Depressed? Try a Cold Shower

It’s just a theory so far, but worth a try if you’re up for it: A cold shower might be just the trick to shock your brain out of a depressed mood.

I stumbled upon a decade-old article this week detailing a hypothesis along these lines. It points out that modern humans in our comparatively luxurious environments are largely missing out on something primates have experienced for millions of years: Cold shocks.

Heated water might be robbing us of a the “thermal exercise” we need for our brains to function adequately.

The hypothesis seems reasonable. We know exposure to cold activates a release of beta-endorphin and norepinephrine, both of which play important roles in boosting mood. And because there are so many cold receptors in the skin, a cold shower would send tons of electrical impulses to the brain. The article’s author says this could overwhelm the brain and result in an anti-depressive effect.

So give it a try next time you’re feeling depressed. It may give you just the boost you need!

Satu H. Woodland, PMHCNS-BC, APRN Satu H. Woodland, PMHCNS-BC, APRN Satu Woodland is owner and clinician of Hope Mental Health, an integrative mental health practice located at Bown Crossing in Boise, Idaho. She sees children, adolescents, and adults.  Ms. Woodland with her background in nursing, prefers a holistic and integrative approach to mental health care that addresses the mind and body together. While Ms. Woodland provides medication management services in all her patients, she believes in long-lasting solutions that include a number of psychotherapies, namely cognitive behavioral therapy, exposure and response prevention therapy, attention to lifestyle, evidenced based alternative psychiatric care and spirituality. If you’d like to gain control over your mental health issues, call Hope Mental Health at 208-918-0958, or use the online scheduling tool to set up an initial consultation.

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