Skinny Dipping: The Free Self-Love Therapy.

by | Nov 21, 2021 | Skinny Dipping | 0 comments

Listen, self-love can look like any number of things. Maybe you cut back on your hours at work, or you take a bubble bath every once in a while. There’s no right way to care for yourself. But unless you’ve tried skinny dipping, you just haven’t done it all. 

I know, I know… skinny dipping? Like the same skinny dipping from Dawson’s Creek?

What is skinny dipping, if not some sexy thing from a romantic comedy? How can covering my pasty white oversized and under-supported boobs in murky lake water do anything? I’m here to answer all your anxious skinny dipping fears and tell you the real benefits of the practice. When you transform this process into something you’re doing for yourself, it’s incredible the impacts. Just read up on other’s skinny dipping stories online; it’s clear to see that there really is something in the water. 

Skinny dipping, nude and free in the water, can do a lot of things for us. And I’m neither scientist nor therapist, but the way that water feels over our naked bodies will absolutely transform your soul. Skinny dipping is the free therapy we all deserve. Here’s why I think so: 

1. Vagus nerve stimulation

Let’s start on the science side of things. Believe it or not, there’s a lot of people out there that regularly submerge themselves to regulate their vagus nerve. What is the vagus nerve, and what the hell does it have to do with skinny dipping? Your vagus nerve runs down from your brain to the side of your abdomen. In a way, it acts as a connector between your brain and the rest of your body. It helps your brain check in on how you’re feeling in the rest of your body. 

It’s also a big part of the parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system works in tandem with the sympathetic nervous system to keep you in an optimal state of arousal. Think of the two as working hand in hand to make sure you spend most of your time well balanced and not over or under-stimulated. 

Now, what happens when the nervous system gets unbalanced? Well, that’s when anxiety can happen. If the parasympathetic and the sympathetic nervous system aren’t working well together, you may be living your life from a panic attack to a depressive episode.  

Alright, so what the hell does all this science have to do with skinny dipping? I know you came for sexy skinny dipping stories, and now I’m trying to throw a science class at you. I promise it checks out!

See, when you dive into that water, there’s a high chance that the temperature of that water is different from your temperature prior to getting in there. And the system that works to regulate that temperature? The parasympathetic system and the vagus nerve. And that’s why you’ll want to submerge yourself entirely to get the full impact. 

Your body will “reboot” every time it needs to shift temperatures like that and work to seek a new balance. The result? Your skinny dipping session just saved you a couple of mornings of anxiety. In fact, many are using it to treat their depression or anxiety disorders

skinny dipping

2. Body empowerment 

So now that we get the physiological impact let’s talk about the identity work that skinny dipping can do for us. Our identities are carefully cultivated throughout our lifetimes. What makes you “you” is constantly being pushed by both internal and external situations. A bit of anxiety before a stage performance? Maybe you take on the identity of “shy”. A touch of peer pressure to succeed before a meeting? Maybe you become “brave” again. Your identity shifts throughout your lifetime, and that’s ok. (Shout out to my emo phase at 12 years old) 

One of the hugest identity factors women encounter is the one related to how their bodies look. Body image is at the forefront of many women’s minds. Despite our best efforts, women have probably at some point categorized themselves into “fat” or “thin”. And the best part of skinny dipping? It can do a lot to release these labels and let you fall in love with yourself as you are in the moment. 

When you’re skinny dipping in a supportive environment, with friends, and maybe even at night- you’re more likely to be able to check in with how your body actually feels and less what the world has told you about it. Releasing yourself of the pressure to be seen in a certain way and just letting yourself feel your way into existence will let you check back into your body in the present moment. And the result of that? You become in control of your body again. And that’s powerful. 

The weightlessness of the water lets us move and flex our bodies in a way we may not because of gravity. And the result is true body empowerment. People who leave skinny dipping experiences frequently talk about how much stronger they feel in their bodies.

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3. Spiritual Release

From baptisms to Savage Garden’s famous lines from their 1997 pop hit, “I want to bathe with you in the sea…”- the rhetoric of skinny dipping is everywhere. Want to have fun at a party? Ask everyone to share their skinny dipping stories. Everyone has something to say about the subject, and for a good reason. Bathing in water has become part of our culture in a nearly spiritual capacity. 

Regardless of whether or not you’re actually religious, some guided imagery can help you get the full effect from your skinny dipping exercise. Imagine the water truly washing away former versions of yourself or hurts that you no longer wish to hold on to. Let the water work its magic and break down societal expectations of “sexy” or “appropriate”. By letting go and embodying the full skinny dipping experience, you’re giving yourself some permission to wash away the shame that’s kept you from being who you truly want to be. 

In Tarpon Springs, Florida, many young Greek teens dive for the cross every year at the annual Epiphany celebration. While it’s in Florida, January temperatures of the water are still well below body temperature and jarring for swimmers. They race to grab the cross, and even if they don’t win, they all share in the deeply spiritual celebration. If you are more religious, feel free to take a note from this Greek tradition and integrate your spiritual practice into it. Crystals, rosaries, or even statutes can go on your skinny dipping journey with you. When you’re out of the water, these can provide powerful reminders of this cathartic spiritual journey. 

So what is skinny dipping really? It’s more than just getting submerged naked. It may be a soothing strategy for depression, a step on your path to body love, and a spiritual renewal- all in one. It’s way more than something to do for someone else. It’s not a performance, it doesn’t need to be sexy, and nothing about it has to be appropriate for society’s standards. Skinny dipping is for you.

So get out there, take your dang clothes off, and jump in the water. Take part in the free therapy that skinny dipping has to offer you. Be brave, cultivate a meaningful experience, and let yourself let go. The world is always ready for new beginnings. Let skinny dipping nude start your next chapter.  

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