It’s in your head

When we’re at the beach and we want to go for a swim, there are two approaches to getting into what we anticipate will be very cold water. Very often the anticipation of the cold in our head is strong enough to lead us to not even go for a swim.

One approach, we can take a run at it and leap in, knowing that there will be a huge initial shock as the cold water hits our warm body. We’ll flap about and then soon we’ll be used to the temperature change. It’s dramatic but short-lived.

Or alternatively, we can dip our toe, it will initially be cold so well take our toe out, and then will dip it again, and so on, stepping slowly, but surely into the water. It will take a lot longer than the ‘rush and jump straight in’ approach. The change in temperature for our bodies will be gentler and less of a shock. It is more serene.

The water temperature is the same whatever our approach, it is just how we feel it in our heads before and after we get in.

Of course, once we get used to the temperature, whatever approach we choose, it is always our anticipated fear of something that is worse than whatever method we use.

There is no right or wrong approach, it is the anticipation of something that holds us back.