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The meditation technique that helps fight gaming fatigue
The Wim Hof Method may seem unorthodox, but its three pillars approach can re-energize any gamer following an exhausting gaming session.
You’ve just finished another epic Call of Duty battle with the squad. Your mental gas tank is on “E,” but you promised yourself you’d start working through your list of games compiled on your Steam Backlog library tonight.
Your body’s fresh out of adrenaline and if you pound another energy drink your heart might literally jump out of your chest.
There is another alternative to consider: a cold shower.
Nicknamed “The Iceman,” Dutch fitness guru Wim Hof has set over 21 world records in sub-zero temperatures including being fully submerged in ice for close to two hours and climbing Mount Everest wearing only a pair of shorts.
Hof’s meditation methods appear to have helped people around the world optimize their minds and bodies. Why shouldn’t gamers benefit, too? Incorporating Hof’s three “pillars” within a pre-and post-gaming routine could help players stay in command for the next online adventure or competition.
Unique Battle is a regenerative therapist who has worked with players from the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team and the Los Angeles Chargers football team.
He recommends the Wim Hof breathing method, which aims to maximize oxygen intake and control the body in extreme conditions, to athlete clients as a way to keep their minds and bodies composed before intense competition.
“As you’re able to shut off your brain, you can remove unnecessary anxiety,” said Battle. “You’re able to make better quick turnaround decisions. If you’re a basketball player and you turn the ball over, you’re able to move past it.”
Here are some suggested steps to calm yourself before your next tournament or live stream:
Find a comfortable area. Anywhere will work, from your favorite recliner to lying flat on your bed.
Take 30 to 40 deep breaths. Close your eyes and try to clear your mind. Breathe in fully through your nose and exhale through your mouth—no need to force it. Just focus on your breath.
Hold your breath. On your final breath, inhale as deeply as possible, then let it out completely. Hold your breath in a fully exhaled state until you feel the need to inhale. Don’t be a hero here.
Recovery breath. When you're finally ready to inhale, do so deeply, then hold your breath for 15 seconds. Exhale fully.
The above steps are one round. After your first, take a moment to assess how you feel. Add more rounds as necessary.
The use of extreme cold conditions to help heal injuries and prevent inflammation has become a go-to for professional athletes. It’s been linked to improved sleep, focus, and energy levels.
Hof believes cold showers can deliver benefits similar to cryotherapy, a wellness treatment that uses extreme cold, for a fraction of the cost.
At 57 years old, Gerson Sanginitto, a 6th-degree black belt in both judo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, has endured a lifetime of injuries from martial arts.
But freezing showers were the last thing Sanginitto, a native of balmy Rio de Janeiro, wanted to add to his regimen.
“I was a guy who never thought I could take a cold shower in my life,” he said. “The first thing you notice is you have more energy. After a while, it becomes normal.”
Hof suggests adding a few seconds of cold therapy after your regular shower. Start with 15 seconds in the first week, then add 15 seconds each week until you work your way up to a full minute.
Consistency and diligence are key in maximizing the benefits of Hof’s method—not unlike the way a player sees improvements after logging hours and hours in the training mode of their favorite game. That’s why commitment is Hof’s third pillar.
The best way to do so? Figure out the best way to incorporate the other two pillars into your daily routine. A few extra minutes before you pick up your controller or leave the bathroom are all you need to break the vicious cycle of gaming fatigue.
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