I remember the first time I decided to start taking cold showers. I’d read about all of the benefits and decided that I’d give it a shot. I turned the shower onto my usual temperature, washed my hair, washed my face, and did everything else I normally do.
Then, I decided to turn the shower down as cold as it would get. “FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK,” I gasped in between breaths. I started hyperventilating and jumping around, pounding my chest, and moving my limbs. I stayed in for a good few minutes, doused my face and hair in ice water, and turned off the faucet.
When I emerged, I felt like a fucking god. I was extremely alert, focused, and energized.
I then went on to hit the gym like an animal, have an incredibly productive day, and then go on an awesome date later that night.
“B-b-but isn’t that bad? Won’t you give yourself a cold?” I can hear someone complain. No, it won’t give you a cold. It will make you feel like a fucking conqueror. If you can’t even push yourself to deal with some discomfort for a few minutes, how the hell do you expect to decisively improve your life?
Taking cold showers will make you feel absolutely amazing.
When you start your day off, very first thing in the morning, with a cold shower, you’ll feel fucking awesome. You’ll get a surge of adrenaline, and you’ll have razor sharp focus for the next few hours which will give a great kickstart to your morning. Cold showers have been clinically proven to combat depression, relieve anxiety, and will make you more emotionally resilient in general.
JUST cold showers gave me a noticeable difference. When I was extremely depressed years ago, I experimented with a lot of weird shit to cure depression. Some of it worked, and some of it didn’t work. Cold showers work. If you’re depressed or anxious, they’ll cut those feelings in half.
Sometimes even more than that. The reason why is because when you take a cold shower, you become present to the moment. This is exactly why we meditate; it brings our mind to the present moment, so we’re not worried about the future or depressed over the past.
When you’re focused on the mind-shatteringly cold water bombarding your skin, it’s pretty fucking hard to dwell on what some girl said to you last night. It will bring your focus to the HERE and to the NOW, and start your day off right. Cold showers help relieve anxiety, as well. It may seem kind of counter-intuitive, but it’s true. “Why would blasting my face with ice cold water relieve stress, Jon?” I can hear you ask. And I’ll tell you why.
Because when you blast your body with frigid water, you MOVE AROUND. It wakes you up, and you naturally hyperventilate and shake your limbs around. This gets you a huge blast of oxygen, radically improves your circulation, and gets you out of your head and into your body. Anything that was bothering you will be completely gone. The focus is now on how amazing you feel, not on how some guy said something that pissed you off two days ago, or whatever it may be.
Cold showers also create a sky high level of discipline, which is one of the most crucial characteristics for success. By starting your day off with a cold shower, you’re literally training your brain to do something uncomfortable every day. You’re saying “FUCK YOU,” to that side of you that’s saying “Hey man, just turn on the warm water and relax…”
Doing this every single day will build up your discipline over time, which is applicable to literally everything in your life. You need discipline to go to the gym. You need discipline to stay out late and game. You need discipline to focus on business for hours at a time.
In short, you need discipline for everything. And cold showers build discipline.
Cold showers also wake you up. I know this seems obvious, but if you haven’t ever taken a cold shower, you don’t understand. There have been COUNTLESS days where I’ve literally gotten only 2-3 hours of sleep. Maybe I was out late the night before with my buddies. Maybe I was fucking a hot girl, and stayed up until 4AM doing so. Or maybe I stayed up for hours on end, because I was juiced up on quality smart-drugs, writing awesome content for you guys.
Whatever the reason, I’ve gone PLENTY of nights with only a couple hours of sleep…and do you know what I do the first thing the next day? I take a cold shower. It will be a struggle at first. The little bitch part of your brain (we all have it) will say: “Hey man, you’ve had a late night. Come on. Just relax…skip the cold shower today, take a warm one.”
But if you decide to take a cold shower, and rightfully say “fuck you, don’t be a bitch,” you’ll emerge feeling as alert as if you’d had 8 hours of sleep. No joke—some of my best articles were written on minimal sleep, with the use of cold showers and a cup of strong, black coffee.
