People think I’m crazy when I say a breathing and cold water therapy course is my secret to insane writing productivity and creativity.
You can call me crazy. But I am 10 times more productive than I ever was. And all it took was a couple of months of the Wim Hof Method.
Writers measure productivity in words. Before the course, my average word output was 1,000 words a day. Some days I would hit 2,000. Other days I would write nothing. And writers’ block would stretch on for weeks.
I wrote a Wim Hof Method review a couple of weeks back when I hit the 5-week milestone. I told myself I was only going to write one more and that would be at the end of the course. But now I’m on week 7 and I’m writing another. Why?
Because my daily word count is consistently hitting 10,000 words.
This isn’t garbage output. It’s better quality than what I produced when I wrote only 1,000 words a day.
How the heck is this happening?!
Well, I keep hearing Wim Hof’s words in my mind:
You become fully charged. The carbon dioxide goes out. O2 begins to roam freely throughout the body and fills up every cell and pH levels go up.
I do the Wim Hof Method every day, typically in the morning on an empty stomach. It takes me around 20-35 minutes.
The Wim Hof Method routine consists of this:
- Specialised breathing: Around 30 deep inhales fully in but not fully out. Then you meditate without air in your lungs.
- Cold water therapy: This changes from week to week, depending what part of the course you’re following. You also get “challenges” to complete.
- Exercises: Lots of different stretches that increase your flexibility and well-being.
I’m obviously not going to list the whole course here. You can get the basics from Wim’s interviews (he’s very open and generous with the info) but if you want the full details, you’ll need to invest in the course. If you’re asking, ‘Is the Wim Hof Method worth it?’ It is. 100%.
After I do the Wim Hof Method, I dive into my writing.
Before the Wim Hof Method was part of my routine, this is what my routine looked like:
- Alarm goes off. Hit snooze 1-5 times. Stagger out of bed.
- Sit in the dark, feeling groggy and gross, and scroll through news websites like a zombie.
- Eventually get the energy to make coffee and then sip it until I have the energy to shower.
- Procrastinate most of the morning. Write a few words but open up tabs for random internet sites.
- Finally, maybe, on a good day, type out 1,000-2,000 words and feel mentally exhausted.
Whoo-eee! Look at that routine. Doesn’t sound like fun, does it?
I can’t believe that was actually my life. No wonder it took me so freaking long to churn out a book.
But now, to use Wim’s words, I feel ‘fully charged’.
I wake up, do the routine, sit down in front of my computer, open up Scrivener, and my fingers are typing almost immediately.
I don’t need coffee to jolt me awake. I just need my breath. I just need the peace and energy that comes from taking in huge amounts of oxygen, stretching my body, and blasting my body with the cold.
Obviously the Wim Hof Method isn’t specifically designed for writers. Having a surge of writing productivity and creativity is a happy side-benefit. The course is designed for well-being, health, peace of mind, happiness.
In addition to giving my writing a huge boost, here are 17 benefits of the Wim Hof Method that I have personally enjoyed:
- No sickness – I used to get sick every month. One month it would be a minor thing. The next month it would be more serious. But now I feel like nothing is gonna stop be. It’s like my immune system is fortified in steel.
- No jet lag – I travelled from London to Tokyo last month. Normally I get jet lag bad. Real bad. I often vomit for a week straight from jet lag. But this time, I felt a bit knackered the first day or so, then I was back to normal thanks to the breathing.
- I’m happy – I’m not a smiler. But, man, I’m smiling all the damn time now.
- No anxiety – I used to have generalised anxiety most of the time. That’s gone now. I’m cool as a cucumber stuck up an eskimo’s wazoo.
- No stomach problems – I used to have pretty bad stomach issues. Wim’s course, along with a few other hacks, put an end to that.
- More in tune with my body – I’m not too sure how to explain this one. The easiest way to explain it is I feel like I have control over my body. My mind and body aren’t separate. They are a cohesive unit and I understand how each work in sync with each other.
- Got stronger – If you lift weights, try the Wim Hof breathing before your next heavy set. You will surprise yourself.
- Gained muscle and lost fat – The heaviest I ever got to was 182 pounds before the Wim Hof course. But after a couple of months I got to a relatively lean 215 pounds. Then the last couple of weeks helped me drop some of the fat and get down to a leaner ~200. I could probably write a whole article on this alone.
- Less “background” noise – The course really helped me turn the volume down on some silly yet pervasive worries.
- Focus – As you can probably guess from the 10,000 word output, my focus is pretty tight.
- Can hold breath for ~4 minutes – For an ex-smoker who couldn’t hold their breath for 30 seconds, this is an awesome benefit. It also makes cardio super fun because I have more control over my heart rate. It’s also a nice skill to have just in case danger strikes.
- Can do 100 push-ups with no air my lungs – The people at the gym look at me like I’m crazy (I already stand out being a white guy in Japan). But if only they knew I was knocking those push-ups out without breathing!
- Chakras – I see lights, man! Electric, blue lights. And they’re so beautiful. I just close my eyes, do the breathing, and my little friends appear.
- Gratitude – I feel ridiculously grateful for pretty much everything. I find myself appreciating the strangest things. “Oh, that’s so thoughtful the waiter gave me a napkin”. “The way that dude opened the door for that other dude – what a nice guy!”
- Don’t get cold – I was in Vienna when I started the Wim Hof Method and it was cold outside. But I could walk around just fine in a t-shirt.
- Inflammation is down – I used to have this persistent problem with shoulder inflammation. But now it feels all lubricated and mobile.
I’m sure there are more benefits. Those are just off the top of my head.
Of course, I’m sure the Wim Hof Method isn’t for everybody. If you’re doing the Bukowski-thing, drowning your misery in cigarettes, whiskey, and women (or men), and that’s working for you and your craft, keep at it. More power to you.
That doesn’t work for me though. And I can’t be the only one here who wants a natural high, who wants to be happy, and who wants their work fuelled by gratefulness, positivity, and health.
Grab the Wim Hof Method today and see how your writing (and life) improves.
P.S. Wim sings his own songs too. I love this guy! Check out his music video, ‘Crazy Like A Monkey’. It’s super catchy.