The Positive Effects of Cold Water Immersion on Mood and Brain Connectivity

A recent study conducted by researchers from Bournemouth University found that taking a 5-minute bath in cold water can make people feel active, alert, attentive, proud, and inspired while reducing feelings of distress and nervousness. The positive emotions experienced by the participants were linked to increased communication between different parts of the brain responsible for attention control, emotion regulation, and self-regulation. The study contributes to understanding how cold water immersion affects mood and brain connectivity.

Key Points:

  • Taking a 5-minute bath in cold water can increase positive emotions and reduce negative emotions.
  • Cold water immersion leads to increased heart rate and breathing volume.
  • Brain imaging studies showed connectivity changes between different brain regions involved in attention control, emotion regulation, and self-reflection.
  • The study provides insight into cold water immersion’s physiological and psychological effects but lacks a control group and precise mapping of brain networks.

Reference: Yankouskaya, A., Williamson, R., Stacey, C., Totman, J. J., & Massey, H. (2021). Short-Term Head-Out Whole-Body Cold-Water Immersion Facilitates Positive Affect and Increases Interaction of Large-Scale Brain Networks. Biology, 10(9), 878.

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