Get Out of Your Comfort Zone with Ben Aldridge
In this mini-series, Ben Aldridge shares a selection of challenges that can be used to get out of your comfort zone. If you want to experience personal growth, there’s nothing quite like a self-imposed challenge to help you achieve this. Challenges can teach us valuable lessons, build confidence and help us to bring adventure and colour into our lives.
January – an icy start to the year
A fantastic way to start challenging yourself at the beginning of the year is to play around with cold exposure. Granted, this will be easier if you live somewhere with a relatively cold climate but when there’s a will, there’s a way! With a bit of planning, this type of challenge can also be completed in hotter climates.
Cold exposure is great for many reasons. There’s a ton of health benefits – the release of mood boosting endorphins, improved circulation, better sleep, an improved immune system and a reduction of inflammation within the body. However, in my opinion, the main reason to embrace the cold is to improve mental strength…
Embracing the cold is very much a “mind over matter” challenge. When facing the cold, you have to deal with physical discomfort and work through painful sensations. Pushing through these mental barriers is a real test of your mindset. This is excellent training for the mind. Doing difficult things can help us to become more resilient individuals. And regularly getting cold is a brilliant way to do this.
It’s worth noting that the more often you face the cold, the easier it gets. So, let’s look at how you can actually start exploring cold exposure in a practical way.
1. Take a cold shower
Simply turn on the cold tap and jump into the shower!
2. Take a cold bath
Fill a bathtub with cold water and see how long you can stay in. It’s a lot harder than the shower as it’s an immersive experience.
3. Take an ice bath
Fill a bathtub with ice cubes and cold water and wait for the temperature to drop. Now see how long you can spend in the ice (it won’t be long at first). Note – this is a really painful and difficult challenge, so be careful!
4. Go out inappropriately dressed for the weather
Put on minimal clothing and go for a walk in the cold. Don’t take your hat, coat, gloves and scarf! This only works when you’re somewhere with cold weather. So, the next time you find yourself somewhere with low temperatures, go for a walk in your flipflops.
5. Try “snowga”
This is a combination of snow and yoga – thus the name “snowga”. When you find yourself somewhere snowy, complete a yoga session in the snow. Obviously, this will be location dependent.
Embracing the cold can be a fun and rewarding process and great for cultivating a resilient mindset. I wish you the best of luck on your cold adventures!
It’s very important to be careful when embracing the cold. Building up your exposure slowly over time is sensible. If you are at all concerned, seek medical advice from a professional before tackling this challenge.
About the Author
Ben Aldridge writes about practical philosophy, comfort zones, mental health and adventure. He is the author of How to Be Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable and the Get Out of Your Comfort Zone Cards. For more information on how to connect with Ben, visit benaldridge.com, Instagram: @dothingsthatchallengeyou