For a quick 5 minute cold shower in the morning, you can receive a whole host of physical benefits. First off, washing your body with ice cold water is incredibly good for your skin and hair. The reason why is that the col water causes your hair follices to contract and your skin’s pores to shrink. This makes it very difficult for hair to fall out, and for dirt to get in your pores.
Second, cold showers release a cascade of hormones that are incredibly good for you. Taking cold showers releases endorphins, boosts testosterone, and decreases cortisol. Tim Ferris talked a lot about this in his book, The 4 Hour Body. The release of endorphins is what makes you feel so damn good after you take a cold shower. The testosterone is responsible for lean muscle gain and fat loss. And the decreased cortisol? Cortisol is a stress hormone, so this explains part of the reason why cold showers reduce stress.
In addition to this, cold showers also decrease muscular recovery time, lower blood pressure, and improve circulation. That’s a ton of benefits that have very far-reaching consequences for your long term health. The decreased muscular recovery time will help you hit the gym harder and faster, the lowered blood pressure will decrease your risk of heart disease, and the improved circulation literally has dozens of benefits to it.
In short, cold showers make you look better, make you feel better, and make your body work better.
I recommend that you have the shower on hot for the first few minutes while you’re doing your normal stuff in the shower. This way you’ll not only get the benefits of taking cold showers, but you’ll also get the benefits of taking hot showers. After you’ve washed your hair, washed your face with the best soap in the world, and shaved, turn the water all the way down as cold as it will go. The reason why you should wait to do this until after you do all of your stuff, is because you don’t want to be focused on washing your hair or face when arctic level temperature waters are bombarding you half to death.
Let your body move naturally. I like to jump up and down, breathe in super deep, and pound my chest and stomp my feet. It makes me feel like a fucking man.
I do this for about five minutes. I recommend buying a G-Shock watch to time yourself (it’s one of my top 3 watches for men). I’ve had one for about 2 years now and I love it. I give the thing so much damn abuse, from knocking it around in the gym (I use it to time my sets) to submerging it in the hot tub, to taking it in the sauna, to using it to time my cold showers. After the five minutes, get out, and have a badass day.
If you do my morning routine for zen-like focus, don’t worry—you can still take cold showers. If you recall in the article, I mentioned that you can move the various exercises around to suit your needs, so feel free to do so. I would recommend taking a cold shower either first thing in the morning or after you do your bio-energetic exercises.
Doing it first thing in the morning will wake you the fuck up and train your subconscious mind to conquer fear right from the get-go. Doing it after your bio-energetic exercises will ensure that your body is sufficiently warmed up and ready to go; the cold shower is the icing on top of the cake. You can also elect to have a “3C Morning Routine,” which is comprised of cardio, a cold shower, and coffee. Either way, figure out what works best for you.
In summary, cold showers are one of the best habits for men. They’ll make you feel like a fucking boss, they have a TON of physical benefits, and a ton of psychological benefits as well. They build will power, decrease anxiety, and help fight depression. They make you recover faster, improve your immune system, and give you better circulation.
Cold showers will make you a better man all together. They’ll make you more emotionally resilient, more confident, and they’ll boost your testosterone. What more could a man want?
So, now that you’ve read this article, don’t make excuses. Don’t bitch, don’t whine, don’t complain. If you don’t take a cold shower TOMORROW, you aren’t holding yourself accountable. Not the next day, not the day after that, but TOMORROW.
You now know the awesome benefits of cold showers, so not taking one tomorrow would be an act of self-hatred. Don’t do that. You deserve better. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, be sure to leave them down below. And as always…I’ll see you guys next time.
Jon Anthony is a dating coach, fitness expert, and self-improvement guru. He dropped out of college to start Masculine Development in 2015, and has since been self-employed, helping men across the world achieve their best lives. You can best reach him on social media, or via email for questions.