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Six Wellness Trends That Will Be Big in 2022 – Trend #1

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Over the next couple of weeks, we will discuss in more detail the 6 Wellness trends that will be big in 2022.

The first of these is: 1. How we breathe is top of mind as we start to emerge from a global pandemic.

From the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the quality of our breathing has been a focal point of conversation, since one of the signs of COVID-19 is shortness of breath. Not being able to catch your breath or take a deep breath is scary and can exacerbate feelings of stress and anxiety. After the past two years, stress and anxiety have remained high, fueling dysfunctional breathing patterns that may keep you in a heightened, as opposed to calm, state.

Being more mindful of how you breathe ‒ the practice of breathwork ‒ can reduce these anxious feelings and help better regulate your emotional health. One such practice is deep breathing, which in addition to lessening stress, “can help restore diaphragm function and increase lung capacity. The goal is to build up the ability to breathe deeply during any activity, not just while at rest,” says Johns Hopkins physical therapist Peiting Lien.

The physical and emotional benefits of breathwork will go a long way toward preventing complications and recovering from COVID-19 (as the world will be living with this virus forever) as well as regulating your breath during daily events, from exercise to stressful situations at work. Breathwork can also become a form of spiritual practice in which you intentionally set moments aside during the day to realign with your core being.

You may have thought that mindfulness, meditation, and breathwork were popular before, but we’re going to see an even greater push for incorporating these practices into our daily routines ‒ from employers’ making a conscious effort to showcase mindfulness as part of their leadership practices to an increase in consumer products like breathwork training.

One of these breathwork training methods that everyone is talking about is the Wim Hof Breathing Method.

The Wim Hof Breathing Method

cold therapy image

Shift your life with Wim Hof Breathing

Breathing exercises like the Wim Hof Breathing Method are just one way to shift your life. The real magic with this technique, in particular, is that it can help both your physical and mental health, so really, you will be making multiple shifts. As we mentioned, you should not just do  Wim Hof Breathing one time and call it a day. You need to do it continuously for optimal results. You likely will not see physical improvements after just one session, though you might feel some anxiety relief. The standard seems to be 10 weeks, based on the site, where they offer a classic 10-week course. 

Scientific studies have proven that Wim Hof Breathing makes your blood more alkaline (less acidic) and causes hypoxia, which is “a form of stress at the cellular level.” This is a positive stressor in this case and can help the body deal with other negative stressors better in the long term in everyday life.

What are the benefits of The Wim Hof Breathing?

Wim Hof claims that through his technique combining meditation, Wim Hof Breathing, and cold exposure, you can change your mind and body — particularly your stress response and immune system response. Yes — it sounds very woo woo. And trust me, I’m a sceptic with, well, pretty much everything. When Wim Hof Breathing and cold exposure were first introduced, I didn’t think it could be life-changing, but perhaps I thought wrong. 

According to the testimonials, some of the benefits of the Wim Hof Breathing Method have been:

  • Relief from arthritis
  • Improved mood
  • Boosted immune system
  • Reduced anxiety and panic attacks
  • Increased energy levels

How do you do the Wim Hof Breathing Method?

According to Wim Hof’s website, his method entails three main aspects: cold therapy, breathing, and commitment. Wim Hof Breathing is not meant to be a one and done thing. It should be an ongoing healthy habit that is incorporated into your daily routine to really reap the benefits.

The Wim Hof Breathing Method entails the following:

Step 1

Take 30 to 40 quick powerful breaths, holding the last breath for as long as you can

Step 2

Take a long, deep “recovery breath.” This step is the meat of the Wim Hof Breathing Method.

Step 3

Repeat the cycle 3 to 4 times, and don’t be surprised if you feel lightheaded or tingly. (You can read more detailed instructions and watch a  Wim Hof Breathing Method guided video here

Step 4

Let your breathing normalise

Now, do not forget about the cold component either! This is also a crucial part of the whole package with the  Wim Hof Breathing. You don’t have to take a plunge in Lake Tahoe in the winter (not all of us can be so fortunate). The Wim Hof site recommends taking cold showers to slowly introduce your body to cold temperatures. I personally prefer cryotherapy, something I do at least weekly.

Whether you decide to try out Wim Hof Breathing or not, breathing exercises, in general, can help you out with anxiety and stress levels. You can practice some more traditional breath exercises on The Daily Shifts App. Additionally, for mood-boosting effects, you can check out our e-book or take our course to learn some happiness hacks. If you use these tools alongside the Wim Hof Breathing Method, you’ll be sure to notice a difference.