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Mood boost from cold showers?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 18, 2012 at 11:34 PM

Cold shower-ers: does anyone else get an instant mood boost? I've been using nothing but cold water when I've taken a shower for the last five days or so, and I've noticed that every single time, it instantly elevates my mood. Has anyone else experienced this? Is there any scientific explanation, or could it just be an after-effect of me psyching myself up to jump in cold water?

Ba09704971e33481f5716c4790648966

(1794)

on April 18, 2012
at 02:35 PM

Acute stress to the body is good, ie a cold shower or exercising. We can adapt to that stress and become more resilient to it.

07842fbab8730403ef284e655083fe0e

(218)

on February 20, 2012
at 01:11 AM

I tried that this morning. It was the closest I've come to yelling "Oh My God!" outside of the bedroom. (Actually probably closest *including* the bedroom, now I think of it) But what a buzz!

Da3d4a6835c0f5256b2ef829b3ba3393

on February 19, 2012
at 03:29 PM

That's a good point, Happy Now. I'm going to give this a sincere try. Going in, I am going to gameplan to turn it down to cold by the end of my shower.

685e3c967e63b4eacccf02628fd9a3ac

(1026)

on February 19, 2012
at 09:34 AM

Definitely applies to me : I used to take cold showers often, and while a prolonged warm shower made me moody, a cold shower really made me happy & invigorated.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on February 19, 2012
at 05:53 AM

I think it has to do with expectations too. The few times our hot water has gone out I was wide awake, but freakin miserable. The cold shower was the enemy. The last time it went out I started speculating that was why people didn't smile in pictures in the old days, no hot shower to start the day with that feeling of, "Ahhhh...that's better."

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on February 19, 2012
at 05:13 AM

a cold shower for me is not that cold at the moment (Australian summer), but still good

6869a1f2294b3a717a53645589a91d18

(1689)

on February 19, 2012
at 04:53 AM

I'm concerned whether cold showers are stressful to the body. e.g. do they activate adrenaline and such? That doesn't seem like a good idea to me then even despite the mood boost.

0607529af9b78bb5b178f7ffabdc4693

(701)

on February 19, 2012
at 04:48 AM

Paging Dr. Kruse

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on February 19, 2012
at 01:49 AM

I think it has to do with expectations too. The few times our water has gone out I was wide awake, but freakin miserable. The cold shower was the enemy. The last time it went out I started speculating that was why people didn't smile in pictures in the old days, no hot shower to start the day with that feeling of, "Ahhhh...that's better."

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on February 18, 2012
at 11:56 PM

Don't really know why, but not complaining, putting my face in cold water yesterday was a big mood boost after 3 days of intractable grumpitude. I plan on keeping up with it if only for that. Triggering a fight or flight response and spending a few moments in survival mode makes me feel more alive and less likely to ruminate on things that might otherwise bum me out, so maybe it is just a surge in stress hormones followed by a release of pleasure hormones when the stressor stops.

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4 Answers

3
Da3d4a6835c0f5256b2ef829b3ba3393

on February 18, 2012
at 11:51 PM

Nope. A cold shower has never made me happy. Cold showers have, however, invigorated me.

Check this link out, though. http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2007/12/18/depression-cold-shower.html

"Treatments for depression range from medicines that can come with scary side effects to electric shock therapy, but a new paper suggests a simple cold shower might sometimes cure, and even prevent, the debilitating mood disorder."

mood-boost-from-cold-showers?

Here's another interesting link for you: http://artofmanliness.com/2010/01/18/the-james-bond-shower-a-shot-of-cold-water-for-health-and-vitality/

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on February 19, 2012
at 05:53 AM

I think it has to do with expectations too. The few times our hot water has gone out I was wide awake, but freakin miserable. The cold shower was the enemy. The last time it went out I started speculating that was why people didn't smile in pictures in the old days, no hot shower to start the day with that feeling of, "Ahhhh...that's better."

07842fbab8730403ef284e655083fe0e

(218)

on February 20, 2012
at 01:11 AM

I tried that this morning. It was the closest I've come to yelling "Oh My God!" outside of the bedroom. (Actually probably closest *including* the bedroom, now I think of it) But what a buzz!

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on February 19, 2012
at 01:49 AM

I think it has to do with expectations too. The few times our water has gone out I was wide awake, but freakin miserable. The cold shower was the enemy. The last time it went out I started speculating that was why people didn't smile in pictures in the old days, no hot shower to start the day with that feeling of, "Ahhhh...that's better."

Da3d4a6835c0f5256b2ef829b3ba3393

on February 19, 2012
at 03:29 PM

That's a good point, Happy Now. I'm going to give this a sincere try. Going in, I am going to gameplan to turn it down to cold by the end of my shower.

0
C00e493393828df34be65ddc25456c7c

(610)

on February 19, 2012
at 09:02 AM

"First and foremost, cold showers appear to have improved my stress tolerance, by buffering emotional reactions. What I mean by this is that bad news, surprises, arguments, or events that would have previously caused a brief surge in adrenaline or an emotional flush, no longer have that effect, or at most have a very attenuated effect. I think this is a consequence of becoming acclimated to the the adrenaline-producing effect of the cold shock. A deeper explanation of why cold showers are effective in boosting mood, and why the psychological benefits of cold showers increase the longer and more frequently you take them is addressed in my recent post on the opponent-process theory of emotions."

http://gettingstronger.org/2010/03/cold-showers/

0
5af4bc9d2c390b0bcad9524f149c1b4f

(1101)

on February 19, 2012
at 04:45 AM

I've been loving my cool showers for a few weeks now. I gradually turn the water from lukewarm to cool (not cold) and it still feels warm to me. My wife thinks I'm insane, but I feel instantly better and reinvigorated (especially after a hard day at work with troublesome patients!).

I turn the temperature to slightly colder than the usual at the end of my shower to wash my face too. Feels way better than hot water.

Yay cool showers!

0
0ab1af20860640fb1bd494e3d28e040e

on February 19, 2012
at 12:20 AM

Yes! I've been using a sauna in the mornings for the last two weeks followed by a cold shower. Somedays I exercise beforehand, but even on the days I don't I experience an endorphin rush as if I had worked out. It's incredible! I'm becoming addicted to the morning rush.

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