Cold Shower Therapy: Joel Runyon at TEDxLUC

Cold Shower Therapy: Joel Runyon at TEDxLUC


Translator: Kateryna Linchevska
Reviewer: Queenie Lee Thank you. Today I’m going to share with you guys
about cold showers. How they can change the way
you look at fear, change the way you approach
being uncomfortable, and even change your life. I first was introduced
to the idea of cold showers about two years ago. I was supposed to meet a friend of mine
named Nick Reese in Portland, who was a friend of a friend,
a really successful entrepreneur online and doing really interesting things. I met Nick in a bar
and immediately introduced myself. I told him what I was up to. I had just quit my job,
and I was taking a better job, a bigger job with a better pay, more money, more opportunities, better people to learn from, and eventually one day, when I got done with that job, I would eventually quit it,
start my own business. After listening to me blather on
for about five minutes, Nick took a step back,
and he looked at me and said, “So Joel, why haven’t you started
your own business already?” I was a little bit flustered. I looked at him and I said,
“You know what, I don’t have the money. I don’t have the time. I don’t really have the knowledge. I don’t know the right people. I’m just not ready.” He listened to my excuses for a little bit
and then asked the same question, “So Joel, why haven’t you started
your own business already?” At this point, I was a little annoyed because it didn’t seem like he’d listened
to me for the last two minutes giving him my really good reasons,
really valid reasons and stories on why I hadn’t started
my own business yet. So I repeated them to him, hoping that they would get through
to his head this time. And then I wrapped it all up with “besides, I just really don’t know
what to do anyways.” And Nick looked at me, and he said, “That’s not the problem. You already know what you need to do.
You just need to go ahead and do it. What you’re scared of
is you’re scared of being uncomfortable. And if you want to get used
to being uncomfortable, all you have to do is to take 30 days
of cold showers, and you’ll be fine. (Laughter) And he left it at that. We went on to other topics
of conversation. And then I went home that night,
and thought about what he said. And the next morning as I got up,
I decided I was going to do it. I was going to take
30 days of cold showers. So I got in the shower, and almost instinctually
I turned the water to hot. But then I remembered
our conversation the previous night and I decided to turn it to cold. And as I started to turn it
the opposite way, all these thoughts and all these feelings started rushing up inside me about why taking cold showers was a terrible, terrible idea. (Laughter) This is not going to be fun.
This is going to be really, really cold. Who cares what Nick says?
This is stupid. Why are you doing this anyways? And I almost didn’t do it. But I had already committed
to taking 30 days. So one way or another
I turned it to cold, jumped in the water,
and I screamed like a little girl. (Laughter) It was cold. It wasn’t fun.
And I didn’t like it one little bit. After five minutes
of being in the cold shower, I jumped out, toweled off, and 30 seconds
to a minute later I was fine. The next day I went to do the same thing. And as I jumped in the shower
and turned the knob to cold, all the thoughts and all those feelings
started rushing up inside me again: “This is a bad idea. This is really dumb.
This is going to be really cold. Do you remember how bad it was yesterday?” (Laughter) But I did it anyways, turned to cold,
jumped in and screamed like a little girl. After five minutes
I jumped out, toweled off, and 30 seconds to a minute later
I was totally fine. As I kept doing this for 30 days
over and over and over and over again, I started to realize
something really interesting: that all the excuses
I was telling myself in the shower before I turned the knob to cold were the exact same excuses that I
was telling Nick in the bar in Portland about why I couldn’t quit my job. And they were the exact same excuses
I was telling myself in my life about all the different reasons
why I couldn’t do the things that I really wanted to do. As I started to think about that,
I started to realize that all the stories, and all the reasons,
and all the excuses, because that’s what they really were, that I used in the shower to convince
myself not to take a cold shower, those weren’t the thing that kept me back
from taking a cold shower. The thing that kept me
from taking a cold shower was my decision to not be okay
with being uncomfortable. And when I accepted the idea
that I was going to be uncomfortable, and I was okay with it, and then made the decision
to be uncomfortable, that’s what made me take the cold shower, and that’s what made me start doing
different things with my life. And now, the reason this works
is that every single day every single one of you, I hope,
will take a shower. (Laughter) Now, if you’re like most people,
you jump in and almost instinctually, almost automatically
turn the water to hot. It’s normal. It’s easy.
And it’s what most people do. It’s almost the default choice, but it is a choice. And it’s not the only option. So you don’t have to do that. You can do the opposite;
you can turn the knob the other way. You can take a cold shower. It’s not very much fun. It’s pretty uncomfortable,
and almost nobody does it. But you can do it if you choose to. And what you start to realize
is that, like me, all those excuses
you tell yourself in the shower, they can either do one or two things: They can convince you that you’re right, and that all those stories, and all those reasons,
and all of those excuses, they’re legitimate. And they’re going to keep you
from taking a cold shower, and you’re not going to even try. Or, you can decide that they don’t matter. That you decide that one way or another,
regardless of those stories, you’re going to take a cold shower. I’ve been taking cold showers
for about two years ever since Nick told me about this. And it’s one of those things
that I keep coming back to in my life as sort of a litmus test
for the type of person that I want to be. Every single time I find myself
needing a little extra strength or a little extra courage to go to do something
that is hard or difficult, or just a little bit uncomfortable, I take cold showers. So when I was training
for my first Half-Ironman, I took cold showers. When I quit my job, finally,
I took cold showers. When I started my own business,
I took cold showers. When I got in the best shape of my life,
I took cold showers. When I ran my first ultra-marathon,
I took cold showers. When I got up this morning
to do a TEDx talk, (Laughter) I took a cold shower. (Laughter) And what I realized is this: I was looking at myself in the mirror,
and I told myself something. I said, “If you’re not willing
or able to be the type of person that is willing to be uncomfortable
for five minutes alone in the shower, where the only negative outcome
is you being cold for five minutes, and the only person
affected by that decision is you, then how will you ever
have the strength or the courage to choose to be uncomfortable
in a situation where the outcomes are much, much greater, and the people affected by your decision
far outnumber just yourself.” And so I’ve got one challenge
for you guys today. And it’s really, really simple. Tomorrow, when you get in the shower, instead of making the easy choice, instead of making the comfortable choice, instead of doing what most people will do, do the opposite, turn the water to cold, take a cold shower for five minutes, choose to be uncomfortable, and see what happens. Thanks. (Applause) (Cheers)

