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So there I was in the south of Italy on a two-week beach holiday, living a vagabond life. Every day, we went swimming before lunch and before dinner, in some picturesque rocky cove along the coast.

“The waters must be freezing,” many of my friends from Asia messaged me, when they learned I was swimming along the coast of Salerno. And, indeed, the temperatures generally hovered between 18 and 20 degrees on a good day. So this was certainly no leisurely float in the sea.


However, I’ve already had lots of practice from my trips to Russia over the years. In Russia, I was jumping into lakes and plunging into pools at temperatures similar to the water in my fridge. But, apart from the obvious health benefits of swimming in cold seawater, here’s what I realized from that summer in Italy.

Everything in life is a state of mind. And, yes, that includes swimming in the Mediterranean in June, when that first plunge isn’t cold enough to kill you. Nevertheless it’s still a shock to the senses if you’re used to the warm waters of Asia. Or to the 39-degree hot springs pools of Japan and Taiwan, for that matter.


Quite simply, one morning in Italy, I just decided to tell myself the water was warm enough. And then just like that, my experience of swimming in Salerno changed even if the sea really hadn’t.

Everything in life truly is relative. We may not be able to change the cards and the circumstances that Fate has dealt us. However, we can revise our story of these and this simple act becomes the gamechanger.


So what you have in front of you is actually immaterial. Your happiness does not depend on what you have. It depends on what you think of what you have.

Changing your thoughts towards the direction you choose will change your state of mind. In turn, this is key to determining what will happen next every moment of your life. I can’t over-emphasize this enough. Mindfulness is key, and you do get what you expect.

So, yes, surviving cold waters is simply a state of mind. And the fact that daily cold seawater swimming in Salerno jumpstarts the metabolism and does wonders for the skin sure kept me motivated to do it twice a day. Everyone can definitely use less cellulite in their life.

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