Cold water dips and ice baths continue to grow in popularity for good reason. Science shows that cold exposure may strengthen the immune and nervous systems, reduce pain and inflammation, speed up recovery, regulate blood sugar levels, and improve sleep. But it can be scary to overcome the fear of the cold. In our Wim Hof workshops and retreats we see the “walk-in” as a key part of the process for participants. Even if the body is walking forward, often times the mind is wanting to step back. This contradiction creates hesitancy and tension. The mind and body must be on the same page to optimize the experience! Here are my top mindset tips for cold dips:
Decide to go in and stick with it.
2. Commit fully and believe
Once we decide it’s best to commit fully to the task. Focus thoughts on how great this will go! (even if you don’t believe it). Be your own best supporter as you walk in. Let go of the self critic and doubter as they only make it harder. Believe.
Consider softening into the water focusing on down-regulating the nervous system. Slow down your breathing. Invite in calmness. Remind yourself of all the amazing health benefits.
Listen to your body and any changes occurring. Rather than focusing too much on time, learn to notice shifts in your body, and know when to get out.
5. Have fun
Playfulness has a great way of distracting us from doing something challenging and relaxing the nervous system. The cold helps crack through social norms as we tap into more primal expression. Howling at the moon is a lot of fun and highly recommended!
6. Stay focused and have a plan to warm up after. Then reap the rewards.
Have fun experimenting with this. With consistency you can find what works best for you.
Ready for more? Join me for my next retreat at Hollyhock!