Kwik Brain 086: Conquer Your Mind with Wim Hof

"We are doing it together, and together we are so much stronger."

Wim Hof

ABOUT WIM

Over the years “Iceman” Wim Hof has put a number of extraordinary achievements to his name, including 21 Guinness World Records. Extensive training enables him to control his breathing, heart rate, and blood circulation and to withstand extreme temperatures. Listed below are some of his most memorable achievements:

  • Running a half marathon above the Arctic Circle, barefoot only wearing shorts
  • Swimming underneath ice for 66 meters
  • Hanging on one finger at an altitude of 2,000 meters
  • Climbing the highest mountains in the world while wearing shorts
  • Running a full marathon in the Namib Desert without drinking
  • Standing in a container while covered in ice cubes for extended periods of time

Wim’s motto is: “What I am capable of, everybody can learn”. With his Wim Hof Method, he teaches people from all over the world, including celebrities and professional athletes, to control their bodies and achieve extraordinary things.

Connect with Wim: Website | Instagram | Twitter

We often talk on the podcast about our habits creating us, and today’s guest is a living example of how powerful consistent habits and dedication can be. An adventurer with 21 Guinness World Records to his name, Wim is here to tell us how we can all conquer our minds and learn to go beyond what we previously thought possible. As Wim says: “with will and intention, I could do things I thought impossible.”

Wim got his nickname “The Iceman” after he broke many records related to his ability to resist the cold. Some of his feats include climbing Mount Everest in shorts, running a half marathon above the Arctic Circle on his bare feet, and standing in a container while covered with ice cubes for more than 112 minutes.

Wim is convinced that our bodies are capable of doing the same exceptionally things his body allows him to do. Therefore, he developed his Wim Hof Method to give ordinary people the tools to take control over their body.

The Kwik Brain community are all excited about the potential of the mind, and in today’s podcast, we’ll be reminded that we are our own limit. We’ll hear about some of Win’s incredible achievements, hear how he learned to control his mind, and give you some practical ways you can begin to work on conquering your own mind—without having to walk up an icy mountain!

Show Notes

WIM’S WORK

  • Walked Mount Everest in shorts, without oxygen, without a guide
  • If you know how to control the mind you then know how to control the extremes coming to you, without getting out of control, without anxiety
  • Greatly underestimating the power of the mind // take outstanding examples like wim / everyone has things in their environment that cause stress on them

STRESS

  • Wim didn’t want to become part of the world of disease, stress, and tension
  • Has done studies with universities involving brain scans, investigating what parts of the brain he uses when he puts himself through extreme situations, found that he uses parts of the brain previously thought impossible to access: tapping into prefrontal cortex and the periaqueductal section of the brain
  • We can battle stress using the power of our own mind
  • Examining the question: are we able to go into 100% power of our own minds? Wim thinks yes
  • You can check out the brain over body study here!
  • We are on the threshold of the power of the mind becoming accessible for every human in the world

WIM’S FIRST STUDY

  • 6 years ago: showed autonomic nervous system, adaptive immune system, endocrine system can be influenced at will
  • Endotoxemia experiment: thousands exposed to bacteria and body reactions measured
  • Physiology can be trained to come within conscious control, and we can tap into our own autonomic systems, affect inflammation and health, defy usual medical science

THINGS YOU CAN TRY

  • Take a cold shower to train your vascular system—start short, only 30 seconds to begin with
  • Benefits: heart rate goes down, stress reduction, oxygen circulates, minerals distributed to your cells
  • Don’t shock your physiology, start small—let feeling be your guide
  • Self-awareness, breathing, cold able to tap into the parts of our physiology and brain much more than ever thought possible
  • While stress is there you should be able to breathe deeply and relax
  • Chronic stress and fear shrink the brain
  • Being uncomfortable sometimes is important because you’ll be better able to cope with other stressful situations, learn to control your own biochemistry
  • Putting yourself in easy situations will mean life becomes more difficult

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF WIM

  • First thing: do some breathing, then hop in cold water—cold swimming pool, shower or lake!
  • Remember: there is no limit to our brain because our soul is our source

Related Kwik Brain Episodes You Might Enjoy

Episode 31: The Champion’s Mindset with Olympian Dr. Jeff Spencer

Episode 50: Master Your Mind…And Anything Else! (50th Episode!)

Episode 65: Movements that Boost Brain Performance with Aaron Alexander

Episode 67: How to QUIET Your Mind Kwikly