Wim Hof method: Increase your stress resistance

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Wim Hof method: Increase your stress resistance

Have you ever heard of the Wim Hof method? Wim Hof is an extreme athlete from the Netherlands who achieves peak physical performance in extreme temperatures. To do this, he uses a special breathing technique from which you too can benefit in terms of your health and mental well-being.

What is the Wim Hof method?

As mentioned at the beginning, the Wim Hof method is a special breathing technique designed to make you resistant to extreme temperatures. The technique is inspired by the meditation practice of Tibetan monks.

But what's the point if you don't do extreme sports? Quite simply, the Wim Hof Method helps you to feel physically and mentally healthier and more efficient.

The breathing technique activates the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for your performance. You will notice this through an increased heartbeat and sweating. The intensive breathing supplies your body with an extra portion of oxygen, which counteracts acidosis. The latter makes you tired and listless.

The 3 pillars of the Wim Hof Method

The Wim Hof Method consists of three pillars:

  1. Breathe
  2. Cold therapy
  3. Concentration

Let's take a closer look at the individual pillars below.


Correct breathing forms the basis of the Wim Hof method. Only when you have mastered the technique are you ready for the next step - cold therapy. The aim of Wim Hof breathing is to increase the body's oxygen supply through controlled hyperventilation. This works as follows:

  1. It is recommended that you practise the breathing technique on an empty stomach. Retreat to a comfortable place and assume a relaxed position.
  2. Start by breathing in and out deeply through your mouth. Breathe deeply into your belly. Draw your breath back to your chest before letting it out completely relaxed.
  3. Now increase the pace and breathe in and out quickly 30 times as described above. Then exhale completely and hold your breath for as long as you can. If you like, you can stop the time to monitor your training progress.
  4. Breathe in and out deeply and hold your breath again.
  5. Repeat the technique three times in a row. Gentle exercise, such as yoga, is recommended afterwards.

Cold therapy

As soon as you have mastered Wim Hof breathing, the second step is cold therapy. Start by turning the water to cold after showering. Slowly work your way up from your feet until you are completely submerged in the cold shower.

If this works problem-freethen find a cold body of water that you can immerse yourself in. This could be a cold-filled bathtub at home or an open body of water. If you decide to go ice swimming in the lake or sea, don't do it alone! You should always be accompanied by someone in case the cold water doesn't agree with you.


In order for breathing and cold to have a positive effect, you need to stay focused. If you let your everyday worries get the better of you while performing the breathing technique or allow yourself to be overwhelmed by the cold shock, you will naturally not benefit from the Wim Hof technique.

While breathing, concentrate solely on the sensations in your body. If disturbing thoughts arise, simply let them pass. The same applies during the cold bath.

Regularity also plays a fundamental role. Trying the Wim Hof technique just once has no effect. According to Wim Hof, you should ideally practise it daily to achieve the desired effect.

wim Hof breathing

Increase mindfulness and body awareness

The fact that both breathing techniques and cold therapy improve body awareness has been known for many centuries, independently of the Wim Hof method. Numerous scientific studies have been carried out on the power of breathing in particular and Studies.

By Mindfulnessfocusing on the sensations of the moment, your stress level is effectively reduced. This helps you to face the challenges of everyday life with more Serenity to master. Training your body awareness makes you more sensitive to your Needs: How do you feel and what would do you good?

Health benefits of the method

When performed correctly and regularly, the Wim Hof Method has numerous health benefits. These include:

  • Activating the sympathetic nervous system provides more focus and energy in everyday life.
  • Strengthening the immune system.
  • Improved digestion.
  • Increased release of anti-inflammatory substances.
  • Resistance to stress is increased.
  • Mental relaxation improves the Sleep.
  • As cold promotes blood circulation, the body's ability to regenerate is improved.
  • For competitive athletes: increased altitude acclimatization during altitude training.
  • Increased calorie consumption due to the cold stimulus.
  • Increase in brown fat, which makes you insensitive to cold. Decrease in white fat, which is located in the unwanted fat pads.

Your personal Wim Hof experience

Would you like to learn the Wim Hof method? Then of course you can simply follow our instructions. However, you may prefer to attend a course to motivate yourself and be able to ask questions. There is now a wide range of online courses on the Wim Hof Method. You can find an interesting experience report here.

Integration into everyday life

The Wim Hof Method can be easily integrated into everyday life. It is best to establish it, as suggested by Wim Hof, as part of your future Morning Routine. This is particularly recommended as you should ideally be sober. Carried out before breakfast, the morning cold therapy will give you a refreshed and energized start to the day.

Community and exchange of experience

Would you like to share your experiences and find like-minded people? Many Wim Hof online courses provide a forum where participants can network. Otherwise, joining an ice bathing group is a worthwhile option. These now exist in many cities. Another plus point: you can motivate each other.

5 tips for a successful start

1. do not exaggerate

The following applies to both the breathing technique and ice bathing: don't overdo it! Otherwise, you run the risk of feeling dizzy or even fainting due to the hectic breathing. Listen to your body's signals. Before you start ice bathing, it is advisable to see a doctor. Only if you have a healthy cardiovascular system can you tolerate extreme cold.

2nd discipline

The Wim Hof method only leads to the desired effects if you practise it regularly. Therefore, integrate it into your daily routine at a fixed time - preferably every morning. This also applies at weekends and on vacation. If this is too much for you, choose at least two fixed days of the week as an alternative.

3. dealing with disturbing thoughts

It is perfectly normal for disturbing thoughts to arise sometimes. Don't get angry about them or even dwell on them, just notice them and let them pass. You will notice that the thoughts become less and less each time. However, the more you put yourself under pressure, the more the thoughts will weigh you down during the exercise.

4. seek support

In many cases, it is helpful to seek support and Motivation in a group. Perhaps you are interested in booking an online course or even joining a local ice bathing group? Sharing experiences can also be very motivating and inspiring. What's more, freezing together is twice as much fun.

5. yoga for relaxation

After ice bathing, it is very beneficial for your muscles if you do a little exercise. A brisk walk or yoga exercises are particularly recommended. There are also various groups that you can join.

Conclusion: The Wim Hof method for greater well-being

The Wim Hof Method not only offers a way to improve physical health, but also to increase mindfulness and awareness. mental strength. By integrating the three pillars into your everyday life, you can not only enjoy the health benefits, but also build a deeper connection to your body and mind.

In this context we would like to present you our One-day workshop with Wim Hof to your heart. Learn from the expert how to improve your stress resistance and activate your body's natural strength to ward off illness. Your immune system will become more robust and you will fall ill less often. The one-day workshop in Cologne will also teach you how to have more energy and sleep better. You will also learn more about your mental clarity and athletic performance.

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Reviewed by Dr. med. Stefan Frädrich

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