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Why Breathwork Is A Gamechanger

Uncategorized Jul 14, 2022

One of the greatest discoveries of modern science in the last 20 years has been the profound impacts of breathing.

We’ve known breathing to be quite literally vital for survival, but only recently are we discovering that your breath can be engaged to improve immunity, mental health, and many other areas of your life.

Typically, in addiction circles, breathwork is brought up for one of two reasons:

  1. It clears the mind, sharpens your focus, and provides the necessary inner development for lasting freedom
  2. In the heat of a moment (temptation, trigger, etc.) you can ‘breathe your way through it’

While I understood both aspects to a decent extent, I had an experience recently that dramatically enhanced my perspective.

This photo was taken at a recent mastermind retreat. They flew in a Wim Hoff certified instructor to teach us breathwork and conduct an ice bath experience.

If you aren’t familiar with the concept, an ice bath is exactly what it sounds like – a tub/basin that is more or less filled with ice and a tiny amount of water. 

The temperature of this particular ice bath was 34℉ (1℃)!

The task set before us was simple: Submerge yourself (up to the neck) in the ice bath for 120 consecutive seconds.

If you’re a cold shower person, no this is not the same thing! Not even close. Cold showers can help you with mental and physical conditioning for experiences like this, but ice baths are next level.

Getting ready for the big moment, my instinct was to fight the pain, push through, and find something to focus on.

Our instructor explained to us that most people (especially guys) gravitate towards this line of thinking, and it fails every time. They rarely make it through.

Why?

Because you have no power over the things you avoid.

He basically told us that the people who do the best lean in. They acknowledge the pain, discomfort and deep desire to get-the-heck-out-of-this-ridiculously-freezing-ice-cold-bath! And then they decide how to respond.

Small tweak. Much more power.

The ultimate response in this case is to breathe deeply AND slowly. Often in panicked moments our breathing becomes erratic, exacerbating the panic.

Calm, controlled breathing disengages your fight/flight/freeze/fawn mechanism and keeps you in control. 

I was expecting the worst and was pleasantly surprised. As the instructor talked us through the breathwork, my buddy Mike (in the picture) and I found a rhythm and wound up in the ice bath for just over 2.5 minutes (and we could’ve kept on going if they let us)!

There are a lot of lessons here, but the main one I want to drive home is this: You are in control of your brain and body, no matter how badly you’ve messed them up.

Things may not change overnight, but imagine if every time you felt triggered or tempted, you made a conscious effort to lean in and breathe your way through the moment.

What would happen if you did that for a year? 5 years? 10?

We are always conditioning ourselves for better or for worse. Every moment counts.

You have a chance today to make a positive change in your life. A chance to kick the old patterns to the curb. A chance to become the person God made you to be so you can live the life He made you to lead.

You don’t need more money, you don’t need more peace. Just roll your shoulders back, close your tempted eyes, and breathe.

Cheering you on,
Sathiya

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