top of page

BREATHE - What are the unique aspects of the five survival stress tools?

Updated: Nov 3, 2022

Breath is the physical, mental, and emotional rudder that steers the nervous system for peak human performance.

- Matt Soule, author of Fight, Freeze, Fast, F^ck, Breathe - Mastering the Stress Response

Each survival stress tool offers a wide range of physical, mental, and emotional benefits, when trained and applied correctly.

Recall last week we focused on Fuck, a relational acute stress tool that physically helps to improve cardiovascular function, reduce pain and even lower all-cause mortality (dying from any reason) among others. It allows us to come to terms with emotional vulnerability and focus on being fully present with our partner as we express our deepest desires. It helps us confront the fear of death and legacy.

This week we will focus on the Breathe tool.

The Breathe tool, when used correctly, is a stress tool modulator that allows us to purposefully induce acute stress for health benefits as well as harness the breath for improved performance. At the same time, this tool can improve immune function, optimize hormones, develop and refine nervous system messaging, strengthen respiratory operation and cardiovascular health, improve blood flow, clear metabolic waste, and vastly improve recovery times for everything from injury to fatigue. Mentally and psychologically, it helps to confront fear of death, resolve traumas, improve focus, and heighten potential. Breath is the physical, mental, and emotional rudder that steers the nervous system for peak human performance.

The breath is a life-force that we use automatically and volitionally often 20,000 times per day or more. Learning its intricacies, reforming existing patterning, as well as building beneficial habits and routines are critical facets for an optimal life.

When used correctly, this is the tool that elevates the efficacy of training in any domain as well as allows us to experience rest states as desired. When combined with the other survival stress tools presented in my book, you will unlock ever-growing peak potential.

For this week, the takeaway is to follow these three steps:

Step 1 Become familiar with survival stress tools. Today we covered the Breathe tool.

We learned aspects and benefits of the Breathe tool. Breathing to master the stress response is layered and is often best expressed in video or with in-person training.

Now that all five survival stress tools have been introduced, next week we will begin to learn how to integrate these for maximum effect. Want more now?


Check out the links to my recent interviews.

Dr. Rob Williams at Peak Flow TV or Brock Cannon's podcast where I had the privilege of appearing on these shows to talk about survival stress tools in depth.

Step 2 Take action. By taking action and implementing these tools in our lives, the information = empowerment! The result will be a tremendously positive influence on bettering our lives. Start today by checking out some of the upcoming training opportunities.

Check out opportunities at

Step 3 Maintain the balance. High-threshold tools are powerful, which means that when wielded correctly— that is using them consistently but in short durations— they will serve us. Overuse them and you will pay the price which often leads to burnout, injury or worse. We are all at different starting places so respect the power of the tool as you calibrate your personal training regimen. If you are unsure about a particular tool, routine or anything around your training, submit your question and I will do my best to answer it.

This week's question

"I recently learned the basic Wim Hof Method breathing exercise. Is it bad to do these breathing exercises fifteen times per day?"


Tread carefully. It is important to understand that the WHM breathing exercises intentionally induce a stress response. Although the exercises also include a recovery stage, over-inducing stress, even acute stress, will likely lead to poorer performance and results over time. You are likely better served with a lower frequency and maintaining a long term practice that will continue to yield potent benefits.

Ask a Question

Do you have a specific question that you would like answered to help you with your training? Send me an email at or connect with me on Instagram @soulemd and I will include your question and answer in a future newsletter or blog post.

2 views0 comments


bottom of page