Skip to content











策划:宋一 & 刘蕊

Here’s what used to happen.


I’d wake up, smoldering and sighing, reel out of bed and into the kitchen, and put the kettle on. Then I’d think: Well, now what? Time would go granular, like in a Jack Reacher novel, but less exciting. Five minutes at least until the kettle boils. Make a decision. Crack the laptop, read the news. Or stare murkily out the window. Unload the dishwasher? Oh dear. Is this life, this sour weight, this baggage of consciousness? What’s that smell? It’s futility, rising in fumes around me. And all this before 7 a.m.


Here’s what happens now.


I wake up, smoldering and sighing, reel out of bed and into the kitchen, and put the kettle on. And then I have a cold shower.


I don’t want to go overboard here, reader. Life-changing, neurosis-canceling, enlightenment at the twist of a tap—I don’t want to make these claims for the early-morning cold shower. But if like me you have a sluggish seam of depression in your nature, and a somewhat cramped brain, and a powerful need, throughout the day, for quasi-electrical interventions of one sort or another, reboots and renewals—or if you just want to wake up a little faster—can I most devoutly recommend that you give it a shot?


Do it first thing. As soon as you get up. Don’t torture yourself with postponement. And don’t muck around with hot-to-cold transitions, temperature tweakings, etc. Fling wide the plastic curtain, crank the tap to its coldest, take a breath, and step right in. Not grimly or penitentially, but with slapstick defiance: Holy Mother of God! Cowabunga! Here I go! (If it’s too early in the day for slapstick defiance, try a head-shake of weary amazement.)


The water hits, and biology asserts itself. You are not a tired balloon of cerebral activity; you are a body, and you are being challenged. You gulp air; your pulse thumps. Your brain, meanwhile, your lovely, furry old brain, goes glacier-blue with shock. Thought is abolished. Personality is abolished. You’re a nameless mammal under a ravening jet of cold water. It’s a kind of accelerated mindfulness, really: In two seconds, you’re at the sweet spot between nonentity and total presence. It’s the cold behind the cold; the beautiful, immobile zero; a flame of numbness bending you to its will. Also—this is important—you can still lather up in a cold shower, and get all your washing done: hair, body, everything.

水柱袭来,生理机能全开。你不再是大脑活动作用下那个萎蔫的气球;你有血有肉,你正在接受挑衅。你大口吸气,脉搏突突地跳。与此同时,你的大脑,你那可爱的毛茸茸的脑袋,惊得如蓝冰川般坚挺。思想已被叫停,个性已经泯灭,你就是一只无名的哺乳动物站在穷凶极恶的冰水柱下。真的!这是一种加速的入定:只要两秒,你就完成了介于无我与真我之间的绝妙跑位。冰冻之感,退无可退。那美丽、静止的临界点,那升腾的麻木感让你屈服。此外—— 还有很重要的一点—— 你仍可在冷水中涂上泡沫,洗头、身体、从头到脚,好好把澡洗完。

Then you get out, and you’re different. Things have happened to your neurotransmitters that may be associated, say the scientists, with elevated mood and increased alertness. You’re wide awake, at any rate. Your epidermis is cool and seal-like. Your nervous system is jangling—but melodically, like tiny bells. And from the kitchen, you can hear the kettle starting to whistle.

走出浴室,你焕然一新。这时你脑中的神经递质已经发生变化了,科学家说,这些神经递质与你提振的心情、敏锐度也许颇为相关。不管怎么说,你是彻底醒了。你皮肤清爽,如海豹般油亮。你的脑内通路叮当作响 —— 如优美旋律,像小铃铛轻敲。这时,你听见厨房里的水壶也响起来了。


  • 本文原载于 The Atlantic

  • 原文链接:

一、了解取经号 | 我们是谁,在做什么,如何加入
二、学习贴士 | 如何打印输出PDF如何使用微信读书订阅取经号
三、翻译服务 | 咨询邮箱:[email protected]
四、社交媒体 | 微信公众号:取经号;微博:取经号JTW
五、译文归档 | 访问网站
六、学习社群 | 翻译社(暂停中)




Be First to Comment


电子邮件地址不会被公开。 必填项已用*标注