When you’re dealing with the wear and tear on your muscles that comes with vigorous exercise, it can make coping with anxiety even harder. The constant pain and soreness of muscles can really drag your mood down and agitate you when it’s already tough to remain calm and relaxed.
Fortunately, there is a therapy that can help with both—home cold plunge therapy. Sometimes called hydrotherapy, home cold plunge therapy provides a great alternative for athletes who are also anxiety sufferers. Read on and discover the many ways this is possible.
If you’ve been dealing with an anxiety disorder or have chronic anxiety, you’re likely hyper-aware of how this mental health condition has no quick fix. Aside from pharmaceuticals, other therapeutic remedies like cognitive behavioral therapy can take a long time to be effective.
This has led many anxiety sufferers to turn to alternatives like microdosing or even marijuana to avoid the significant side effects of heavy pharmaceutical prescriptions. But another alternative that doesn’t require altering mental states with drugs—cold plunge therapy—provides fast relief without negative side effects. Better yet, this therapy is possible right at home. So how does this work?
What Are the Benefits of Cold Water Immersion?
Even if you’re not an athlete, cold water immersion can provide a host of health benefits both physical and mental. The natural responses your body triggers when immersed in cold water result in numerous benefits, from faster muscle recovery to reduced inflammation to a calmer mental state.
Women who are pregnant and experiencing anxiety about giving birth are one example of those who could benefit from cold plunging. People with physically demanding and stressful jobs could also benefit from this therapy. Let’s examine deeper what these benefits are and how it works.
When you dunk your entire body into cold water, your body reacts with a flood of physical responses. One of these responses is called vasoconstriction, which is the reduction of blood vessel size to slow down blood flow.
After warming back up, your body then kicks in a response called vasodilation, which is the opening up of the blood vessels to increase blood flow. Repeating this process multiple times a week can promote better circulation and a healthier cardiovascular system, which are foundational for a positive mental state.
Cold plunging produces a calming effect that can last hours after getting out of the cold therapy tub. This calming effect can curb the triggers for anxiety attacks, helping to maintain an elevated mood for a more happy and productive day.
Resting Fat Burn Activity
Another benefit of the home cold plunge that reaches beyond mental health is burning fat while in a resting state. Exposure to cold can help boost metabolic rates, which means you’ll burn off excess fat even when you’re not exercising. If you’re feeling anxious about your physical appearance, this reduction in fat could even make you feel better mentally.
How Does It Work?
Reducing your core body temperature produces many different types of reactions. Cold exposure essentially triggers a fight or flight response, which affects blood pressure and endorphin production. For those suffering from anxiety, high blood pressure is a common complication that can lead to other health issues.
Cold plunging helps address this problem by not only reducing blood pressure but also flooding the brain with endorphins that produce a positive mental state and feeling of well-being. Studies have found that on average, people who take cold plunges have an easier time dealing with depression and anxiety, even if pharmaceutical treatment regimens are already in place.
Other Tips to Relieve Anxiety
Of course, no one therapy is a cure-all for anxiety. Reducing the side effects of anxiety takes a holistic approach to health that encompasses both mental and physical health. What are some of the ways to reduce anxiety beyond taking medicine or hopping into a tub filled with ice water?
Exercising daily is a proven way to regulate your mental state, whether you’re someone who’s dealing with anxiety and depression or not. Much like cold immersion therapy, exercise can trigger endorphin production that creates a calming effect and a sense of peace that persists throughout the day.
Get Into Meditation and Mindfulness
Being more mindful is one of the most important steps to getting control over feelings of anxiety. To increase mindfulness, meditation is incredibly effective and simple, and it takes little time out of your day. Sitting down in a quiet place, relaxing the mind, and focusing on inhaling and exhaling slowly and deliberately is all that’s required.
Consume More Whole Foods
You are what you eat, has been a mantra of health experts for ages, and for good reason. A balanced diet that’s centered around whole foods leads to wide-ranging health benefits, and that includes mental health as well.
This is why one of the smartest first steps to take when anxiety strikes is to evaluate your diet, focus on eating more whole foods, and reduce your intake of sugar-laden, processed food.
Fix Your Sleep Schedule
Sleep is the cornerstone of a healthy mind and happy mental state. The body uses time spent asleep to clear away toxins from the brain, along with restoring and repairing damaged cells throughout the body. If anxiety is an issue, one of the first places to start is fixing your sleep schedule.
Humans are social creatures to the core. We simply have to have human interaction in order to feel our best. That’s why getting out and socializing with happy, positive people can provide a boost to the mental state of those with anxiety.
Cold plunge therapy can be one of the most beneficial treatments for those suffering from mental health issues such as anxiety. Being able to enjoy a cold plunge anytime is far easier when you have a cold plunge tub at home.RENU Therapy empowers anxiety sufferers by providing them with an unparalleled cold plunge experience at home. To learn more, explore our therapeutic solutions for the mind and body HERE.