Cold Showers (Part 5) – Joy

Find Joy“Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.”

~ Joseph Campbell

This is the 5th and final post of this cold shower series (at least for now as I continue to discover more remarkable benefits in taking cold showers). Lately, when I have extra time such as on weekends, I have been playing around with temperatures, going back and forth from hot to cold water and from cold to hot water. Going from one extreme to the other is a great way to detoxify your body as blood rushes inwardly toward the organs with cold water (trying to conserve heat and protect our vital organs) and then blood rushes outwardly toward the skin with warm water (revitalizing skin and improving circulation). I also use a luffa to exfoliate dead skin cells and to lightly massage my body which aids in lymphatic drainage. In a previous post, I shared my goal of remaining relaxed while under the extreme pressure of cold water (yes, it is at the coldest setting in case you were wondering). After achieving this goal, I am now trying to take it one step further.

In my book ‘One Habit At A Time’, I promote the habit of high-quality breathing to induce relaxation throughout the day. This helps to lower stress significantly. In the next chapter, I promote the habit of smiling to induce inner joy which will further reduce stress. Therefore, I decided to try and see if I could get joy out of taking a cold shower. I always feel great afterwards but during the shower, it is difficult to actually enjoy it. How can you enjoy something which feels almost torturous at times? :) I knew this would be a difficult challenge, but it offered another opportunity for growth.

After a few weeks, I am truly enjoying my cold showers most of the time. It took a while before I could even enjoy one. But with a little persistence, failure began to turn into success. Day after day I would psyche myself up before each cold water blast. Talking, yelling, singing, dancing and praying…I tried everything to bring inner joy out of my being so that I could conquer this challenge. Eventually, I could draw out my inner joy simply by tuning into it and by mindfully enjoying the experience of the cold water enveloping my body.

How has this challenge benefited me? With this practice I find myself getting more enjoyment out of each day. Things which I used to find ordinary, tedious, obnoxious or dreadful are not too bad anymore. I try to squeeze as much joy out of them as possible. On the flip side, I now find the joyous occasions that much sweeter. It’s as if the inner joy just gushes out and it feels absolutely incredible.

Anyway, I hope you liked this series and I hope it motivates you to take on the cold shower challenge (30 days of cold water showers). There is a tremendous amount of growth waiting for you on the other side. If you do accept the cold shower challenge, I would love you to share your experiences with it here in the comment section below.

Have a joyous day,

Sal Crispo

Cold Showers (Part 2) – Energy

Endorphins“The energy of the mind is the essence of life.”

~ Aristotle

After overcoming the fears and the critics in my mind, I immediately stepped out of the cold shower and felt empowered and invigorated. I did not give in to the allurement of comfort. I did not succumb to the discouraging voices in my head. Each time I conquer the cold shower challenge it is a moral victory which leaves me mentally pumped. I find this to be the perfect way to start my day.

People want to start their days with good energy so they can be more productive and live more fully. For this reason, the coffee and energy drink industries make billions of dollars a year selling their products. The main problem with these products is that most are loaded with processed sugar, artificial sweeteners, caffeine, and a list of other harmful substances which have many negative side effects and are highly addictive. Not to mention, the boost in energy is artificial and mostly comes at the expense of your adrenal glands. This is a major reason why adrenal fatigue is so prevalent nowadays.

Conversely, cold showers release natural hormones (endorphins, testosterone, etc.) which have strong health benefits. Also, I find the energy boost I get from cold showers lasts several hours. During the work week, I wake up at 5:00 am so I will take all the energy I can get. I am in the industry of motivating people to live at their best therefore, the last thing I need is to be tired. However, I have dedicated my life to real health thus I consciously choose not to support the artificial energy industries. I want to be a model of health so that I can inspire others to do the same. If I am consuming 5 coffees or Red bulls a day for my energy then I am not promoting real health (I am not living at my best). After all, actions speak louder than words. I understand some people may have a hard time without their artificial stimulants and this is why I am offering an alternative here with cold showers. This is something you may want to consider. It may save you from some unwanted health issues and save you some money too – cold showers are free!

Wishing you real health and energy,

Sal Crispo

Cold Showers – Comfort Zone

Cold Shower 1“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”

~ Neale Donald Walsch

This past summer I took on a challenge which I avoided for a long time – the 30 day cold shower challenge. Yes, I know it sounds crazy but there are many great benefits for overcoming this challenge. For this reason, I feel impelled to share my experience here with you today and in a series of posts in the coming weeks. Before I begin, let me tell you why I avoided it for so long.

