The Case for Cold Showers

Want to fight depression, burn calories and jump start your day all without exercise? Take a cold shower!  For more on this check out this article from Fast Company or you can reach the scientifically worded article from the National Institutes of Health.

The scientist who made this discovery explains in the Fast Company article that: “The mechanism that can probably explain the immediate mood-lifting effect of immersion in cold water or cold shower is probably the stimulation of the dopaminergic transmission in the mesocorticolimbic and nigrostriatal pathway,” which is a highly scientific way of saying that cold water activates the parts of your brain (mesocorticolimbic and nigrostriatal pathway) that release chemicals (dopaminergic transmission) that make you happy (mood-lifting effect)!

An added side benefit is that you’ll save energy and water (because while it’s easy to luxuriate for half an hour in a warm shower, you want to keep cold ones as short as possible!)

I’ve added this to my morning routine. Let me know if you do too!  Be a spark in the world!

#dopamine

#howyourbrainworks

#coldshowers

#emberliving

#saveenergy

#savewater

#winwin

How to Jump Start Your Day

I love ritual.  It helps to get you moving when you are thinking slow an keeps you on schedule when you aren’t feeling motivated. As a student of personal development I’ve often read that the most important times of the day for a person to control, if they want to be effective, are the periods right after waking and right before going to sleep.

There is no one right way to start or end your day, YOU have to decide that. Some people like to exercise in the morning, others prefer evening, some like to focus on gratitude first thing, others right before going to bed. Experiment and see what works best for you, or think back in your life and see if any patterns emerge.

For me I’ve always been in the best shape when I exercise in the morning. This is mostly because once my day gets going, I always find something more important to do, but if I do it early in the morning I am able to keep it as a priority.

Although I don’t structure my day exactly like Benjamin Hardy, I think his article gives an interesting jumping off point for anyone trying to figure out how to structure their mornings.

https://medium.com/@benjaminhardy/8-things-every-person-should-do-before-8-a-m-cc0233e15c8d

This is what my mornings look like:


6:00am: Wake up, say something positive and uplifting to myself (such as “what a glorious day”) and take my dog for a walk.

6:30am: Spend 5-minutes visualizing an exciting moment in my future (writing a big check to a charity of my choice or walking through my next house), 5-minutes repeating out loud a single sentence that aligns me with my professional goals, 5-minutes repeating out loud a single sentence that aligns me with my spiritual goals (15-minutes total)

6:45am: Exercise for 30-45 minutes

7:30am: Take a shower (I’m going to add cold water to it after reading Benjamin’s article!) and make myself a cold-press green juice

8:00am: Read 10-pages of an inspiring or educational book

And that’s about when being a mom kicks in for me…my little one is usually awake by the time I’m done with all that. If I’m lucky I might write a blog post before she’s up, but not usually.

By the way, something that I find helps me stay on track A LOT is to write the schedule above into my planner.  EVERY SINGLE DAY.  When these things become an appointment, you are much more likely to do them!  If you fail to plan then you plan to fail (attributed to Ben Franklin.)

I’d love to hear what your morning or evening routines look like.  I’ll blog about my evening routine another day!

Be a spark in the world!