Cold Shower for Anxiety: Does It Help?

How it might work

Cold showers have been proven to help improve blood circulation. When you cool down your body temperature, your system responds by moving fresh blood. Anxiety may cause an increase in blood pressure, so in theory, a cold shower may help bring it down.

Another way cold showers may work is by increasing endorphins, or the feel-good hormones in your brain. Endorphins can ease symptoms of depression and anxiety. Cold water may also decrease cortisol, a stress-inducing hormone.

Athletes have long been known to use ice baths to help decrease the inflammation that may lead to muscle soreness after an intense workout. For anxiety, a cold shower may reap similar benefits in terms of inflammation. Ongoing stress may increase inflammation, which can then lead to a cycle of inflammation-induced anxiety.

Also, a cold shower can take temporarily take your mind off the things you might be worried or fearful of. The minutes you spend focused on how the cold water feels on your body may act as a mindfulness practice, keeping you in the moment versus future events that are out of your control.

When using hydrotherapy for anxiety, you should only use cold water for a few minutes at a time. You can then finish your shower with lukewarm water.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *