Wim Hof Method To Improve Mental Health
Who Is Wim Hof and how can you use the Wim Hof Method to improve mental health?
Wim Hof is an extreme athlete who holds 26 official Guinness World Records, most of which are beyond comprehension to most. These include climbing 22,000 ft up Mount Everest in only shorts and shoes, remaining submerged in an ice bath for over 2 hours and running a marathon without training, in the Namibian desert; where temperatures reached 40°C; without touching a drop of water for the whole run.
Born on the 20th of April 1959, the Dutchman is also known for his remarkable ability to withstand the cold, thereby earning him the title The Iceman.
But where does he draw his energy, resilience and inspiration to complete feats that most of us would hardly even try? He attributes it to the Wim Hof Method.
Wim Hof came up with this method after his wife committed suicide in 1995. Falling into a deep depression he found that the only thing that helped him clear his mind of negative thoughts was submerging himself in the cold.
You might be wondering why are we talking about this on the A2B blog?
Well According to The Iceman, this method can help those suffering from problems with sleep, stress, sports performance, depression and auto-immune diseases. From practicing parts of the method myself I can confidently state that a cold shower is definitely a mood booster!
What Is The Wim-Hof Method All About?
The Wim-Hof method is essentially a regimen that entails frequent exposure of the body to cold, coupled with meditation and specialised breathing techniques.
This video explains it better that I can…
But just how does it work to improve your mental health?
Firstly the breathing part of the method is similar to meditation. Once you are focused on your breathing you will find yourself in the present moment and less stressed about things outside of your control.
The next part of the method is getting in cold water. This increases mental resilience, thereby enabling you to withstand rather unpleasant situations longer than the average person would. Additionally, with cold therapy, your focus, willpower and concentration are also greatly increased. When you come out of a cold shower you can’t help but feel extremely positive and elevated which is due to the endorphins released by your body.
Cold showers also improve your physical health, improving your cardiovascular system and increasing your muscle endurance.
Is The Method Backed By Any Scientific Evidence?
The Wim Hof method has lots of heavy research and scientific backing behind it.
For full details of the studies visit – https://www.wimhofmethod.com/science
How To Do The Wim-Hof Method Breathing
- Sit in a comfortable place and take thirty quick and deep breaths, taking a deep breath in and then just letting go rather than a hard breath out.
- Next, take a very deep breath before exhaling fully everything that is in your lungs.
- Once exhaled don’t breath in and hold your breath for as long as possible. Don’t push it too hard though, as soon as you need to breathe do so.
- When you need to breathe take a deep inhalation and hold for about 15-20 seconds.
- Repeat the process 3-4 times
- Enjoy the feeling of calm and clarity.
Or for the easiest way to experience the method follow along with the guided breathing below…
Thanks for reading and watching