Cold showers are something I never expected myself to do, but here we are!
Here is my experience with cold showers and the benefits I have reaped since...
How I found out about cold showers -
I first learnt about cold showers and the power of taking them when I was introduced to Freeze The Fear with Wim Hof.
Freeze The Fear is a TV series based on eight celebrities who are embarking on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure in the Italian mountains in sub-zero conditions. The celebrities face a series of daunting, cold challenges designed to push their minds and bodies to the limit. Working alongside the man, the myth, the legend.... Mr Wim Hof a.k.a 'The Iceman'.
Wim Hof is known for his incredible strength to withstand in freezing temperatures, which scientifically should be impossible.
Over the years, scientists have subjected Wim Hof (and even some of his students) to various experiments, with the goal of unravelling the secret behind his method.
A 2014 study injecting Wim Hof Method practitioners with an endotoxin, showed they were able to control their sympathetic nervous system and immune response. This could mean that the Wim Hof Method is an effective tool to battle symptoms of various autoimmune diseases.
While a 2018 study showed that the method activated regions in the brain responsible for pain suppression, which could lead to a potential role for the Wim Hof Method as an endogenous painkiller.
*source added below*
How it all began...
I have been doing cold showers for almost 6 weeks now and I have felt much different to how I felt before.
I suffer with depression and anxiety and I have done for a good decade.
Over my teenage years, I was bullied. I gained a lot of self-hate and unappreciation for myself. I always knew that I'm a strong individual who can, more or less, take anything on and come out of the other side shining, although these years were extremely tough and challenging.
Since Covid-19 hit, these have just exaggerated by 100%. I started having panic attacks which I had never experienced before, I was bed ridden on fun holidays like Christmas and New Year due to the build up of worry which caused sickness. I lost contact with friends and family whom I trusted and cared about deeply. I would eat bad, gain weight and further dislike myself because of it. Many things changed and I find myself struggling with change.
After the months of Covid-19, I found myself hibernating in my house and keeping myself to myself. I didn't want to go and socialise with people, I didn't want to workout or eat healthy, I didn't want to do anything other than cause more toxicity towards myself (unintentionally). I was too fearful of my anxiety coming up and ruining everything.
I had started looking into spirituality and the power of manifesting and I practise this everyday but unfortunately, it didn't have the strength to fully recover my anxiety. Although, I haven't had too much personal experience with this.
Fast-forward to April 2022. It all changed.
I was just chatting to family and one name kept popping up in conversation, 'WIM HOF'.
I had no idea who he was or what his purpose was, but something just clicked...
I started with the hit show 'Freeze The Fear with Wim Hof' which lead me to researching Wim himself. I started listening to Wim Hof's extremely saddening yet insane story and how he came about to being 'The Iceman'.
Within a day or so, I hopped into the cold shower and started my 20 day cold shower journey.
I logged my achievements through the 'Wim Hof Method' which was definitely a big motivation for me. Each week, I earned badges which only a percent of the community would reach.
The first few weeks were hard, yet felt so rewarding. Every time the timer is up I felt so proud, 'I DID IT!'. And of course, that achievement carried itself throughout my experience.
Gradually, I moved from week 1 (15 seconds) to week 4 (1 minute).
Week 4 ended and I had received my final badge, which only 3% of the Wim Hof community earned! I was jumping with joy and smiling like a Cheshire Cat. What a feeling!
Since then, I have felt so much more mentally and physically better. I have more energy, my anxiety has calmed down a lot and I am so much more healthier.
This method truly works!
Moving onto now...
I am now taking another 20 day cold shower challenge on an intermediate level which goes from week 1 (1 minute 15 seconds) to week 4 (2 minutes). Then I will progress to the 'Hoffer' level which goes from week 1 (2 minutes 15 seconds) to week 4 (3 minutes 10 seconds) which I am really looking forward to.
Also, myself and my, almost 70 years old, Grandad are planning a trip to do a cold therapy retreat with one of Wim Hof's instructors. Breathing techniques, ice baths, cold showers, walks bare foot in snow and much more, so keep your eyes peeled for an update on this!
Final words - Mind over matter:
You can truly do anything if you put your mind to it. The evidence is there. Wim Hof has proven science to be wrong and many others have undertaken further experiments to educate our doctors and scientists.
I personally wish to thank Wim Hof himself for being such an inspiration and changing my life like no one else before. I have truly found happiness in my own skin, which is incredibly important to me.
As Wim says:
'Let the body do what the body is capable of doing'
Peace, love and happiness, Emily xxx