Want To Be More Productive? Take A Cold Shower

The hot water heater busted where I was staying in San Francisco a few months ago. It was after a very sweaty run around the city, so I had to get clean. I knew an unintended cold shower was in my near future. So, I soaped up and jumped in. It was cold. Breathtakingly cold. Uncontrollable funny noises cold.

After I rinsed off, I noticed something happened as I stood there shivering and drying off. I felt alive! Better then I had in a long time. I felt like I could slay a dragon!!

So, I did it again the next day. I didn’t bother to call about the busted hot water heater. It was the weekend anyway, and I didn’t want to bug anybody about it (I was a guest after all). I just hopped in the cold water ready for the challenge. New day, same feeling. Ready to start the day. Ready to take on the world. Ready to do everything on my to-do list and more.

Monday came and they fixed the hot water heater, but that didn’t stop me. I was hooked. Crank it to cold, soap up and rinse off. I felt like I was in the army. Like if I could survive this, then the rest of the day would be easy.

Well, I have been doing this for a few months now and it’s effects haven’t worn off. The showers are still breathtakingly cold, but not miserable. I actually look forward to it. It’s better than coffee. It gets me in the right state of mind. In a state of control, not comfort. The perfect mood for making the world work for me instead of merely reacting to the world around me.

Here are a few notes if you want to try the cold shower for yourself

  • Just turn it to cold and imagine that the hot water heater is busted… Forever!
  • Get all soaped up. Now, there is no way out. you have to get in.
  • Try working out first. It get’s your body temp up and makes the cold water feel more refreshing.
  • Think of it as a challenge. Like a hard work out.
    • I definitely agree, Nick. This is something I’ve done since my teens. It’s like a game you play against your body. You explain it to some people, though, and they can’t do it. They say they’re too scared. I tell them that’s the whole idea. The trick is to be scared, but do it anyway.

    • Thanks for the Wake Up Neo reminder. The instant cold shower is a variation on an old commando-sadhu-zen trick of jumping into a ice-cold lake, at once shaking off useless persistent thoughts of “What Happened” and “What Might Happen Next” into the very focussed, very present, “This Shit is Happening Now.”

    • THIS IS TRUE!!! My water heater went out a couple of years ago and I had to do this. I told my wife that it was strangely invigorating. I felt so, “Fight Club”. I haven’t done this in a while though. Thanks for the reminder, Nick.

    • a definite balancing out and stimulation of bodies neurotransmiters–try a cold bath -even better–what energy!

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