The Benefits of Bathing for Mental Health
Bathing in your elegant walk-in bathtub or just getting a quick shower can already provide a sense of relief, especially after a long, hot summer day. Aside from helping the body cool down, taking a bath can also boost energy and revive hormone production. Taking a bath or having a shower can also help detoxify the body and keep hair and skin healthy. Washing with regular soap can help ward off common viruses like the ones that cause colds.
When taking a bath, you actually have two choices: to go cold or to go warm. Yes, you can either soak luxuriously in a tub of warm water or you can take a quick cold yet refreshing shower. So which kind of bath will you take?
A Warm Bath Relieves Stress
Modern times have brought a lot of different mental ailments and phobias. This has probably been exacerbated by the stress at work, the challenging economy, social rejection, or the increasing responsibilities at home. Yale University has conducted a series of studies that show there is one activity that one can benefit from if he or she is suffering from a mental illness: taking a bath.
Taking a warm bath provides the physical warmth that an embrace can provide. Of course, nothing compares to the comfort that human warmth brings, but baths can certainly lessen the feeling of loneliness and isolation. Another study also suggests that just holding something hot or warm (like a cup of coffee) can already have positive effects on a person, making him or her more trusting and generous towards other people.
Warm baths also promote better sleep, and this is why it is also highly recommended to take warm baths right before going to bed. Getting relaxing sleep with the help of a warm bath can improve mental focus.
If a person is suffering from migraines, warm showers can help ease migraine pain as they stimulate blood circulation.
Cold Baths Improve Mood and Mental Alertness
But what about a cold shower? Sure, a hot bath can provide positive effects on a person because it can mimic the human warmth, but what about the cold chill that a cold shower can give? According to recent studies, there is a component in the brain that can alleviate depression once released. It’s called the nonadrenaline. The nonadrenaline can be released by triggering the “blue spot” in the brain. And guess what can trigger this spot? Yes, you’ve guessed it right: a cold and refreshing shower.
Remember what was mentioned above where a warm shower can stimulate hormone production and give a jolt of energy? Apparently taking a bath can gives a refreshing jolt of positive vibes as well. Cold showers help improve a person’s mood. “Shocking” the body with a cold shower in the morning also improves mental alertness as it makes you breathe deeper and improves blood flow to the brain and other important organs.
This just shows that, no matter which type of bath you choose, both the hot and cold baths have a positive effect on your mental, physical, and emotional well-being.