Social Media Force Jacob Sartorius Explains The Wim Hof Method Of Meditation - Exclusive

Jacob Sartorius literally grew up on the Internet. The social media phenom went viral when he was just a tween, and from that point on, his life was open to public scrutiny. Like many young social media stars, Sartorius was constantly inundated with comments, positive and negative — and the negative ones were really negative.

For Sartorius, who already struggled with depression and anxiety, the onslaught of negativity and the pressure of living in the public eye were too much to handle. Sartorius found a therapist and got on antidepressants, and they helped; but not enough. During a therapy session, his therapist suggested breathwork and sent Sartorius a link. He was skeptical, but he figured it couldn't feel any worse. The link brought him to Dutch guru Wim Hof, and Sartorius was immediately hooked.

In an exclusive interview with Health Digest, Sartorius explained the Wim Hof Method of breathwork and meditation and how it changed his life.

An intro to the Wim Hof Method

Before watching the Wim Hof practice his therapist sent him, Sartorius had never tried intentional breathwork  to manage his depression and anxiety. But after that first breathwork practice, he knew he needed it. He quickly learned that breathwork was only one of the pillars of the Wim Hof Method. The other was what Hof called "cold exposure."

"It looks like 30 or 40 deep breaths, real deep into the diaphragm, oxygenating the body, and then right after that breathing, after exhalation, you'll hold," Sartorius explained. "It's ... about four rounds of deep breath work, about 30 to 40 breaths, and a hold after exhalation, and then a deep breath in and squeeze to the head, and that's the breathing component. The cold exposure is either a cold shower or an ice bath."

Every day for over a year now, Sartorius has gotten up and done the breathwork practice and the cold shower before he does literally anything else.

"It's very important that I do this before checking social media or getting involved in the internet because it allows me to have a second to go somewhere else for a little bit, then come back, and I feel like I have better focus."

Now, the practices are part of his normal routine, and he swears that it's the key to maintaining his mental health.

The benefits of the practice

Sartorius says that the Wim Hof Method has changed him both physically and mentally. The breathwork built up his endurance, making his workouts easier than ever. The cold showers have helped him build resilience to deal with difficult and uncomfortable situations, and the combination of the two practices have given him an optimistic perspective that he never had before.

"It's been a huge increase in positivity," Sartorius said. "It feels like I've entered this cheat code into my system and I'm able to have a second chance... [It's] a new perspective, a lot more gratitude, a feeling of love, a sense of wholeness, because sometimes, especially with the mental health, the mental health stuff is still a constant battle, and it's something that you got to take care of. I know that by doing this breathing, I'm aware that I'm in the process of improving my mental health."

He cautioned that the practices aren't a good fit for everyone, but he encouraged people who are struggling to give the Wim Hof Method a try, just to see if it might help: "If you want to see the light at the end of the tunnel, try the Wim Hof Method, because you might get a little glimpse of that light. Either way, know that the light is coming, and sometimes it takes time to work through these uncomfortable stages."

Watch Jacob's debut film, "BREATHE: The Documentary," here, and watch the official video for Jacob's latest single, "WORTH IT," here.