My best thinking happens in the shower. Whenever I have to do something mentally taxing, I always take a long, ponderous shower before I get started.
I would have done so before sitting down to write this article, but I couldn’t—because this is a story about taking cold showers, something I have been doing for the past week.
Taking a cold shower is commonly thought of as a torturous act, something endured by people in military boot camps or jail. In the Seinfeld episode “The Jimmy,” George Costanza says cold showers are “for psychotics” when someone suggests he take one. Heck, the term “cold shower” itself is synonymous with “libido-killing.”
Despite all this, there’s a small but enthusiastic movement of people extolling the benefits of cold showers, and they have some real science to back them up.