Cold water can awaken your spirit and let you tap into your inner strength. If you have been unaware of the benefits of cold showers, this post will help you add one more great habit to your morning routine.
You might be harming yourself by showering with hot water. Hot water does more harm than good. But due to unawareness, a lot of people still shower with hot water and continue to become lazy, feeble, and miserable.
“The Iceman” Wim Hof made cold showers popular. He has several Guinness world records for swimming under ice and performing similar daring feats. Researchers have performed numerous tests on the Wim Hof Method (a technique that he came up with involving cold exposure, breathing, and meditation) and found that it suppresses the innate immune response. Wim Hof is the biggest advocate of cold showers.
Here are 5 amazing benefits of cold showers.
1. You become more disciplined
“The temptation to take the easy road is always there. It is as easy as staying in bed in the morning and sleeping in. But discipline is paramount to ultimate success and victory for any leader and any team.”
Whether you are aiming to scale your business, trying to get physically fit, or striving for better relationships, discipline is an essential factor for success in every area of life. Without a well-structured life, you will struggle to stick to your daily tasks and fail to achieve your long-term goals.
People have gained tremendous benefits by incorporating cold showers into their morning routines. The sudden uncomfortable feeling that you get from a cold shower breaks the incessant stream of thoughts that you might be carrying from the previous day. It’s so much better to have a clear mind and start your day afresh.
So, begin your day by taking a cold shower and be more organized throughout the day. Most successful people plan their day in the morning. But it can be difficult to sit down and fill up the daily task sheet in the morning. Especially when you stayed up late the night before. A cold shower eliminates that tired feeling and puts you in the right mindset to think and plan your life in a rational way.
2. You get endless willpower
Willpower is your ability to do what you want despite the obstacles you might face. A person with weak willpower is spineless and gives up too easily. How often do we see people joining a gym or starting a fitness program and giving up– on their dream of becoming physically fit– in just a few days?
Taking a cold shower on a chilly winter morning is not easy. It demands you to be resilient and strong-minded. By repeatedly going through these cycles of icy cold showers– each day in the morning– you can train your mind to become comfortable with being uncomfortable. This will improve your willpower and the ability to stick to a task until its completion.
So, start reaping the benefits of cold showers today. You can evaluate how this new revolutionary habit will have affected your life after a week. Notice the difference in your energy levels. I am sure you will be able to show more persistence in the midst of difficulties.
3. You fight stress better
Cold showers have some great psychological benefits. Most people experience a sense of calmness after getting out of a cold shower. This feeling stays throughout the day. It can be great for people who work in a competitive environment. There is a reason why athletes take ice baths just after the competition. It relaxes their body and mind. Also, it helps them mentally recover from the fatigue that a high-level competition can cause.
Cold water has the same effect on your brain as that of anti-depressants. Obviously, it does not have the same side effects or withdrawal symptoms as those of the anti-depressants. In fact, cold showers are the most natural way to relax and rejuvenate. Our ancestors have been doing it for ages. The only difference is, they had no fancy bathroom accessories.
4. You perform outside your comfort zone
Cold showers have the ability to get you outside of your comfort zone. If you find yourself oversleeping or laying in bed for a long time–after the alarm goes off in the morning– you should definitely think about getting cold showers. A cold shower will shock your system and wake you up fully.
Moreover, you will be able to do things that are currently outside of your comfort zone. If you think running a 10k marathon is impossible or approaching a beautiful girl in a bar is beyond your imagination, try cold showers for a month straight and notice for yourself how it changes you as a person. Simply stated, it will make you more bold and confident as a person.
5. Your skin and hair become healthy
Taking cold showers each morning is the most natural way to take care of skin and hair. You don’t have to waste your money on expensive chemical based products or undergo cosmetic surgeries to look good. Cold showers cost no money and have zero side effects.
The initial shock that you get from the coldness of water activates your circulatory systems and supplies more blood to your skin and scalp. This improves blood flow in your body and thus begins the process of cleansing. Ailments like acne and redness of skin begin to slowly disappear as your skin gets more nourishment from your body.
Most people are used to taking hot showers as it makes them feel warm and cozy. But it has no long term benefits as a cold shower has. Hot shower leaves your skin dry and loose. Hence, it invites invaders like bacteria and fungus.