100 thoughts on “Cold Shower Therapy: Joel Runyon at TEDxLUC

  1. Not sure the temp of shower is going to fix peoples problems think about the people cant pay gas or elec bill to keep water warm there life are prob very confutable

  2. Do you only take cold showers or do you allow yourself warm showers or baths from time to time? At night perhaps? Always wondered this when viewing these videos of people who take cold showers.

  3. We talking winter or summer? You shouldn't be screaming like a girl in the summer when outside temperatures are 25C°+ if it's winter time and it's bellow zero and the pipes are frozen then you can legitimately hit those high notes. That being said, who seriously showers for 5 mins anyway? You will spend most of that 5mins rushing to wash you won't even have time to enjoy the beauty of the cold as it slaps your face. What about washing your hair? I hope you don't skip the best part… it's like 1000 needles beautifully penetrating your skull. By that time you have forgotten it cold and find yourself reaching to turn the temperature down. I gave up on cold shower years ago I take ice baths now much more relaxing

  4. I have been diving into the ocean in Alaska every morning for going on two months now at dawn, dead of winter. In and out. I cannot do 5 minutes. I am 63. I am a heart patient. There is science behind this. I do WIMHOF breathing before I go in. I envision comfort, not discomfort. My pulse and bp are down to normal.

  5. so… does one use soap and wash… or is that done in a hot shower followed by gradually turning down the hot water?

  6. Very much interesting. What I would add (beside highlighting physical benefits of cold showers, see Rhonda Patrick and Wim Hof for more) is that you do have to willfully accept it as a challenge. Not like 'yet another stress in my life' kind of passive approach, but as chance to learn to confront and overcome discomfort in life. 'Discomfort is the 'price' we have to pay to achieve our goals, make our dreams reality: accept it, face it, embrace it, go through it until you can look back with pride from your rightfully conquered spot.
    You may not willing to do it (or not again) but push yourself into it saying I can do it, I want to do it, I'm building resilience, I will enjoy so much the time after this… And you will. Next time, easier.
    On a side note: screaming 'like a little girl' isn't realistic, nor fair. 'Or boy', that is. 😉

  7. He should have gone into how epic you feel after you take a cold shower – you get an energy rush like some sort of drug and your mind clears to absolute clarity.

  8. Instead of jumping in cold water for 5 minutes, it's a lot more sustainable to slowly increase the duration and/or coldness over a series of days/weeks. Also, breathing techniques are highly important and effect

  9. I've been taking daily showers for a month maybe but it's Summer, Winter will be the test, maybe then I will be able to relate to the little girl comments. Lol.I have made some life changing decisions during this time. Frankly I don't know if cold showers are making the difference but I am definitely in a good place with my life right now so I'll persevere with it. "Making the decision to be uncomfortable" was a powerful statement. I have tended to retreat into my comfort zone now I realize that it is an unhelpful kind of dysfunctional habit.

