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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Why Cold Showers Can Alleviate Symptoms of Depression and Even Maybe "Cure"

"Cure" is in quotation marks because THERE ARE NO CURES unless you are an MD and prescribe a pill for it! I repeat, the only cures have pills for them. All right, now back to the main event.

So I took a shower today, which I do from time to time, and went for a totally cold shower at the end (no hot water at all). I stood still instead of doing the eep eep eep humina humina humina routine while running in place. While breathing and noticing how different it feels to be so cold.

Do you identify with your body heat? I think we do. I think that we start to feel like different people given different temperatures. If you take a cold shower, a drastic shift in your sense of self happens as you become cold. The parts of your body that you are used to identifying as you no longer give off the familiar heat and you are left with cold. Your breathing changes and soon as you exit the shower you are invigorated and the heat is returning to you. Much of the heat is directly returning to you through your doing.

It is important that it is your doing because that provides a direct empowerment. You are seeing yourself improve your situation directly through obvious intrinsic action. It makes sense to dry yourself off with the towel and you do it and feel yourself doing it and notice how much better that makes you feel.

It might not seem like such a big deal to dry yourself off with a towel and warm up and put on clean clothes, but for someone in a depressive slump, that can make a world of difference. Depressive slumps are characterized by long periods of not really doing anything significant or at least not feeling any significance in what's being done. Of course many times depressives are self-labeling and generalizing depression to a long period of a varied experience.

They may always answer "yes" to being depressed in questionnaires in the context of psychological evaluations, but when you catch them laughing or smiling or watching some comedy they can not say that in the moment when they laugh or smile they are depressed.

Yet... perhaps there's something more when looking at a broader view than the present moment.

But wait can we really do that?

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