Finding stillness in the cold.
By: Mary Deasy
We are all trying to find the key to a happier, healthier, and more fulfilled life - the solution is not one size fits all. Finding what’s best for you in this junction in your life is key: there are so many different ways of achieving your personal goals - yoga, changing your diet, meditating, running, or doing therapy - but have you heard of the Wim Hof Method? We at Campspace believe in periodically leaving your comfort zone and challenging yourself outdoors. We recognize the power of body and mind and believe in the benefits of immersing yourself in nature - in whatever form that takes.
If you are looking for an exciting new way to achieve your personal goals and challenge yourself, then the Wim Hof Method may be worth trying. This scientifically backed method uses the noble force of nature to produce immense mental and physical benefits, but it’s not for the faint-hearted.
Before getting into the details of this method, let’s look at the man behind it, Wim Hofman, the 61-year old dutch extreme athlete, yogi and wild adventurer also referred to as the ‘Iceman’. After tragically losing his wife in 1995 and being left to father four young children, Wim spiralled into depression. To cope, he turned to the noble force of nature- cold. There he found stillness, and after years of training through cold therapy and breathwork, he slowly got his energy back.
He has gone on to set 26 Guinness World Records and made an impressive list of physical achievements - from swimming under ice to running barefoot in the Arctic. According to the Wim Hof’s website, Wim is “living proof of what the human body is capable of when you learn to control your inner nature.” He has shared his knowledge through the scientifically backed Wim Hof method which “trains the brain to improve willpower and self-control; and teaches people to observe their thoughts, emotions and impulses, without identifying or acting on them.”
So, how exactly does the Wim Hof Method work?
The first pillar of the wim hof method is breathing. Yes, breathing, the unconscious yet fundamental part of our nervous system that we can control. With conscious breathwork, comes heightening oxygen levels and in response, increased energy in our body. This energy produces tremendous benefits such as reduced stress levels, lower blood pressure, and a stronger immune system.
Try it: Wim Hof’s breathing method consists of 30-40 deep breaths- inhaling through the nose, exhaling through the mouth. You should be conscious of your breath but attached to it. On your last breath exhale, stop breathing for as long as you can (time it- you should be able to do a minute or more on the first round). Once you feel the urge to breathe again, take one deep big breath and feel your chest expand. When you can’t take in any more, hold for 15 second then release. Repeat this 3-4 more times if necessary.
The cold is the second pillar in the Wim Hof Method. Exposing your body to extreme cold has grown in popularity with scientific studies proving the serious benefits. You may have heard of athletes or even celebrities practising this method to encourage faster recovery after physical exercise, weight loss, more energy, a stronger more fortified immune system, better circulation, balanced hormonal levels, stress reduction and endorphin release. Wim Hof’s method applies cold therapy in the form of cold showers and ice baths.
The third and final pillar of the Wim Hof Method is the combination of both cold exposure and conscious breathing. To fully master this technique, dedication and commitment is required. It’s easy to start but it’s hard to stay committed and wait patiently for mastery. No journey to a happier, healthier, and more fulfilled life is easy but should you choose to try the Wim Hof method, go in with full force, excitement, and a drive to increase your willpower.
No matter what time of year it is, it’s never too late to challenge yourself - whether this self-betterment method catches your eye or you’d prefer to try forest bathing, a new camping location, or mountaineering - challenging yourself periodically is important. You will be amazed by your own limits while building a stronger mind and body! Book your next campspace adventure and challenge yourself to try something a little different!
Cover Photo: Wim Hof
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