3 Practical Lessons from Taking Cold Showers

I’ve been taking cold showers for a couple years. My practice has evolved. Even if you’re smart enough to reject cold showers, these lessons will be useful.

The gradual approach prolongs agony. Just get'er did. Image of a duck flapping its wings.

Begin warm:

My cold shower journey began with turning on cold water and jumping in. You could hear me gasping in the hall. Invigorating is an understatement. My pores slammed shut and my heartrate doubled.

When your pores close they trap sweat and dirt. My wife let me know I wasn’t getting clean.

Today my cold shower begins warm enough to prevent goose bumps.

Act quickly:

The gradual approach prolongs agony.

I went from jumping into a cold shower to gradually turning the water cold. That didn’t work. I’ve learned if you’re going to do it, just do it. Now it’s boom. Turn off the hot water.

Negative anticipation multiplies pain.

Positive anticipation energizes.

Find the joy:

I enjoy the initial burst of clarity and vitality when the water goes cold, and it feels great after.

Lack of emotional payoff corrodes resolve.

Sustainable success requires positive emotion.

Positive emotion is fuel for grit.

Happy feelings are great but personal satisfaction is better.

Learn to enjoy doing hard things.

I feel satisfaction when I turn the water off and step out of the shower. Feelings of satisfaction are high-test fuel.


  1. Begin difficult tasks by doing some easy things first. Warm up.
  2. Go all in when it’s time to bite the bullet. Gradual action prolongs pain.
  3. Let yourself feel satisfied for doing something difficult.

I’m not encouraging anyone to take cold showers. If you think it’s nuts, I don’t blame you. I admit it’s odd. But, I enjoy it.

Here’s the first article I wrote about cold showers: Confidence: Proof You Can Face Any Challenge.

What’s bringing satisfaction to you these days?