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Here’s why you should take a cold shower when you feel anxious

Updated on:9 October 2020, 11:26am IST
Who would have thought that something as simple as taking a cold shower can actually make a huge difference to your anxiety? Read on to know more.
Nikita Bhardwaj
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Switch on the shower and wash away anxiety. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Do you know what exactly happens inside your body, when you suffer from anxiety? It raises your heart rate, makes you feel breathless, and restless as well. To press pause, people look for pills or venture out to get some fresh air, but there’s another way you can deal with anxiety attacks. And that’s by taking a shower!

This technique is called hydrotherapy, and believe it or not, it particularly helps to subside the physical signs of anxiety. 

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What exactly is hydrotherapy? And does it really work?

Hydro, we all know means water, and we use it all the time for something or the other! Like when you feel really tired or sleepy, then splashing cold water on your face energises you instantly. 

When you become anxious, there is a sudden rise in your body temperature due to the high heart rate. If you take a cold shower at this point, you will feel a drop in your temperature. This technique will normalise your heart rate, improve the oxygen supplies to your brain, and make blood move away from the core to release the tension.

Home remedy for anxiety
Cold shower help you maintain your body’s thermostat. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

“A person experiences sweating, and the heart rate and blood pressure increase due to a surge in the adrenaline levels.  In such circumstances, there is evidence to suggest that taking a cold shower (hydrotherapy) with temperature around 20-degree celsius for two to three minutes can help control the heart rate and blood pressure”, says Dr Santosh Bangar, consultant psychiatrist at Global Hospital, Mumbai.

He added, “Another way this cold-water therapy can help is by boosting the immune system and decreasing the cortisol hormone, which is a stress-inducing hormone. Research has also shown that cold showers may increase endorphins or the feel-good hormone.”

Hydrotherapy works almost every time

Having said that, Dr Bangar also warns that not every anxiety attack is the same. If it is severe in nature, then medical intervention is required and you just can’t rely on a cold shower to tackle the situation. 

“When taking a shower is not a possibility, you can very well splash your face with some really chilled water, or cover your face with a water-soaked cloth for five minutes and relax. Also, avoid a hot shower when you’re having an anxiety attack, as it might worsen your case”, he concluded.

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During the covid-19 pandemic, anxiety and other mental disorders have taken over almost every mind. In fact, WHO has said that mental health services have been disrupted in the midst of covid-19, due to a sudden surge in the number of cases.

That’s why it’s always handy to keep a DIY like this right by your side. You never know when you’ll need it!  

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Nikita Bhardwaj Nikita Bhardwaj

Six-pack abs are all that Nikita needs, along with her daily dose of green tea. At Health Shots, she produces videos, podcasts, stories, and other kick-ass content.