Whether you’re Chris Hemsworth or a journalist for the Knockturnal we all get stressed out.
Spiders, taxes, birthday party planning and heights are amongst the top stressors. The last of which, got Chris Hemsworth and me sweating bullets.
National Geographic organized members of the media to scale Hudson Yards skyscraper with City Climb to promote their show “Limitless with Chris Hemsworth.” We strapped into a harness and up we went.
Dr. Module Akinola prepped us for the high altitude, high stress trek. Hemsworth also got the spiel. She appears in the first episode of the series to equip the “Thor” star with valuable de-stressing tools before he walks atop a Sydney skyscraper.
In the episode, and at Hudson Yards, she explained the box breathing method. Imagine a box. Start at one corner. Inhale for four seconds. On to the next corner. Hold your breath for four seconds. Next corner. Exhale for four seconds. Last corner. Hold for seconds. Repeat.
I did the exercise, as did Hemsworth, and made my way up. The piece de resistance was leaning over the edge of the skyscraper, stretching myself over all of New York City with two straps and a harness preventing me from plummeting hundreds of feet. Flouting the conventional wisdom of “don’t look down,” I indeed stared down at all the ant-size people walking around lower Manhattan.
Akinola, an Associate Professor at the Columbia Business School, spoke to The Knockturnal about her experience working with Hemsworth and National Geographic on the series as well as practical tips we can all use in our daily lives to calm down. One of the big takeaways from the interview, the episode and the series writ large is we all experience stress. As we do aging, death, illness, physical strain etc. You can be a Marvel superhero from Asgard and still face human challenges like the rest of us. The key is not to dread these as ailments, but to accept them as inevitable parts of humanity and learn to confront them.