Cold Water

If spending time in nature puts things into perspective, spending time in cold water puts the world in high definition. For a complete nature immersion, cold water swimming will connect you to your senses and the world around you. It is the ultimate act of mindfulness.

I grew up near the Irish Sea so cold water swimming was just what we did. There was no alternative. As an adult, I swam in the sea during the summer and in Ireland that will always feel pretty cold.

When I moved back to the coast a few years ago I kept it up all year. I also noticed just how ‘alive’ I felt after swimming in the cold, how my senses fully engaged, my mind clear.

After a particularly stressful time a few years ago, I realised how I felt calmer and more relaxed after an icy plunge.

Cold water swimming put me in a meditative state that made it much easier to cope with what life was throwing at me. I’ve never looked back.

The shock of the cold water puts your body into what’s known as the ‘fight or flight’ response, your breath will shorten. By breathing through it, your body will calm into its resting state. Our bodies adapt to the shock response and our adaption means we react less to the shock of the cold water. We can use this adaptation to regulate the stresses that come our way in the ordinary course of life. Think of it as flexing a stress response muscle – it gets stronger, the impact of the stress feels weaker.

This is resilience building at its finest.

Add to that the impact on mindset and the transformation is exponential.

The benefits of cold water are open to all and and easily available as turning the shower to cold, running a cold bath, taking that plunge into the sea.

I am a huge proponent of using cold water as part of a healthy lifestyle. It has helped me to manage the stresses of everyday life, it has helped build resilience, it has helped me to overcome the internal brakes I put on myself. I am evangelical about its transformative power and have coached, cajoled and encouraged many others to access the power of the cold water experience.

The feedback I receive is without exception some variation of “I feel like I could tackle anything” or “I feel ready to take on the world”

I work in partnership with Scott Riley, a certified Wim Hof Instructor on the development of retreats which focus on breathwork and cold water immersion. For more information please get in touch using the contact page on this website.