Tools such as deliberate cold water exposure (immersion or shower) have immediate and indirect benefits. For example, 11min (total per week) of uncomfortably cold (but safe) cold exposure can increase metabolism and brown (mitochondrial rich; healthy) fat increase dopamine levels up to 2.5X (e.g., Soeberg et al, 2021; EJP, 2000).

Meditation practices are also terrific for creating a “gap” between stimulus and our impulse to respond to stimuli.

Often missing, however, are physiologically grounded protocols for us us to become less impulsively reactive. As it turns out, the impulse to vocalize and to move are two such forms of reactivity. Learning to suppress those in order to maintain mental clarity can be very beneficial as it exports to other domains of life.

NOTE: Vocalizing under stress can of course be very beneficial in some circumstances. I am not suggesting people learn to suppress adaptive vocalizations or staying in unsafe settings. The idea here is to maintain mental clarity so that you can think more adaptively, not less.

So if you are doing deliberate cold exposure, perhaps try doing it in silence. Meaning that you don’t speak while getting into, during or getting out of the cold exposure. It’s not about suffering in silence it’s about learning to maintain clarity of mind when you have a lot of adrenaline in your system.

…Or just have fun with it. Yell and scream or sing. Your choice. The effect is simply different in each case. The metabolic effects are still there no matter what.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.