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Anxiety, Science and the Healing Power of a Warm Shower

I have severe anxiety – I have since I was very young. I grew up in a highly chaotic environment for a child and I have always thought this was a major contributor to the levels of anxiety I now face on a day-to-day basis.


Over the years, I’ve tried any number of medications to try and make it better, but while a few had some positive results, none of them were ever able to fully take it all away. None of them ever gave me a genuine sense of peace.


For the times when my anxiety is on full blast and I’m afraid I won’t be able to weather the storm, I keep an emergency bottle of Xanax within reach – just in case. But as addiction runs in my family, I try hard to regulate this as a last resort.


Fortunately, where medical science has come up short, Mother Nature has come to the rescue. Water, for me, has proven to be far better and more effective than any medication ever has. From my experience, no pharmaceutical company has ever come close to capturing the healing power of a warm shower inside one of their shiny little capsules, and nothing else is as effective at getting me out of my anxiety-ridden skin and putting me into a new, calmer state of mind.


I remember being a young girl. I’d be in the bath, listening to the fighting that overwhelmed my home and echoed off the porcelain walls that surrounded my tub. I would sink into the water leaving only the point of my nose uncovered so that I could breath. The water, soothing me, would drown out the horrible sounds, and its warmth would envelop me like a thick blanket on a cold, wintry day.

And it would make me feel safe, at least for a little while, until the bath was done and the water washed my anxiety down the drain with it, out of reach and far away.

As I’ve grown older, I went from baths to showers, but the feeling of safety and security followed along with me. The warm water remained my security blanket.


Today, when I get into a state of panic, my first solution is to try and take a shower. I’ve even taken showers at friends houses when my anxiety has gotten too out of hand.


There’ve been times where I’ve laid on the shower floor and the water felt almost orgasmic on my skin. In those moments, I lose myself to it completely. A voice inside my head reminds me that life is still going on outside the safety of my shower, and things still need to get done…but just one minute longer under the healing touch of loving droplets and everything would be right in the world.


For people with anxiety, modern medicine has done wonders to help us through the day to day challenges we face. But where science has fallen short, other remedies may exist. For some, it may be lying in a field and watching airplanes pass overheard. And for others, it could be the sound of waves crashing, trains passing or tackling something monotonous like vacuuming a rug. But for me, it’s a warm shower that pulls me back off the ledge and gives me a moment’s reprieve so I can collect myself and finish out the day.