We all have mental health, increasingly, we’re becoming more aware of what impacts it and how modern living doesn’t quite align with our caveman brains. 19.86% of adults globally are experiencing a mental illness (mhanational.org) and this figure is increasing. So is the amount of research and data at our fingertips for managing our mental health.
Brass Monkey was founded by Danyl Bosworth after his own struggles with his mental health. In the search for a solution, he discovered cold immersion and breathwork. After a dramatic and failed attempt at a homemade ice bath, he then created the ice bath he wished was on the market at the time.
STEP 1: BREATHWORK
Breathwork is a form of mindfulness which has been shown to reduce anxiety by 58%, depression by 57%, and stress by 40% (mentalhealth.org.uk). Within just four weeks of practice, it’s been proven to reduce symptoms of mental health disorders and relapses.
You can find our three breathing techniques here and we’ll shortly be releasing an app to use.
Breathwork works with the cold by bringing your focus to your breath rather than on the external environment. When we can train our focus this way, we can withstand uncomfortable situations such as the cold, for longer.
STEP 2: COLD FOR MENTAL HEALTH
Stress is one of the biggest silent killers and unfortunately, 74% of the UK population have felt overwhelmed by their stress levels in the last year according to mentalhealth.org.io. When you’re stressed, the vagus nerve signals your body to release stress hormones. When you take an ice bath, the cold water has a calming effect that activates the vagus nerve to decrease stress levels and to help reduce tension and anxiety.
Cold immersion releases norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter and hormone also known as noradrenaline. It increases arousal and alertness, promotes vigilance, enhances the formation and retrieval of memory, and focuses attention In an anxious, depressed or neurodiverse brain, much lower levels of norepinephrine are found than in someone without a diagnosis.
The symptoms of low mood and stress such as fatigue, inability to concentrate and poor sleep can be alleviated with repeated cold exposure and breathwork practice.
You can read the research papers til the sun goes down but every individual is completely different and the best way to find out what works best for you is to give it a go.