Freezing out depression – the psychological benefits of a cold shower

Cold showers have been gaining popularity in the wellness world for their host of health benefits- and for good reason! Shifting your daily routine to include a cold shower can provide some major psychological perks. From reducing stress levels to fighting off depression, read on to find out why you should consider trading in your hot shower for a cold one.

This concept is similar to that of cryogenics– which is the science of using low temperatures to treat medical conditions. Cryotherapy has been found to be an effective treatment for depression. Of course, a cold shower isn’t quite the same as cryotherapy, but that said, the two share similar benefits.

The benefits of reducing your body temperature

When you lower your body temperature, it forces your blood vessels to constrict. This process can help to reduce inflammation throughout the body. This is important because inflammation is a top physical contributors to mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. This means that by reducing inflammation, the cold water can help to improve your mood and alleviate symptoms of depression.

In addition to reducing inflammation, cold water can also help to increase alertness and energy levels. If you find yourself struggling with fatigue or low energy levels, a cold shower may be just what you need to get going.

The shock of the cold water will cause your body to go into survival mode. This results in an adrenaline rush that can leave you feeling invigorated and motivated.

However, the cold shock also stimulates the vagus nerve- which is responsible for controlling the body’s rest and digest response. After the initial burst of energy, cold water triggers the sympathetic nervous system, flooding our bodies with cortisol, which makes you feel calmer and more relaxed.

This means that cold showers are a double whammy. First they boost circulation and reduce inflammation, and then once that initial burst of adrenaline is over, they help you calm down, reducing your stress levels

A cold shower a day can help keep depression away

It is important to note that you don’t have to endure an icy cold shower to reap the benefits and improve your depression symptoms. Start slowly by turning the temperature down a few notches each day until you’re comfortable with the colder water.

You also do not need to endure the cold water for a long time. Research has shown that even 30 seconds is enough to boost your mood and reduce stress. That said, it has also been found that in order to real maximum advantage, you need to create a cold shower habit that lasts several months. This is not an overnight fix.

So if you are feeling under the weather, consider adding a cold shower to your daily routine. You may be surprised at how quickly you start to see results!

Please keep in mind that depression is a serious illness and cannot be treated by showers alone. If you are struggling with depression, please reach out to a mental health professional for help. They will help you come up with a comprehensive plan to improve your mental health, and yes, this could indeed incorporate a spine tingling cold shower 🙂

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