Cold showers for anxiety relief

3 June, 2021

You may have heard that cold showers are very effective for your body and mind. That is why Wim Hof uses exposure to cold in his method to boost the immune system and to gain many other benefits for both mental and physical health. Among other things, cold showers are for instance known to relieve anxiety symptoms. Anxiety is a mental health condition that causes excessive fears and worries. While intermittent bouts of anxiety are natural, anxiety disorders make it difficult to participate in life in a normal way. When you want to get rid of your anxious thoughts, exposure to cold is a great way to relieve the anxiety symptoms naturally.

Cold water as anxiety treatment

While more research is needed to prove that cold water is an effective anxiety treatment, there already are a lot of positive signs coming from scientific studies. Anxiety often comes with an increased heart rate and high blood pressure. Exposure to cold water lowers the heart rate, which makes you feel calmer and thus less anxious. Within science, there is a commonly held belief that regular exposure to cold water, such as taking a cold shower every day, boosts the immune system. It is not that anxiety is caused by a lower immune function per se, but it is linked to increased inflammation, which could lead to more frequent illnesses and overtiredness. So, anxiety relief definitely can be the result of exposure to cold water.

Creating endorphins by taking a cold shower

As mentioned above, cold showers are beneficial for gaining a lower heart rate and to contribute to healthy blood circulation. When your body temperature cools down, your system responds by providing fresh blood. When you feel anxious, your body gets warmer and your blood pressure rises. Taking a cold shower helps you to bring your blood pressure down. Besides that, a cold shower helps your body to create endorphins. Endorphins are naturally produced by the autonomic nervous system to make you feel less stressed and get you through pain. In short they relieve pain and boost your happiness. As such, endorphins ease symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Reduce inflammation with ice baths

Athletes have been using ice baths for a long time to help decrease the chance of inflammation, which may lead to muscle soreness after an intense workout. For anxiety, a cold shower may yield similar benefits in terms of inflammation in your body. When you experience a lot of stress, inflammatory values in your body increase. When using cold therapy for your anxiety, inflammation levels decrease. If you want to start with cold water therapy, you should begin by using cold water for just a small amount of time. For example, you can use cold water during the last minutes of a shower. After some practice, the period in which you use cold water can be extended. Taking a cold shower is also known to be meditative. This is because while showering, you temporarily take your mind off the things you might be worried or anxious about. The time in which you shower with cold water is the time to focus on your breath and calm yourself down.

Natural treatment for anxiety

Even though a cold shower may help alleviate your anxiety symptoms, it is not the only natural treatment to relieve anxiety. There are several very accessible treatments you can start with. In particular, you can think of daily exercise. Exercising helps you to improve your mental health, increase endorphins and reduce stress. When you worry too much, adopting meditation exercises and breathing exercises into your daily routine helps you ease anxiety symptoms. Besides that, it is important to both live and eat healthy. Get enough sleep, reduce the intake of caffeine and alcohol, and eat healthy unprocessed foods. If you bring these habits into your daily routine, it becomes much easier to relieve anxiety.

Help your anxiety with the Wim Hof Method

You can help relieve your anxiety by practicing the Wim Hof Method. Many practitioners of the method are experiencing the relief of anxiety symptoms and a lot of other health benefits. The commitment of the method in combination with exposure to cold and breathing exercises are a very effective way to release positive energy within your body, changing various physiological responses and ultimately influencing your autonomic nervous system and immune response. The method will give you control over your body and mind, which is very helpful for the relief of anxiety symptoms. Learn all the fundamentals of the method in our Fundamentals course. Start today and enjoy the benefits within weeks!