The Cold Shower Challenge

How comfortable are you with discomfort?

The past decade of my life, my focus has been on comfort. Trying to be safe, secure, and as comfortable as possible.

But, here’s the truth. Real personal growth happens outside of your comfort zone.

I’m guessing most of the good things in your life have resulted from you stepping out of your perceived comfort zone. Like having the “balls” to ask the girl out, trying a new food for the first time, or learning a new skill that you initially sucked at.

Enter, the cold shower challenge.

Now, there are a lot of claimed health benefits to cold showers. Including improving circulation, increasing cold-shower-challengetestosterone, strengthening immunity, increasing energy, among others.

This post isn’t necessarily about the physiological benefits. It’s about the psychological benefits. As Julien Smith, calls it, facing “the flinch”. It’s about doing things that are perceived as uncomfortable, but pose no real threat.

A cold shower will not kill you (although there are certain members of the population that shouldn’t attempt these. Folks with heart disease, high blood pressure, or if you’re overheated or feverish). It’s about stepping into something that makes you uncomfortable and enduring it. It’s a confidence booster to get you out of your shell and have you actually experience life rather than walk around like a zombie or mindless automaton in your everyday life.

So, how do you take a cold shower?

Well, it’s pretty simple. Turn the water on cold and jump in!

Well, that is one way.

I like to start the water off at your normal, comfortable temperature. Immediately after you have finished your shampoo, body wash, and face wash ritual, turn that sucker on cold. I’m not talking quarter turn here, brother. Turn it all the way down so the water almost turns off.

Now, for the fun part. The water temp will quickly land somewhere on the scale, between spring fed mountain stream and polar ice caps. I’m talking cold. Brace yourself. Resist the urge to jump back. You might lose your breathe, you might feel a burning sensation. Hold strong!

Once you have endured 45 to 90 seconds of bone chilling temps, you will notice, “Hey this ain’t so bad.” Embrace the fresh, cold water and know that you have dealt with discomfort. Hop out of the shower and towel off. You’ve officially completed the cold shower challenge.

You’re game for tomorrow, right?

The Art of Manliness
The Flinch by Julien Smith
Cold Shower Therapy by Joel Runyon
Why I Took The 30-Day Cold Shower Challenge And Why You Should Too by Stefano Ganddini
Cold Showers: My Strange Addiction by Stefano Ganddini

Photo cred: Shower Head by John Kasawa via

Author: Jeff

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  1. Wow, I’ve been in San Francisco Bay, been sprayed down with salt water in the North Atlantic and locked in an ice coffin and still am not sure I’d do this.

    HOWEVER!!! I will do this!! It’s time for change! Start small right?!? I’m doing this!!

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