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Cold Water Therapy: Facing the Ice

Humans nowadays tend to forget that our race had to endure ice ages and brutal conditions to survive. It is because of our ability to adapt to the cold that we are here today.

However society today has begun to swing the other way. Due to luxuries that provide comfort such as heating and hot water, we have lost our resilience to the natural elements. We add layers to stay warm and we remove the pain to stay comfortable.

But science has proven that putting our bodies through moments of short-term stress and discomfort is incredibly beneficial. Although some of us don’t need to fight for our survival on a daily basis, it is important to not let go of the fact that we can if we need to.

In fact, the only way we learn something new about ourselves is to try something new that pushes us outside of our comfort zone. Embracing discomfort is so contrary to our programming but it’s so essential to evolving our consciousness.

Regularly exposing ourselves to challenges outside of our comfort zones can have a profound effect on our mental health, particularly when it comes to building our confidence and resilience.

The cold is something that can trigger this natural instinct in us. We go into protection mode and our bodies do what they can to keep us alive. The more we do it, the more we adapt and the more resilience we build up.

Whether as a form of therapy, a test of endurance or a (crazy) sense of enjoyment, putting our minds and our bodies into extreme temperatures has many benefits that we struggle to obtain elsewhere.

My journey with it started with a cold shower every few days to every morning. Then I ventured into cold swimming in Hyde Park near where I live and I have strangely fallen in love it. It is a part of my morning routine, the cycle down there, the swim, the coffee and catch up with friends after, and of course how amazing I feel for the rest of the day.

These are some of the conscious benefits but let’s not forget about the physical and mental benefits going on without us even realising: the decrease in stress, anxiety, inflammation, blood pressure and heart rate, the increase in energy, calm, mood, blood circulation, muscle recovery, to name a few. And this is without putting anything into your body and just connecting with nature, life’s most simple and accessible medicine.

It is the ultimate path in mindfulness, a sensory experience that takes you out of your head and into your body.

Whether it’s community or coffee, the feel-good factor or fear, mental, physical or personal growth, everyone can benefit from stepping out of their comfort zone and into the cold. All progress takes place when you learn to step into your fears.

That is what I intend to help people do through my Mental Resilience Programme. See my Instagram @the_mental_resilience_coach to find out more!

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