So many people have changed their life by adding this one new habit to their routine. I hope you benefit from cold showers as well. In my opinion, getting out of your comfort zone is the biggest benefit of cold showers. Plus, there are plenty of studies done on it. So, you don’t need to worry about its efficacy.
- “What is the Wim Hof Method? | Practice The Method.” Accessed May 5, 2019. https://www.wimhofmethod.com/practice-the-method.
- “Jocko Willink – The temptation to take the easy road is… – Brainy Quote.” Accessed May 5, 2019. https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/jocko_willink_864384.
5 Very Important Self-Care Tips for Busy People
Self-care is very crucial to keep working towards your goals. The irony is that people actually forget that while working for their goals. When you are busy and working towards your dream, it is easy to forget about yourself. Being busy has become a sort of measure to show how serious you are about your business. Nothing is as important as your well-being. This is something you need to remind yourself from time to time.
“Of all the judgments we pass in life, none is more important than the judgment we pass on ourselves.”
– Nathaniel Branden
In the process of working hard, we start berating ourselves when our body starts showing even a little sign of wearing out. It is important to listen to those signs and take steps to rectify the problem.
Self-care has been garnering more attention. People have started realizing that it is important to take care of one’s self to keep putting their best foot forward. Here are five things you should do no matter how busy you are.
“Self-care is how you take your power back.”
– Lalah Delia
1. Morning Self-Care Routine
What many people starting on the self-care journey do is that they set aside a day once in a while to focus on themselves. While this can be a great way to take a break, it isn’t as beneficial in the long run. Mornings are the most important time according to me. What you do in the morning has the power to set the tone for the day.
“Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.”
– Edward Stanley
It is important to use your waking hours wisely. Everything in the morning is much more relaxed from the peaceful nature to the blissful weather. Your mind and body are at peace too. You are yet to completely be absorbed in the day’s worries. This is the perfect time to indulge in some self-care.
Establish small habits that help you focus on your well-being every day. Meditating in the morning, doing yoga, drinking warm lemon water, writing in your gratitude journal are some of the things you can easily incorporate in your daily lifestyle.
This helps you start your day on a positive note without having to do something extra for the positive mindset. With a busy lifestyle, taking care of oneself seems like a luxury so when you do little things like these, you feel like you are on the right track. You feel content with your work-life balance.
For me, my morning routine consists of:
- Waking up at 6 AM
- Having a glass of water
- Washing my face and brushing my teeth
- Meditating for 20 minutes (I use Headspace app)
- Playing Elevate (a brain training app)
- Reading a Blinkist
- Reading for 30 minutes
- Listening to a motivational video
- Setting my 3 MITs for the day
- Making tea for me and my wife
- Spending some quality time with my wife over tea
2. Take Days Off
The one mistake that is common among entrepreneurs is trying to work non-stop. Like our body, our mind gets tired too, and like our body, our mind needs rest too. While daily self-care is important in the long run, so is taking time off. Both together give you the perfect balance for rejuvenating your mind and body.
On the days that you assign as an off, do not pencil in even a tiny amount of work. Try to stay away from social media. Consider it as sort of a detox and cleanse from social media and work. Spend the day with your friends, family, or loved ones. Or spending the day with just yourself might be exactly what you need.
“When we self-regulate well, we are better able to control the trajectory of our emotional lives and resulting actions based on our values and sense of purpose.”
– Amy Leigh Mercree
Take part in activities that aren’t related to work. Work on your hobbies or some little fun projects that you do only for yourself, not as an investment for something in the future. The day should only be about resting and relaxing.
3. Get enough sleep
When you have begun your business, or your business is at its peak, pulling an all-nighter is an often occasion. You might think that you are putting in all these extra hours and being super-productive, but are you?
Yes, you are putting in all those extra hours counts. I understand that sometimes there’s no other option. What you have to keep in mind is that you can easily fall prey to the “I work day and night, look how busy I am” mentality. Working day in and day out does not only deteriorate your health, but it also does the same to your work quality.
“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”
– Anne Lamott
Now you might be ready to compromise with your health in the name of building your business but are you ready to make the same compromise with your work. Take a moment. Think about your answer.
While taking care of yourself is a thought that stays on the back burner, use the need to do a good job as a motivation to take care of yourself. When you are well rested, you will be able to do your best. So, get enough sleep, don’t hack away on coffee and energy drinks.
