**Please note: this site is not affiliated with Wim Hof, the Wim Hof Method, or the Joe Rogan Experience Podcast in any way. I’m just a fan.

If there was a competition for the title of the world’s most interesting man, I’d wager that Wim Hof would rank among the frontrunners.

Hof climbed Mount Everest and Mount Kilimanjaro wearing only shorts and shoes, swam among icebergs for hours at a stretch, and currently holds over 20 Guinness world records for withstanding extreme temperatures.

But Wim is more than just a thrillseeker. His sub-zero exploits around the world, which have garnered him the well-earned nickname “The Iceman,” are an integral part of his spiritual path.

A desire for inner peace, born from a tumultuous childhood, inspired the Hof to experiment with exposing his body to extreme temperatures in an effort to connect more deeply to the natural world.

More from an interview with Hof:

I have always been drawn to the cold. As a child I already loved running barefoot in the snow. I was walking through the park one day, I think I was 18, stripped down to my underwear and went in.

The shock causes your breath to falter involuntarily. You start breathing very deep without realizing it.

That moment gave me the key to the depth in myself. It is a feeling; I felt a brief moment of peace.

I continued these breathing techniques on a daily basis, it made me feel better, gave me more focus and it became a lifestyle, my second nature. At first to push my body and mind beyond its limits, later to prove that the adagio mind over body is true.

We can do so much more than we realize, we only have to learn to tap into its source.

Lest you think this is some kind of far-out, new-age nonsense, recent scientific research appears to confirm the health benefits of Wim’s methods.

By now you might be wondering:

What on Earth does some strange Dutchman’s arctic fetish have to do with overcoming retroactive jealousy?

I’m glad you asked.

A student taking my video course on overcoming retroactive jealousy (let’s call him Kyle) recently wrote to me to explain how he incorporated one of Wim Hof’s breathing exercises into his morning routine, along with other exercises and techniques from my course.

Kyle writes:

Zachary–

I have started the course and I am on lesson 22. Just started incorporating some meditation time along with a breathing exercise I learned from Wim Hof. Amazing how much that is helping me start the day with a calm sense of myself.

The guidebook and course have been a great help: first, in identifying what the hell was wrong with me, and second, how to deal and recognize what I am going through. You have done a tremendous job helping me already.

The mental movies are becoming less frequent and I’ve really become much more of a man, and am falling deeper and deeper into love with my wife. I guess I always took her for granted but not anymore. Starting to work on my physical health and insecurities and really enjoying the present.

Sorry about the rant but I want you to know that it is helping at least one person. I am going to sit down and watch another lesson or two this afternoon and can’t wait to see what else I can apply to my life.

Thank you again and I hope you never stop educating and helping us with this BS RJ that we have in our heads.

Kyle

On reading Kyle’s email, I was interested to learn more about Wim Hof’s deep breathing technique

And, more specifically, whether or not it could help others suffering from retroactive jealousy.

Hof explained in an interview:

Due to our lifestyle today we are far removed from our natural bodily condition. We breathe much more shallow which means that our body is not optimally supplied with oxygen. You could say that my method causes you to hyperventilate by supplying the body with extra oxygen.

You achieve this by breathing very deeply in and out in a specific rhythm. In short, it is a controlled form of hyperventilation to raise your adrenaline levels. The whole process is a unique form of meditation I developed myself.

In a subsequent email, Kyle wrote to me to explain how he discovered Wim Hof’s technique:

I follow mixed martial arts a fair amount, and Wim Hof was working with a heavyweight named Alistair Overeem. Wim was recently on [stand-up comedian, and MMA host] Joe Rogan’s podcast, and it was a great three hour interview.

He had Joe do the exercise on air, and it seems goofy but it does work. Joe does it before every stand up routine now.

You can watch the live demonstration from the Joe Rogan Experience podcast below. (The relevant segment begins around 4:50 in, and is roughly five minutes long. Though if you have more time, the episode is certainly worth a listen in its entirety):

After learning more about Wim’s technique, I asked Kyle about how he has incorporated the exercise into his daily routine, and how it helps him.

Kyle wrote back:

I do it right before meditation. It gives you a euphoric feeling almost as if you are “high” on oxygen. You would think that holding your breath for minutes on end with this exercise would leave you fatigued, but it’s actually the opposite.

It’s typically a series of 30 deep breaths going in. After you breathe in deeply, just let go; don’t “push out” the breath, just let go. It doesn’t feel like you empty your lungs, but instead it’s like you let out about half of what you took in. After these 30 breaths, hold your last breath for as long as you can.

This pretty much forces you into a meditative state. For the first time you can’t do much more than 60 seconds or so. Gets longer with the more you apply it. I typically do 3-4 sets of these breathing patterns. Takes about 10 – 12 mins or so.

Since Kyle emailed me about this technique, I’ve started experimenting with it as well.

The first few times you do it you feel a bit light-headed and dizzy, but after a short while your body begins to adjust. In recent weeks I’ve found that it really is a great way to start the morning feeling grounded, energized, and ready to take on whatever the day might throw at you.

A quick reminder

As you probably know if you’ve been following this blog for a while, there is no single exercise, or “one quick trick” that will help you overcome retroactive jealousy all on its own.

In my guidebook and online course, I lay out a multi-pronged, holistic approach, incorporating a range of various exercises, techniques, and perspectives, with an overarching emphasis on continuous personal development.

That said, of course my program isn’t the only way you can start feeling better if you’re suffering from RJ. I will be the first to tell you that I don’t have all of the answers regarding retroactive jealousy (or anything else, for that matter).

And one of the great things about now having over 400 students go through “Get Over Your Partner’s Past Fast” is getting feedback about different methods that are working for different people in addition to the techniques and practices I outline in the course.

So if you’re struggling with retroactive jealousy, consider experimenting with Wim Hof’s technique today. Try incorporating his breathing exercise into your daily routine in tandem with whatever personal development plan or program you’re following for overcoming retroactive jealousy,

And try not to be put off by the “weirdness” of the thing. I know Wim’s exercise seems strange, but I’ve found that, often, the most valuable lessons in life come from the most unexpected sources.

Bonus:

Check out a short Uproxx documentary on Wim and his work below:


Zachary Stockill
Zachary Stockill

Hi! I'm a Canadian author and educator whose work has been featured in BBC News, The Sun, The Huffington Post, and many other publications. I'm the founder of RetroactiveJealousy.com, the author of Overcoming Retroactive Jealousy, and the host of Humans in Love podcast.