FEAR!

I was simply terrified to do it. I began to examine this fear:

Will I drown? No.

Will I get hurt? No.

Then what am I actually afraid of? Being pushed outside of my comfort zone.

Taking a nice warm shower is relaxing and soothing. Anyone can step into a warm shower and easily begin to enjoy it. Why? Because it is naturally very comforting. On the flipside, I’m sure you’ve experienced what happens when someone in your home turns on the hot water elsewhere while you’re showering. The cold water invades your comfortable shower and you instantly turn into a violent creature (fight or flight response). You begin yelling all obscenities at the top of your lungs in order for them to shut the water off. :)

At first, the thought of cold showers brought up these exact feelings. I do not want to be in a state of fight or flight when I am showering. I want to be relaxed and comfortable. However, the price of comfort is often mediocrity and stagnation. Real growth occurs when we courageously travel beyond our believed limitations. To endeavour toward something which is greater than our current state of being is braveness at its best.

The time has come. I step into the shower and I am face to face with my fear. I have my hand on the shower handle. A storm of thoughts rush through my mind like a hurricane: What the hell are you doing? This is ridiculous. Don’t do this. Just take a nice warm shower and forget this challenge. So on and so on. These are the thoughts which prevent us from breaking through our comfort zones. Whether it’s in the areas of our relationships, business, work, health, social events and/or ambitions, etc., these limiting thoughts are our barriers to expansion.

I could not believe how loud these limiting thoughts were getting. The inner dialogue of my mind (the fear-based part), which is often subtle in its influence, had reached all new heights.

And here lies our greatest opportunity!

The opportunity to silence the critics in our mind – our greatest enemy.

So for the first time in my life, I turned the shower handle to cold water and…I screeched, shouted and cursed…I jumped, shook and squirmed…but I DID IT. I felt things I had never felt before but most of all, I felt ALIVE!

Next week I will share more about my 30 day cold shower experience and how it has help me live more fully.

Keep pushing your limits,

Sal Crispo

If At First You Don’t Succeed…

Murray WimbledonI woke up this morning and eagerly anticipated watching the Wimbledon Men’s final. It is always a tremendous achievement to get to the final but to win it is an entirely different feat. Last year, Andy Murray was left in tears as Roger Federer snatched the trophy from him in the final. This year however, Murray showed what true grit and perseverance can bring – ecstasy and success. He defeated the number 1 player in the world, Novak Djokovic, and became the first British player to win Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936. If at first you do not succeed, try and try again. Congratulations Andy! Continue reading

5 Simple Habits To Boost the Quality of Your Sleep

Bear Insomnia Cartoon1. Avoid Stimulants Before Bedtime

The autonomic nervous system is divided into 2 main parts – sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) and parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest). These 2 systems have an antagonistic relationship. For instance, you cannot be in a heated argument and completely relaxed at the same time. Stimulants activate the sympathetic nervous system (S.N.S) and will disrupt the quality of your sleep which is a parasympathetic nervous system (P.N.S) activity. Some common stimulants to avoid before bedtime are caffeinated drinks, bright lights and extreme emotional highs (such as heated arguments). Before bedtime, it is best to make the habit of creating an environment of relaxation. Continue reading

Shower Power!

Lao Tzu QuoteThe mind, just like the body and soul, should not be neglected. When you wake up in the morning, do you wash your body? Do you brush your teeth? What happens if you don’t? Obviously you will stink. Now imagine going to work in this condition. How could you work with others or meet with clients? Do you think you would make a great impression if you were out on a date with a special person? As you can easily see, not cleansing your body can have an endless amount of negative repercussions. In the same way, not cleansing your mind on a daily basis can be disastrous. Continue reading

5 Quick Tips to Lower Stress

Helpful Tips

Tip #1: Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Sounds simple, but the reality is that many people don’t get enough quality sleep. Sleep is where every aspect of our physical bodies (muscles, energy systems and organs, etc.) recharge. As a result, we cannot run our bodies efficiently (as stress-free as possible) if we fail to re-energize with quality sleep. What do most people do when they are having trouble functioning  during the day? Continue reading