4. Reward yourself
Rewarding yourself works like a charm. You can even use rewards for yourself as deadlines. It doesn’t have to be something extravagant; it just has to be something that excites you enough to look forward to it. Something as small as eating your favorite donut works too.
When we see the results for our work, it gives us a sense of accomplishment. We get validation, and that is something that a lot of people look for: validation for their work or themselves. But, sometimes, results aren’t that easy to come by. You could be working on something that takes years to come to fruition, and those are the times when you can easily feel a lack of motivation to get going.
“Carve out and claim the time to care for yourself and kindle your own fire.”
– Amy Ippoliti
This is when setting a reward for yourself is most needed. It can give that small burst of happiness in your workspace that you so desperately need to get going. You can and should reward yourself after you have helped your business get out of a rough patch or completed a very difficult project. This gives you a sweet sense of accomplishment which helps you get back to work as an optimistically renewed person.
5. Review your goals
One thing that we always seem to forget is that it is not possible to do everything at once. To keep ourselves in tune with this, it is important to review our goals from time to time. Sometimes, while setting the goals, it is easier to slip and blur the lines between realistic goals and ideal fantasy goals. Meaning, in an ideal world, achieving those goals would have been easy, but in real life, there are a lot of things that can go wrong.
“I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self-indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival.”
– Audre Lorde
When you go through your goals after some time has passed since you wrote them, you will be a better judge of how realistic they are. This also helps you keep updating your approach based on your current predicament.
It is OKAY to scratch a goal or add a new one as you go. Things change and adapting to changes is what keeps us going forward. When times change, so do our priorities and so do our goals. Trying to get everything done will eventually burn you out. Even if you manage to keep churning out results, those won’t be of high-quality, those won’t be something you are proud of. It is necessary to be flexible with our goals.
“Lighten up on yourself. No one is perfect. Gently accept your humanness.”
These things don’t take much time. You can easily make them a monthly or weekly thing. Apart from setting a morning routine and getting enough sleep, none of the other things need to be done daily. If you don’t care about yourself enough, maybe you can do it for your business. See how pathetic it sounds in a way.
Don’t be someone who burned high and bright for a few years and then fazed out because you forgot to add rekindling; forgot to take care of yourself.
Always remember, the goal is to make our lives better!
“Accept yourself. Love yourself as you are. Your finest work, your best movements, your joy, peace, and healing comes when you love yourself. You give a great gift to the world when you do that. You give others permission to do the same: to love themselves. Revel in self-love. Roll in it. Bask in it as you would sunshine.”
– Melodie Beattie
10 Life-changing Benefits of Meditation
Meditation is a mind-body exercise. The person performing it focuses on their breath and the sensations in his/her body. It has been practiced since prehistoric times. There are various different types of meditation. Mindfulness and transcendental meditation are two of the most popular types.
It’s popularity in the United States and the rest of North America has been growing steeply in the recent years. There are so many benefits of meditation that no one wants to miss out on them. Moreover, meditation gurus from India and its neighboring countries have done a great job of teaching this ancient technique to the western world.
In this post, I have listed 10 benefits of meditation that will help you deal with the harmful effects of stress and ease tension in your life.
1. Helps you live longer
Research has proven that meditation can slow down the process of aging and help you live a lot longer than you would live otherwise. The secret lies in the sequences of DNA known as Telomeres. They are protective caps inside the chromosomes. The length of Telomeres can tell how long a person can live.
Researchers found that people become hyper-reactive when exposed to psychological stress. They also concluded that mindfulness meditation has the ability to reduce stress and promote rational thinking; which is necessary for solving life problems. In conclusion, regular practice of meditation increases the length of telomeres and helps you live longer.
2. Increased self-awareness
To know how meditation increases self-awareness, let’s first understand the concept of Neuroplasticity. So, neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to change itself on exposure to a new experience. This involves the formation of new connections in the brain and also the creation of brand new neurons.
So, whenever you experience something drastic or mind-boggling, your brain rewires itself to adapt to the new reality. These changes can be measured with the help of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).
Thus, due to an increase in grey-matter density, the practitioner becomes aware of things about themselves he/she would not have noticed before. What I am trying to say is, meditation makes you aware of your problems, unconscious habits and negative thinking patterns that might have hindered your progress in life.
3. A stress-free life
Regular practice of mindfulness meditation alters your brain chemistry in a positive way. The changes can be noticed in only a few days. Ideally, it is good to meditate twice a day. Once in the morning and then in the evening before going to bed.
