilizing navy showers makes it much better. Exposed to that idea through Jacob.

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theanimal
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Re: The Zen of Ice Cold Showers

Post by theanimal » Thu Jan 21, 2016 10:23 pm

There is a woman I work with who says I hate joy. One of her examples of this is the fact that I take cold showers. Little does she know that I actually enjoy cold showers. Warm or hot showers are miserable after you make the switch.

I also cite cold showers as a partial reason I can keep my room at 40°F and be comfortable. Having exposure to frigid outside temps helps too.

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BlueNote
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Re: The Zen of Ice Cold Showers

Post by BlueNote » Wed Jan 27, 2016 9:20 pm

I got onto this for awhile about 5 years ago. It's invigorating and doesn't feel too bad once you get past the initial cold shock. For some reason my shoulders are the most sensitive to the cold water.

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Re: The Zen of Ice Cold Showers

Post by tommytebco » Thu Jan 28, 2016 3:22 pm

My father used to say this old German (he claimed) proverb.
"I like to pound my head against the wall because it feels so good when I stop"
That's all I have to say about cold showers.

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Re: The Zen of Ice Cold Showers

Post by Ovid » Mon Feb 01, 2016 6:26 am

I have started ending my showers cold. I would like to work up to more and more of my shower being cold. I have noticed a few benefits I did not expect.

As I am doing it, I feel like that is the hardest thing I will do all day. My day is all uphill from there. When I can do that, I can do anything.

I feel a bit like the guy from fight club when he says with fighting it turns down your life. When I start the day with a cold shower, the things that would normally bother me, I don't even notice.

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Re: The Zen of Ice Cold Showers

Post by JasonR » Mon Feb 01, 2016 9:06 am

Why do I want this superpower and it's long term consequences?

Why would I want to learn to acquiesce to the things in life that I can easily change with little effort? First it's cold showers, but before long the Zen settles in and now I don't mind my commute (I can read and listen to podcasts) and next I don't mind my job (I sit in front of a computer, at least I'm not roofing in July or digging ditches in February) and finally I turn around and I'm collecting SS. Oops. I forgot to ERE because the cold showers taught me to not change my circumstances but rather submit to them with obsequious genuflections.

No sir. I'll keep my showers scalding hot and stoke the fires of indignation.

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Ego
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Re: The Zen of Ice Cold Showers

Post by Ego » Mon Feb 01, 2016 12:25 pm

JasonR wrote: Why would I want to learn to acquiesce to the things in life that I can easily change with little effort?
Maybe as practice for dealing with the really hard things in life that you cannot change. Also for the physiological benefits.

I'm cold-showering about 50% of the time. It is easy after a long run. The last two days I rode in the rain/wind then swam in a chilly outdoor pool. There was no way I was taking a cold shower to boot.

sharons59
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Re: The Zen of Ice Cold Showers

Post by sharons59 » Tue Feb 02, 2016 2:33 pm

I agree. Ice cold showers are very therapeutic. This has allowed me to withstand cold temperatures and also made my skin firm a bit. Not sure though if it's placebo or something. :) Imagine if I've done it every single day.

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vexed87
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Re: The Zen of Ice Cold Showers

Post by vexed87 » Tue Feb 02, 2016 5:48 pm

I had no idea there were benefits aside from financial... I'll have a go first thing!

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Re: The Zen of Ice Cold Showers

Post by jacob » Tue Feb 02, 2016 7:39 pm

The financial benefits are practically non-existent unless you spend hours showering each day.

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Re: The Zen of Ice Cold Showers

Post by inchicago » Tue Feb 02, 2016 8:24 pm

I've heard that alternating between hot and cold is very good for the body. Similar to being in a sauna and jumping in an ice cold pool, but less extreme. I tried the hot/cold shower for a few weeks a few years ago. I did this during the summer so it wasn't as much of a shock. I don't know if I really felt that much of a difference but my hair was much way shinier. I also usually take lukewarm showers because I don't like hot water-it wrinkles and dries out the skin too quickly.

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vexed87
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Re: The Zen of Ice Cold Showers

Post by vexed87 » Wed Feb 03, 2016 7:39 am

jacob wrote:...unless you spend hours showering each day.
Personally no, but my dog has an electric shower plumbed in the garage for post walk showers...

Image

I gave it go this monring, initially with cool water, but turned it right down at the end. Not so bad once you get over the involuntary heavy breathing! If I can do it, so can he!

henrik
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Re: The Zen of Ice Cold Showers

Post by henrik » Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:20 am

jacob wrote:The financial benefits are practically non-existent unless you spend hours showering each day.
Indeed.. because of the way hot water costs are charged in my building, I can calculate this quite precisely. Based on a two month average, if I had taken cold showers instead of warm ones, I would have saved roughly €0.0075 per shower.

JasonR
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Re: The Zen of Ice Cold Showers

Post by JasonR » Wed Feb 03, 2016 3:37 pm

Ego wrote:Also for the physiological benefits.
Can I just use the sauna instead? And not both. Moderation in all things.
Ego wrote:Maybe as practice for dealing with the really hard things in life that you cannot change.
Perhaps. Does it work? Do you find yourself not shaking your fist at the iron sky and threatening the universe with your wrath after a cold shower?
But isn't changing impossible things one of the points of life? Your old buddy/role model who participates in triathlons didn't bow down before old age. He fought it. Is that good? Accept the cancer or fight the cancer? One day as a lion or a life as a lamb?

I guess my issue with "The Zen of X" is that anything can be X. I can find Zen in pulling the arm of the slot machine, letting the electrons of the RNG chip take me to dizzying heights and terrifying lows all while I keep my emotions firmly rooted in the creamy middles, detached from experiencing anything human. But should I be gambling to reach nirvana? Or cold showering? Can't I just do it on my own, internally? Then again, I don't want to be a robot. I like railing against things. Maybe I don't get Zen?

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Re: The Zen of Ice Cold Showers

Post by jackdaw » Wed Feb 03, 2016 4:58 pm

I've been doing cold showers for about two years now, never missed a day (the magic of not wanting to break a chain). I start with lukewarm water to actually wash myself, then turn it to ice cold. Some days, though, I really have to force myself to do it :) But it's worth the feeling you get after getting out of the shower.

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