Updated: Oct 13, 2021
One of the great things about nature is that is brings us back to our roots. Embracing nature in all it's fullness means that we get to experience both the things that we love and also the things that feel a bit uncomfortable - like changes in weather and temperatures.
That is where the cold is being used by people all over the world - made popular in recent times by Wim Hoff. Whether it's cold showers or cold water dips and swimming, one of the great benefits is getting used to making choices to feeling a little 'uncomfortable' learning to deal with that small stress of uncomfortableness and building resilience through a choice you are making.
Many other stresses in our lives feel like the come on us, attack us - rather than us choosing the stress. The cold is a great example where we can start to take back control of the stress that we feel, build resilience to it by getting comfortable with being uncomfortable.
The video below give a little insight into the breathing we use to manage the 'stress' of the cold in order to help build resilience.
Using the breath
When we go into the cold it wants to take our breath away. We've all felt that feeling, our breathing rate increases and feels like it wants to go out of control. To calm ourselves down intuitively we know we have to control our breathing. We slow it down, we use the breath to gain back control of our bodies stress response.
In a little more details the extending of the exhalation helps promote parasympathetic activity. This is the relaxation response and helps bring a calm to our body and mind. It's also offsetting the fast breathing that the cold promotes initially which is linked to our sympathetic (fight or flight) arm of the autonomic nervous system.
Practising switching between these two breathing patterns to gain focus and calmness before entering the cold is a great preparation for both the body and mind.
If you have any questions please get in touch via email@example.com before getting started with any cold exposure. Remember the most important is that we are safe. Building up your cold exposure gradually is important rather than jumping straight in an ice bath so starting with just a few seconds of a cold shower where you can control the temperature is a safe place to start.