Meditation has become quintessential for people with a hectic schedule. The more stressful your day, the more willpower it will take to get yourself to meditate. So, it’s best to do it early in the morning and not miss out on the benefits of meditation.
4. Improved performance and decreased need for sleep
There is scientific evidence of meditation improving performance and decreasing the need to sleep in university students. The study was done using a psychomotor vigilance task (PVT) by the University of Kentucky, USA to validate the claims that mediation affects performance and sleep of the practitioner.
Experienced and novice meditators were tested on the PVT before and after they performed a controlled activity. They concluded that meditation provided a short-term performance improvement in novice meditators and a significant decrease in total sleep time in long term experienced meditators. Hence, regardless of experience, everyone can reap the benefits of meditation.
5. Become more creative
Every person on this planet is creative in one way or the other. But, it’s important to find what it is that you are good at. The stress and distractions created by a modern-day lifestyle can push you away from your creative core and make your life soulless and robotic. Meditation is an ancient practice which can help you rekindle your creative genius and live your life the way you were meant to live.
Research by Leiden University, Leiden, Netherlands suggests that meditation based on focused-attention (FA) and meditation based on open-monitoring (OM) mellows the mood and allows creative thinking to blossom. To further elaborate, focused-attention (FA) meditation is paying attention to one’s breath. And, open-monitoring is being aware of your thoughts and emotions while noticing the different sensations in the body. Both are a very potent form of meditation practices.
6. Have better relationships
Family and friends are the most important people in our lives. Not spending enough quality time can lead to a feeling of despair. Most workaholics prioritize their professional life over their relationships and end up being lonely or emotionally imbalanced. Lack of empathy also hurts us in our relationships with co-workers or business partners.
Cognitively-Based Compassion Training(CBCT) is an ancient meditation technique originating from Tibet. A study by Emory University suggests that practicing CBCT can make us understand others better. The participants of this study were able to read other people faces better after undergoing CBCT training. It enabled them to communicate their needs telepathically without much need to verbalize.
7. You become more compassionate and empathetic
Every one of us is born with compassion and empathy in our hearts. In fact, these are the two unique qualities that separate us from other animals. But, as we grow older, we tend to suppress these natural feeling and become more cold and calculative. To unlearn these dysfunctional thinking patterns, one needs to meditate and observe their thoughts and social behaviors.
If you identify yourself as an emotionless person, compassion training can help you become more altruistic. This study proves that it is possible to systematically cultivate compassion for others with training. Furthermore, by understanding the emotional state of others, you can also communicate with them effectively. You can meet them where they are and not where you want them to be.
8. Reduces blood pressure
Blood pressure is a major indicator of a person’s overall health. In a healthy adult, normal blood pressure should be 120/80 mmHg. Anything more than that indicates the inevitability of heart problems.
One of the benefits of meditation is that it regulates blood pressure by relaxing the mind and body. There are studies proving the effectiveness and validity of this holistic approach.
9. Reduces the risk of heart diseases
Each year, about 735,000 Americans suffer from a heart attack. Out of those, 610,000 people die. Heart disease is the cause of 1 in every 4 deaths. Yet, people don’t take their heart health seriously. Along with the consumption of unhealthy junk food, mental stress has been a huge reason behind heart disease.
Recent research suggests that meditation can help you delay or avoid the occurrence of a heart stroke or a premature death from it. Robert Schneider, lead author on the study published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes has said that techniques like mind-body meditation can have a major impact on cardiovascular functions.
10. Become a social butterfly
Emotional connection with other like-minded people is a basic human need. For millions of years, humans have evolved in tribes and communities. But, due to rapid societal changes, the modern human has found himself isolated and alienated from other human beings. Researchers are trying to figure out alternate ways to make people feel social and connected.
In this study, researchers have tested loving-kindness meditation on participants to find out whether it can help them self-generate good emotions. They concluded that loving-kindness meditation exercise does help people who feel lonely and alone. Just after a few minutes of practicing this technique, participants felt warm and social.
Meditation is by no means a magic pill to all your life problems. It is simply a good habit that you can integrate into your daily routine. I know it’s not easy to switch gears from a life of stress and anxiety to suddenly being calm. But by making it a priority, you can experience the complete benefits of meditation.
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