Everything is change.
Our areas of life are constantly changing and each change is likely to cause emotional stress. As chronic stress is detrimental to our mental and physical well-being, good stress management on a daily basis is essential to prevent it from becoming permanent.
The Wim Hof Method is a combination of breathing exercises, exposure to the cold and mental training that can help us to regulate our stress level.. But to effectively reduce stress, we must be able to identify the factors that trigger it before choosing and implementing strategies that will bring us back to a state of optimal relaxation.
Causes and effects of stress
Stress is our body's response when we are faced with a change that requires action. It mobilizes our adaptive processes and prepares us to respond to the challenges before us. Once the action is over, stress is no longer useful and our physiology returns to a state of equilibrium. So much for theory.
In reality, because our bodies are unable to distinguish between a serious threat (which could jeopardize our survival) and a small everyday worry, we risk sending unnecessary stress signals to our bodies all the time. This can lead to prolonged stress and thus contribute to the onset of many health problems and a weakening of our immune response.
Our modern world has freed us from serious threats, such as running into a hungry lion, and a stress reaction can be triggered by such simple events as traffic jams, an annoying email or a setback. Even our lifestyle can have a negative impact on the level of stress we experience: unhealthy eating, lack of sleep and even recurring negative thoughts can all send stress signals to our bodies.
The following is a non-exhaustive list of symptoms related to prolonged or chronic stress:
- High blood pressure
- Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis
- Symptoms of skin conditions such as psoriasis
- Numerous autoimmune disorders
- Sleep Disorders
- Chronic exhaustion
Reset our stress management
Wim Hof Method, «Iceman» , developed a method that allowed him to accomplish amazing feats such as staying immersed in icy water for almost 2 hours or running a half marathon barefoot, shirtless, in the Arctic. Wim Hof has 26 such records in the Guinness Book of World Records. This method is a unique combination of meditation, breathing exercises, committed yoga postures and regular exposure to the cold. It helps us to (re)take control of our physiology, to strengthen our body and mind and to stimulate our adaptation processes. It stimulates our nervous, endocrine, cardiovascular and respiratory systems, which greatly benefits our overall health.
It also allows a very good management of chronic stress.
Let us take the example of the cold shower, which is one of the pillars of the method. It is an important stress factor for the body and triggers all our stress reaction processes. By learning how to take a cold shower in relaxation and acceptance, through meditation and breathing, we will, every day, reset our stress management system and increase our tolerance threshold. Little by little, we will know how to limit, or even eliminate, the negative impact of stress related to "little daily worries" on our physiology.
Stress is a part of life, but when stress is omnipresent, it can prevent us from being the strong, happy, healthy person - « strong, happy, healthy” – that we have to be. So it's important to keep our stress levels moderate. The Wim Hof Method offers us all the tools we need to control our thoughts, emotions and ultimately our body. Physical and emotional stress are put back in their right place: they set us in motion.
Other ways to reduce your stress
There are several things we can do to reduce our stress level. In a simple way, at the risk of being simplistic, it's a matter of avoiding stressful situations, changing our behaviour in stressful situations, learning to adapt to stressful events and accepting the fact that we can't change everything.
Here are some examples of behaviours related to these principles:
- Accept the fact that we cannot control everything in life, especially the actions of others. Instead of worrying about others, let's focus instead on how we react.
- Learn to say no and set clear boundaries. Without limits, we will invariably take on more than we can handle, which eventually leads to stress.
- Get enough sleep. Sleep restores our body and mind and promotes mental clarity and concentration.
- Adjust our expectations to a reasonable level. Always demanding perfect results is a major source of stress.
I am practitioner of Budokon Yoga, created by Cameron Shayne. It is a mixture of yoga and martial arts and proposes to cultivate the spiritual warrior within us, a subtle blend of warrior and yogi. The warrior is the one who knows how to commit himself to change what can be, the yogi is the one who knows how to accept what cannot be changed. To use these two polarities yin and yang in us, wisely, is the assurance of bringing the right answer to the events that life offers us to live.
The Wim Hof Method for Stress Management
The Wim Hof Method is a powerful tool that can help you take charge of your mind, body and your life as a whole. Based on three powerful pillars: breathing techniques, engagement/concentration and voluntary exposure to the cold, the Wim Hof Method helps to reduce mental stress caused by a multitude of factors, including those described above, and helps to recover from physical stress caused by physical exertion. The Wim Hof Method has many known benefits, ranging from better sleep to the relief of symptoms caused by various health problems, such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia. Scientists around the world have begun to discover the physiological mechanisms behind the Wim Hof Method. Numerous scientific studies have been carried out in recent years. They have yielded revealing results and have led to a better understanding of the functioning and limitations of the human body. To the point of rewriting certain books on human physiology...
Would you like to discover the Wim Hof Method? Come and participate in our discovery workshops..
(Translation and adaptation Stéphane Janssoone, source https://www.wimhofmethod.com/stress-management-and-reduction)