ENTREPRENEUR | ATHLETE _
Cold shower therapy is a metaphor for every-day reality. For us to be successful at anything that we do, we must be able to control our inner dialogue and fight the forces of resistance that prevent us from doing those things that we know we need to do.
Let’s play out this scenario and keep in mind how similar this is to your internal dialogue in your day-to-day reality.
Prior to entering the cold shower for the first time, our internal dialogue will be something along the lines of:
“Ok so in my head, I said I would do this but, honestly, it is so painfully uncomfortable, no one is watching, and I really don’t see how this is going to help me.” We will call this voice resistance.
Another voice will come into the picture and say, “No, you’ve committed to this, now do it.” We will call this second voice catalyst.
Many times, it’s as simple as choosing the voice catalyst over resistance. As human beings experiencing internal turmoil, the scenario is usually not that simple. A third voice of course needs to come into the picture – we will call this voice, prolong.
Prolong decides that it is not ok to give up, but it is also ok to delay. “You know what,” prolong inquires. “Let’s do this, but not today. I am running late and it’s freezing out so getting out may make me sick. Tomorrow is a Monday which is a good day to start anyway.”
Prolong, is arguably even more insidious than resistance, because prolong gives an open-ended offer that may not make one feel as guilty. Resistance we blatantly know is wrong. A true test of character is choosing catalyst in this scenario. And guess what - choosing catalyst in any scenario where you face resistance is the right choice. When you are about to do something beneficial but uncomfortable, BE MINDFUL of justifications that occur in your head, whether it is going to the gym, pushing through a set, working on a proposal, going above and beyond on an assignment, practicing your instrument an extra hour, or stepping your naked self into the cold shower, Cold shower therapy is a great way to train the mind to not justify and to face your fear of discomfort.
How does it work? The brain is a neuroplastic organ, meaning that is malleable; this malleability is a function of its external influences. By embarking in an activity that tests our character and fortitude, our brain is responding to this. Our brains will start to behave the same way in similar contexts. When we are able to fight the voice of resistance, and able to force ourselves to side with catalyst, our brains will be more inclined to do so in other situations. The more we fight resistance, the easier it gets, and the neurological pathways in our brain will actually physically change in response to this. For any of my research junkies who are interested in the neurobiology of this, check out the book “The Brain That Changes Itself,” by Norman Doige.
So what are the benefits?
So who are some notables who have benefited from this unorthodox method?