There is nothing quite like an ice-cold shower to take your breath away. Now, try submerging yourself in a tub full to the brim with ice for two whole minutes.
BUSY-NESS AS USUAL
It is safe to say that it is a very busy, albeit exciting, time at ARTD. We have lots of new and ongoing work and have recruited several new team members across the company. In busy times, it’s useful to be reminded of the many ways of managing and reducing the impact of stress, but even more helpful to actually practice them! Enter Wim Hof, also known as ‘The Ice Man’, and his stress management technique based on three pillars: breathwork, exposure to cold, and meditation.
THE WIM HOF METHOD
Wim Hof is a man renowned for some absurd feats of human mental and physical endurance: he has run 21km above the Arctic Circle barefoot wearing only shorts, swum under ice for 66 metres, and climbed some of the highest mountains in the world (again, only wearing shorts). Emerging from these feats and several studies done on Wim Hof, comes the ‘Wim Hof Method’.
A few intrepid colleagues keen to take the ‘plunge’ were introduced to the Wim Hof method with a session on breathwork. This was followed directly by a challenge: to submerge neck-deep in ice water for two whole minutes, using the breathing techniques we’d just learned to stick it out despite the discomfort and pain. While we all took to the challenge in different ways, we were universally surprised with our ability to complete the challenge after the breathwork we had completed.
“Having little knowledge of who Wim Hof was and what Wim Hof did, I had no preconceived expectations and tried to have an open mind. I came away from the event feeling calmer than I had in a long time and re-energised. Not excitable, just at peace. The time flew by and I was amazed by how mindful the day was.” – ARTD staff member
“I enjoyed doing something different and found it very interesting even if I am a bit sceptical as to how many of the breathing and stress relief techniques I will use going forward as life and work continues to be very busy!” – ARTD staff member
The point of this blog is not to sing the praises of breathing or the cold-water immersion technique, but rather to be a reminder that during busy and stressful times, it is important to take a breather—however you prefer to do so.
When we are busy at work, it’s easy to justify skipping a lunch break, catching up with colleagues for coffee, or taking five minutes to yourself. But during busy periods, these small resets are more important than ever. Learning how to breathe better may just be one of the most undervalued tools we have at our disposal to manage stress.
As colleagues, we all certainly felt better connected and refreshed after our Wim Hof Session…albeit a little cooler.
If you are intrigued to learn more about the Wim Hof method, which has gained world-wide traction, a captivating yet slightly terrifying video of the well-known YouTube group ‘Yes Theory’ doing a camp with Wim Hof gives you a good sense of the method.