Being Comfortable with Discomfort
Sport psychologist and physiologist Martin Pet favors cold showering not only for its invigorating physical effects, but also for its ability to train our cognitive control. Martin found out that he could override his automatic negative response to an unpleasant stress signal by training his mind to accept the discomfort. His insights extend well beyond the bathroom walls.
Motivation is key to achieving any goal you set for yourself: Martin’s interest in cold therapy stemmed from his challenge as a triathlete to train in early season cold waters. Overcoming this challenge motivated him to try cold therapy, and stick with it.
We can over-ride our natural negative response to discomfort: A cold shower, however short, provokes a clear, unpleasant physical stress signal. The signal activates the ‘fight or flight’ reaction and triggers a natural, emotional fear response. Mindfully practicing cold therapy trains the prefrontal cortex, the cool and composed rational part of our brain, to remain quietly in charge in the face of adversity.
The secret of cold therapy is in calmly accepting loss of control: Mindfully surrendering to the discomfort of a cold shower teaches us to let go of the need to control the cold discomfort, and by extension, the discomforts in our life.
The benefit of cold therapy is in rewiring the brain for resilience: Cold therapy gradually shapes an unbeatable mindset - ‘I can deal with anything that comes my way’. It also reinforces willpower and self-efficacy.
Create the conditions for success: Check what your motivation is for cold showering. Set small, doable steps. And use any unsuccessful execution as a reflection point for yourself.
20 day cold shower challenge
Download Wim Hof’s 20 day challenge form and start tracking your goals and results.
Can you do what Martin can?
To help you keep your energy levels high and stay positive throughout your day it is essential to take breaks regularly. To help you get more out of your downtime, Martin Pet, a seasoned sport and performance psychologist and physiologist, will challenge you to perform a wide range of exercises that will do just that.
About the crew member
Martin Pet • Sport and performance psychologist and physiologist
Sport and performance psychologist and physiologist Martin helps individuals, teams and organizations to deliver sustainable top performance by enhancing their vitality and mental power. As the lead expert at Lifeguard, he is constantly improving the knowledge and content of our training sessions. With his limitless energy he will provide you some tips and tools to stay fit and energetic during this stormy period.
Your journey until now
Being Comfortable with Discomfort
Sport psychologist Martin Pet on the power of cold therapyYou are here
Reflect, Adjust and Perform – the Three Pillars of Self-Management
Prof. Dr. Annet de Lange on the inner drive for personal progress
The Biological Dance of Immunity and Anxiety
Immunologist and Professor Emeritus Dr. Pierre Capel on undermining vs. improving immune response
Connection and Communication - with a Smile!
Former International and Olympic team coach Sandra le Poole on connection and communication
Coping with Anxiety and Uncertainty
Psychiatrist and best-selling author Bram Bakker on anxiety, control and connection
Staying Engaged in Challenging Times
World renowned Engagement expert Prof. Wilmar Schaufeli on the key job engagement drivers
Solitude, Sleep and Structure - Lessons from a Solo Sailor
Former solo ocean racer Lucas Schröder on coping with loneliness
Food Sense in Senseless Times
Nutrition expert Vardit Kohn on eating in support of your immune system
Former submarine captain Berend van de Kraats shares his underwater experience