  10. I take cold showers on a regular basis to give me the mental strength to face a stressful day in office.
    Cold showers makes me fresh after waking up early or after returning home from office
    It makes me ready to get out of the house.

  11. They used to say: "End your shower with cold water so your pores close up and let not the bacteria in after you go out".
    This makes sense to me, but when you ONLY take cold shower, you do not give a chance for those pores to be cleaned anyways coz they will be closed up immediately after exposing to cold water. Am I correct?

  12. i have had MS 32 years (i am 47), i am one month in to this shift in my life. i can barely stand as i get in the shower (i use bars on the walls) but after being in full on cold water for 10 probably less minutes ii stand and move noticeably better. i also do 40 womans push ups, i get out of my chair do the push ups and get back in my chair UNASSISTED!! When i used to fall, i needed help to get off the floor.

  13. Do the Wim Hoff method first! Makes it so much easier. 4 months in and I can’t to hit water any more or wear jackets.

  14. check out Wim HofSo many more important benefits to cold showers then what this guys talking about.and if you add in Wim Hof's breathing before the shower you will adjust to the cold 100 times faster and understand what's going on inside your body.

  15. I'm I the only one who got it after 1.5 minutes?! Yes, cold shower is not nice, you need to get out of your comfort zone, so you need to do that over and over again, bla bla bla…

  16. Our comfort is killing us. We are fostering ourselves into weakness.. resulting in self defeat. This is not good.

  17. If you are not willing to be uncomfortable when the choice is yours. You will be uncomfortable and never be able to make the right decision to succeed when the choice is not yours. Choose to be uncomfortable and see what happens. It could change your life.

  18. Self-flagellation at it's best. The main benefit of being "cold" is the acceleration of bodily viruses.

  19. I'm 7 days into my 30 day challenge and it's been life changing. I'm more aware when I take the shower in the morning and on the days I decide to take a cold shower at night, I sleep like a baby. It's a habit I can see myself locking in for the long term.

  20. 6:07 Since there are some people who do not bathe daily, can those periodic cold showers still help them?

  21. Wow I think this is one of the most boring talks i've ever heard on Ted ;I take cold showers they're great for your system

  22. cold showers take me back. i used to use them as a punishment for myself when i was in the worst of my anorexia.

  23. "<i>Screamed like a little girl</i>" ?? Huh? Boys don't scream? Anyway, the cold feeling only lasts the first 30 seconds or so — not 5 minutes. No screaming.

  24. The "either/or" scenario hides a third way: a gradual approach. I was intrigued by the Wim Hof Method but a cold shower was too uncomfortable, so what I did was take a cool or lukewarm shower for a day or two and then a cooler shower for a day or two and then cooler and cooler, you get the idea. Within two weeks I was taking full on cold showers and have been doing so for a couple of years now including swimming in lakes here in Sweden all winter, even when I could barely break through the ice. The idea behind this gradual approach is that your veins and arteries have muscles in them and as you expose yourself to cooler and cooler water, these become acclimated (or stronger) to cold exposure. So, my advice would be not to chicken out but just go comfortably cool for as long as you can tolerate it and each day go a little bit cooler, as you can tolerate. In two weeks or so, you'll be on your way.

  25. How about when sick? Can you take cold showers when on a cold? Will it help you boost your immune system to get rid of the cold faster?

  26. Completely agree. Started lifting weights, and heard that cold showers helps with soreness. But it also completely brightens my day, and from someone who suffers from depression, its so meaningful

  27. I took a cold shower about 3 and a half hour ago after watching and listening to this video I'm about to take another cold shower again,thanks

  28. I read somewhere – can't remember where, and it may not be true – that regular cold showers boost your immune system.

  29. Hi all, new upcoming channel , i made a video on cold shower benefits from an enlightened indian master for some cold shower motivation , peace 🙂

  30. I want to try this but scared to just jump I freezing cold water. Does it work if you gradually decrease the shower temp day by day?

  31. When taking cold shower you start at normal temperature and gradually lower the temp until you can't hold any more but it must be gradually so the body's temperature adapts

  32. I love cold showers I love how it wakes me up in the morning, and how It relaxed me at night before bed after taekowndo.

  33. i know a kid that lost his left testi from jumping into a cold shower, he was 16 and the sudden cold caused his groin muscles to strangulate it. he said it was more painful than when he got kicked a year before. best to go in warm then drop the temp gradually. same benifits with the hazards.

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