The Wim Hof Method is a structured deep breathing exercise that aims to exercise the sympathetic nervous system by artificially creating a controlled stressor on the cellular level in your body. You will experience this as lightheadedness and tingling sensations (“These side effects are completely harmless.”) The experience is really intense the first few times you do it, but then it quickly gets easier.
Some of the effects of the exercise include: “increasing red blood cells, increasing lung capacity, improved circulation and improved metabolic efficiency over the long term.”
After applying this exercise the first couple days, my body was much more able to tolerate stress. The same stress I usually experience in my daily life became much more tolerable. It just doesn’t hit me like it usually does. I also started experiencing more mental clarity held for longer periods of time.
Towards the tenth day for me, I started experiencing presence like I haven’t before. It lasted much longer than my normal meditations. I slept much better since the same stressors effected me less. Out of this came a deeper sense of calming stillness and peace.
The exercise goes like this:
- Get comfortable. Either lay down on your back on your bed, or sit straight on a comfortable chair. Make sure you can breathe comfortably.
- Take 30 deep breaths. Be conscious of the air moving into your body as you inhale, and conscious of the air moving out of your body as you exhale. Make sure to exhale out of your mouth.
- Inhale fully one more time, then exhale fully and hold your breath until you feel the urge to inhale.
- Breath in fully, hold for 15 seconds, then breathe out.
The YouTube video that introduced me to Wim Hof and inspired me to implement the exercise daily: https://youtu.be/W8ALm2M09qA