The soothing sounds of running water. The warm humidity relaxes
and rejuvenates your tired muscles. You have entered a true tropical paradise…
But are you in Costa Rica? No. You are receiving the benefits
of a spa escape without spending thousands on airfare and lodging.
You can create a spa escape in your very own home.
Taking some time to reset this summer is simple. Try a shower
meditation. Seriously, why not? Shower meditation is super easy and can deliver
super results. After all, it has been documented time and time again that and
meditation changes lives, boosting health, happiness, and even productivity (1
Here are three common reasons why people tell me they don't
You don't have to be sitting yogi style on a mountain somewhere
to meditate. You can meditate almost anywhere. You can meditate in your car, on
the hiking trail, or yes...in the shower. Especially in the shower, this is a
guaranteed time in your day when you won't be interrupted (well, at least most
of the time).
It is extremely common for the mind to wander during
meditation...that is the point! Meditation is not a competitive sport, there
really isn't a wrong or right way
do it. It is about retraining your brain, over time, to be mindful of present
moment sensations instead of losing chunks of time to your imagination.
#3. "I'm just not
into that stuff...that is for hippies and vagabonds."
Meditation is now a tool used by people from all walks of life
from the spiritual to the skeptical. (If you are particularly skeptical, the
book Waking Up
by Sam Harris offers a
neuroscientific perspective on meditation.)
So, are you up for it? Do you dare to cool down this summer
both figuratively and literally?
Here are the easy-to-follow steps for a refreshingly kick-booty
Adjust the water temperature to what feels comfortable
for you. (If you are trying the cold method as mentioned below, set the shower
to a warm temperature first to allow your body to adjust).
Clean yourself, (this one goes without saying).
Make sure you are completely under the shower head,
with the water running over your head and down your body.
Take a deep breath. (Shut your eyes if you really want
to get wild.)
Then, just tune in. Listen to the sound of the water.
Now, visualize the water wiping away your worries and
stresses. Imagine your problems going down the drain.
Breathe a sigh of relief and end your practice with a
That's it. You can do this for 3 minutes, 5 minutes, or even 10
minutes or more. Set an alarm on your phone if you find yourself losing track
of time. Another option is to listen to a short guided meditation if you feel
like you still don't know how to meditate (believe me, you are not alone in
: Jazz your
experience up with essential oils. Use Sweet Orange to uplift, Lavender to
soothe, Sweet Almond for skin rejuvenation or if you don't mind the smell,
Frankincense for spiritual grounding -- if you are into that kind of thing!
Essential oils provide a host of health benefits such as relieving chronic
stress and anxiety, stabilizing moods, and reducing pain and inflammation (2
TRIPLE BONUS MOVE
as awesome as those secret tracks that used to come on your CDs back in the
90s!): You can even get really saucy with this practice and implement a bit of
contrast therapy ...where you alternate between hot and cold water...or if you
dare, keep it cold.
Hydrotherapy, using water to promote healing and wellbeing, has
been shown to reduce pain, muscle soreness, inflammation, as well as improve
circulation and boost the immune system (3
Cold water therapy in particular is also effective in improving
mental health outcomes, where brief cold showers (two 8 minute showers a day in
this study) were shown to be effective in alleviating symptoms of depression
and improving one's mood in general (4
Now, if you are anything like me, the notion of a cold shower
may stir up a little resistance. If you are anything like my fiancé, a
Scandinavian man, the notion of a cold shower is delightful. (The Finnish
people sometimes even jump into ice holes after being in the sauna, which shows
how much this culture believes in hydrotherapy).
Whatever your preferences are, shower meditation and
incorporating bursts of cold temperatures around 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20
degrees Celsius) can help you combat stress, depression, illness, and...quite
frankly...it's just refreshing. One thing we can all agree on is that cold
water certainly provides an awakening effect and increases our sense of energy
and alertness. We don't need to consult any research studies to know this one
**Note: Cold water therapy is not for everyone, so if you have
very high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, Raynaud’s disease, or another condition
you are concerned about, speak with you doctor first (5
At the end of the day,
what do you have to lose by trying a shower meditation? It the perfect way to
cool off physically and mentally this summer.