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Mastering Your Mind: Lessons from Freediving


Have you ever wondered if your brain can stop? Find peace? Maybe you can! I had a great conversation with Suzy Malseed on The Impulsive Thinker Podcast on this very topic. We unpacked her journey into the fascinating world of freediving and how it’s brought her peace and self-control. Suzy, a diver, mom, mental health researcher, and farmer in Australia, opened up about the power of mindfulness and self-control — even for those of us with ADHD. 

 

Don’t feel like reading? Listen to the episode.  


Breath-Holding, Really?  

Breath-holding might sound like an odd way to discover more about oneself. She emphasizes the importance of pushing boundaries and the amazing things you can uncover about yourself when you do. Many of us are running a constant race in our minds. Suzy’s journey provides a metaphorical road less travelled — one that encourages us to take a moment and literally hold our breath. 

 

Static Chaos vs. Dynamic Focus:  

Suzy explains the two primary types of breath-holding: static and dynamic. Static involves holding your breath while staying still, which allows the mind to reach deep states of calm and focus. Dynamic, on the other hand, involves breath-holding while swimming, demanding an acute awareness of both mental and physical states. 

 

This distinction reminded me of the juggling act we face as ADHD Entrepreneurs. Sometimes, we need to find stillness amid chaos (static), and other times, we must maintain our focus while moving at full tilt (dynamic). Each has its challenges and benefits. 

 

Protocols and Mental Safety 

Competitive freediving isn't just about lung capacity. Suzy stresses the importance of safety and emphasizes that mental challenges are just as pivotal as physical ones. Freedivers must navigate cognitive hurdles and maintain concentration, especially during the surface protocol where they must signal, that they’re safe despite being oxygen-deprived after diving and holding their one breath. 

 

This high level of control and self-regulation isn't so different from managing a business. We also have to establish protocols and guidelines to keep things on track and safe, mentally and physically. It’s a reminder that sometimes the battle is in our minds as much as in our external environment. 

 

Mindfulness and our ADHD Brain 

Mindfulness is a recurring theme with Suzy. Her experience with ADHD presented a unique set of challenges, especially as she grew up feeling out of control. Freediving taught her to harness this potential by controlling her breath and, consequently, her responses and actions. 

 

This resonates with many ADHD Entrepreneurs. We often feel like we're at the mercy of our own minds. Suzy’s story is a call to action: with the right methods and mindfulness, we can control our ADHD brain instead of letting it control us. 

 

Comfort and Pressure in Freediving 

Suzy dove into (pun intended) how freediving is different from scuba diving — mainly through the aspect of holding one's breath without a tank or regulator. Both have their own pressure-related challenges. She shares how increased atmospheric pressure at depth changes the body and requires controlled adaptation. 

 

This speaks directly to the experiences we face running businesses. There’s constantly increasing pressure, and how we adapt to it determines our success. In both freediving and entrepreneurship, there’s a need to embrace the pressure rather than fear it. 

 

Personal Growth and Freediving 

Suzy and I discussed the transformative shift from being constantly combative towards challenges to enjoying the journey itself, her experiences growing up undiagnosed with ADHD, and how discovering her love for freediving was a path to self-acceptance. 

 

Freediving pushes you to let go of the fight-or-flight response and simply be. This shift from fighting to accepting can open doors to personal and professional growth. It’s a lesson to all of us: sometimes, control and progress come from letting go, not holding on tighter. 

 

Practical Steps for New Freedivers (and Entrepreneurs) 

If Suzy has piqued your interest and you’re looking for a new hobby to channel your energy into—or even wanting to try freediving—she recommends starting with activities like yoga, meditation, or martial arts. These activities build the foundation of mindfulness, concentration, and physical control. 

 

Start with smaller challenges and make them enjoyable. Reframe your mindset at milestones, even as small as the 25% mark. This is a practical and encouraging reminder that the journey itself is worth celebrating, not just the end goal. 

 

Reframe Your Mindset and Thrive 

Suzy’s exploration into freediving isn’t just a fascinating personal story—it’s a road map for anyone, especially those of us living with ADHD. The methods of mindfulness, self-control, and the enjoyment of the journey are critical lessons we can apply to our daily lives and businesses. 

 

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, remember to take a breath—literally and figuratively. Embrace the mindfulness techniques and the understanding that you’re not alone in this. We are a community, here to support one another through our unique challenges and incredible potential. 

 

What have you done to find your path to mindfulness and self-acceptance? Send me an email at podcast@theimpulsivethinker.ca.  

 

Further Exploration  

The ADHD Transformation Program has launched and it’s working wonders. Clients have shared how it’s changing their lives. Curious to learn more? Visit our website for more details. Remember, ADHD is only a part of you, not all of you.  

 

Overcome time blindness by downloading The Sh!t List, my free weekly planning tool to help focus your time. 

 

Let’s build a community together! Sign up for our newsletter, listen to a podcast, check out our YouTube channel, or share this blog with somebody you think will appreciate it. Talk soon! 

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Hi,
I'm André

...also known as The Impulsive Thinker. I'm a professional engineer, advocate, and podcaster with the special ability to devour and simplify complicated information to solve complex problems. Click here to get my full story.

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