A Cold Shower a Day Keeps the Doctor Away – The Wim Hof Method

‘Tackling the real terrorist’s; depression, bi-polar, anxiety, fear, trauma and PTSD” – Wim Hof

A Dutch-born world record holder, adventurer, daredevil and human guinea pig, The Iceman is best known for his preternatural ability to withstand extreme cold. Perhaps more significant and compelling is his experimentation and experience with specific and teachable breathing techniques. Rooted in the ancient yogic tradition of pranayama and canonised for a modern audience as The Wim Hof Method, Wim asserts that he can “turn his own thermostat up” and consciously activate his sympathetic nervous system by using his mind through yoga. With over 40,000 people endorsing his method in recent years, reporting that his method has greatly impacted their lives; boosting the immune system, improving mental health (anxiety and depression), relieve stress, more energy, better sleep, improve concentration and workout recovery.

The Wim Hof Method is built on three unbelievably simple pillars; Cold Exposure, Breathing & Commitment. He has been a practitioner of his method for over 15 years and it is gradually starting to gain traction in the scientific community, although it still receives strong opposition from the pharmaceutical industry.

In this captivating episode Wim Hof talks with Rich Roll, exploring his method where he describes the need for us to develop a deeper spiritual connection with our brain. His method is built on the premise that each of us has an innate capacity to create neurological control over our hormonal system, by incorporating regular cold exposure and breathing exercises, enabling us to manifest happiness, strength and health.

Scientific research into his method has found that exposure to the cold (cold showers/ice baths) triggers some major health benefits, including reduced inflammation that facilitates a fortified immune system, balanced hormone levels, improved sleep quality, and the production of endorphins— those feel-good chemicals in the brain that naturally elevate your mood.

The second pillar is breathing. We’re always breathing, yet we’re mostly unaware of its tremendous potential. Heightened oxygen levels hold a array of benefits: more energy, reduced stress levels, and an augmented immune response that swiftly deals with pathogens.

The third pillar is the foundation of the other two: both cold exposure and conscious breathing require patience and dedication in order to be fully mastered. Armed with focus and determination you are ready to explore and eventually master your own body and mind.

The number one reported route killer in the world today are cardiovascular related diseases. Regular exposure to cold water enables the veins in the body, of which there are 3 times the circumference of the earth inside each of us, to contract and dilate and increase their flexibility and therefore increase blood flow throughout the body. By stepping just a little bit outside of our comfort zone and turning the tap to cold at the end of our hot shower, willingly shocking the system and activating that reptilian part of our brain, the fight or flight response helps us to regain control of the reactive part of the brain and better cope under stress. Speaking from personal experience I can appreciate the unwillingness to turn that tap, but facing that fear will cause a ripple effect in your daily life.

An absolutely fascinating guy with charm and charisma for miles, Rich Roll’s conversation with Wim is less about human biology than it is about belief systems. It’s an exploration of dormant biological and mental potential. It’s about yoga, grief, depression, change and the nature of consciousness. And it’s about the ever expanding event horizon of human potential that should push and challenge and nudge you out of your comfort zone to call into question the unnecessary limits we self-impose upon ourselves daily.

If you’re interested in learning more please follow the blog and check out some additional links below.

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WHY is the WAY – Simon Sinek

People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe” – Simon Sinek

In 2009, Simon Sinek gave a TED called “How Great Leaders Inspire Action.” It became the second most watched talk of all time on TED.com.

His first book Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action calls on people and especially business leaders to Start With Why. Why isn’t just a word, it’s a powerful concept. In this fascinating book, Simon Sinek demonstrates why organizations guided by this concept will succeed more often than those which don’t, citing many companies and public figures of the 20th Century; The Wright Bothers, Martin Luther King Jr. and Apple whom lived and fostered this message.

The “Golden Circle” model which he deconstructs for the audience, resinates deeply within each of us and explains the reasons behind the power of “why”, from a biological standpoint. The similarities between his model and the human brain and how they both operate are a little jaw dropping.

Following Simon’s work for the past seven years since his ground breaking TED Talk, he’s released a number of books which examine fulfilment, leadership, neuroscience and psychology to uncover what drives human behaviour.

His ideas highlight the importance of human connections to foster finding your why. A very poignant message in today’s world, pulling back the vale as to why corporations are failing the people they serve.

If you find the talk above inspiring please check out the links below for more long form conversation with the man.

https://londonreal.tv/e/simon-sinek-start-with-why/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENIwAZZw8J0

Enjoy the episode and let me know your why in the comments below!