You know for a fact that we get stuck from time to time during chronic illness. We get stuck in physical and emotional realities that seem impossible to overcome. So how do we get unstuck? Some will actually take the frozen plunge into chilly waters, forcing a shock. Not me! But I have taken on the frozen psychology of cold showers to bust through some chronic illness struggles.
Chronic illness stinks, most of the time. There are endless obstacles with our health, our relationships, our finances. How can it be a shocker that the chronically ill have some mind issues. It is easy to get our thinking scrambled with the chaos of lingering illness.
I have had a LOT of years to contemplate how our minds keep us ill. Nope, not saying that our illness is in our minds. Our physical illness and disease is very real, no debate on that from me. Yet, the healthier our minds and souls are, the better we can rise above the chronic illness. Not just on an emotional level rising above it, but on a physical level, our bodies can physically rise above it with psychological support.
Support your emotional health and you will support your body. Support your body and it will have what it takes to rise above the physical.
Don’t believe me? You have been around plenty of ill people. Once in a while there are some who have good attitudes and calm spirits about the illness situation they find themselves in. Don’t you root for them? Don’t you have a bit more faith that they will be the ones who rise out of the chronic illness loop?? Don’t you want to be one who can rise above the chaos of chronic illness???
Have you ever gone swimming in cold water? When you get over the initial shock of the cold, it becomes stimulating. This is because when you enter a cold temperature quickly, your blood moves from the surface of your body to the core, which helps bathe your brain in fresh blood and cleans out your system.
Take The Plunge
You don’t have to jump into a frozen lake to take the frozen plunge. Better believe I won’t be doing that one.
Even a second of cold water can change your psychology. I had to go slow with this because I don’t like shocking things, especially during chronic illness.
I started with the shower. Just one little burst of cold water. I liked having control over how much I had to endure. With my hand on the lever, I could do just one second of cold water.
Now, I end every shower with a long burst of very cold water to rattle my thought processes. Get those chaotic thoughts shook up and tossed out. I envision the goofy unwanted thoughts flowing down the drain with the cold water.
I literally let the very cold water to run over my newly washed hair, over my brain, cover me with fresh clean cold water for a new start to the day. The nutty thoughts can just roll down the drain and into the sewer where they belong!!
The idea is — I use my Blue Mind to shake up my mind and calm my mind with water. Water is a powerful tool for the chronically ill. Pure drinking water is only the tip of the iceberg.
Cold Water Science
This is not my opinion, there is actual science on this practice, both psychological and physical health benefits of hydrotherapy (cold water).
Psychological benefits of cold water…
Cold shower therapy is an ancient Ayurvedic remedy that has various health benefits including treating mental health concerns, improving blood circulation and skin toning. It has been used for centuries and we still are still using it today.
Applying water of different temperatures to our skin can change our physiology and mood. When humans take a cold swim, once over the initial shock of the cold, it is usually very invigorating. This is because wet and cold causes our surface vessels to vasoconstrict (tighten up), making blood move from the surface of your body to the core, as a means to conserve heat. Not only does it conserve heat, it also reflexively bathes the brain and vital organs in fresh blood. This movement will bring nutrition, oxygen and also help gently detoxify the area. Warm water will make the vessels vasodilate (relax) which will bring blood up to the surface. This helps blood move back, away from the core, cleaning out the core.~ Psychology Today; A Cold Splash–Hydrotherapy for Depression and Anxiety
I always look to GreenMedInfo for solid science…
Depression is yet another thing that cold showers can help and prevent. Research at the Department of Radiation Oncology at Virginia Commonwealth University indicates that cold water has a stimulating affect on the brains “blue spot”, the main source of noradrenaline for our bodies. Noradrenaline is a chemical that might be used to help alleviate depression.~ GreenMedInfo; 10 Health Benefits of Cold Showers
Health benefits of cold water…
GreenMedInfo has a database on Hydrotherapy evidence-based research.
According to a meta-analysis of existing cold water immersion research in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, cold showers have many physiological effects on the body. These include: increased heart rate, higher blood pressure, elevated respiratory rate.
Cold water also increases the body’s metabolism because it has to work harder to maintain a stable temperature. However, because the typical duration of a cold shower is only around 5–10 minutes, a person should not rely on its metabolism-boosting effects as a weight loss technique.
That said, cold showers do create a sense of invigoration and alertness, which may prompt a person to be more physically active.~ Medical News Today; Are there any health benefits to a cold shower?
Wake up your brain with cold water. You don’t have to do a brain freeze, just test the waters in your shower.
Blue Mind Movement
Join Dr. Jay Wallace at Blue Mind to understand and enjoy the emotional and physical benefits of water in our lives.
- Book – Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do
- Video – Blue Mind in the Desert | Dr. Wallace J. Nichols | TEDx
- About – Dr. J. Nichols about
- Series – Blue Mind Health