When I first heard the term “biohacking” I thought it was some scientific experiment and immediately had no interest in it. Science wasn’t exactly my best subject in school. However, after I heard one of my favorite entrepreneurs Natalie Ellis talk about how much she loves biohacking, my interest was peaked. I decided to do some research on the topic. I’ll share what I’ve learned, what I’ve implemented in my life, and why we all should be biohacking our life.
Your body is a system, it’s got inputs (food, exercise, etc.) and outputs (energy, mood, etc.). Biohackers believe making tweaks to your inputs can lead to effective changes in your outputs.
What is biohacking?
Scientists use this term to refer to an approach to scientific learning that involves building or changing things quickly and monitoring what happens. Some biohacking researchers even use this on their own bodies to alter their own DNA.
In wellness, the definition is a bit different. Biohacking in your everyday life is changing your lifestyle to gain more control over your own biology. It’s the process of using experimentation to pursue self-development, and deeper self-understanding to ultimately become the best version of yourself. *cue I’m living my best life*
Experimentation doesn’t necessarily mean test tubes in a lab. If you stop eating bread for a week and observe how you feel and look—that’s an experiment. The goal of biohacking is to offset the effects of modern lifestyle (for example, staring at a screen for 8+ hours) on our bodies and minds.
7 Ways You Can Use Biohacking To Improve Your Life
1. Get adequate sleep
Most people don’t know what enough sleep is for their body. Way to many people are chronically tired, myself included. One way I determined what sufficient sleep was for me was by allowing myself to go to bed when I felt tired and waking up when I felt like doing so. This method works best one a day where you don’t have to wake up to do something. By doing this I realized I my body enjoys 7 & 1/2 hours of sleep. One of my goals for this year is to sleep for no more or no less than 7 & 1/2 hours as much as possible. Determine your optimal sleep hours and start getting those Z’s consistently.
Top ways to biohack your sleep:
- Set the temperature of your home between 60-68 degrees at night
- Eliminate exposure to blue light before bed
- Stop drinking caffeine after 4pm
- Don’t do work in your bed so your body is signaled to sleep when you’re in bed (I personally don’t believe in this tip but do what’s best for you)
- Don’t eat within an hour of bedtime
- As soon as you wake up, open your blinds so you can get sun exposure
2. Exercise regularly
I know not everyone loves working out. But that’s probably because you haven’t discovered the method that fits with your lifestyle. Exercise builds muscle, teaches self-discipline, reduces stress, increases bone density, optimizes sleep, improves mood, builds confidence, relieves pain and depression, and boosts your brain! Why would you not want to incorporate it into your lifestyle?
Start small with a 10 minute workout on an app like Sweat or just look up some on Youtube. Gradually increase your workouts over time and track your progress. Everyone loves a good before and after story.
3. Prioritize Your Dietary Health
When it comes to diet, I love experimenting with different ones. I’ve done vegan, vegetarian, keto, paleo, etc. I’ve found my optimal diet to consist of low carb, minimal meat and high levels of plant-based protein and vegetables. I also use supplements to make up for deficiencies that I may not get from my diet daily. I swear by HUM Nutrition vitamins (use code 1CB7FB for $10 off) and Jayy Robb protein.
It’s impossible for there to be one perfect diet for all humans. Each person has a different standard of nutritional requirements to keep them healthy. Your DNA determines how you’ll react to the substances you consume. Do your research, experiment with different diets, and determine what makes you feel the best physically and mentally so you can consume what makes you feel good!
4. Incorporate breathwork into your routine
Focus on your breathing and being still. We spend the majority of our days on the move. Our minds are constantly going and we don’t spend enough time being still. Breathwork will help you focus, feel relaxed and stimulate creativity. Have you ever noticed that you have the best ideas in the shower or when you go on a walk without any distractions. Those are times when your brain can wander without being disturbed by your external environment. In addition to using a meditation app called Aura, I also do an 8-8-8 breathing exercise. This exercise consists of me inhaling for a count of 8, holding for a count of 8 and exhaling for a count of 8.
Most of us confuse hunger with thirst because we don’t drink enough water. Drink a glass of water as soon as you wake up and before every meal. That way you know that you’ve quenched your thirst and most likely won’t over eat. Aim to drink 8 or more glasses of water; this will enhance your digestion and help you achieve beautiful glowing skin. If you struggle with drinking water, purchase a water bottle to make measuring your daily intake easier.
6. Practice Gratitude
How we view life has a huge effect on our moods. When you have an abundance mindset, you’re consistently grateful for everything that comes your way and you are able to find something positive in every experience. If you’ve had a hard time adopting this type of perspective in the past? Biohacking can help. Changing your mindset is really nothing more than practice. You need to consistently refocus your brain to see the positive in every situation until it becomes second nature.
Aim to keep a gratitude journal and write in it daily. Start by writing three things you’re grateful for daily. Personally I find writing ten things down more effective. Also, try writing a letter of gratitude weekly to someone who helped you or who means a lot to you. This will make both of you feel happy and fulfilled.
7. Listen to music
If you’re someone who struggles to stay focused and find themselves with 300 tabs open, try listening to functional music. One of the most reliable ways to biohack your brainwaves is through a consistent sound wave. You can access music programs made specifically for your brain at Brain.fm. As well, you can change your mood and mindset by playing your favorite playlist and listening to it while you commute, cook or workout.
With all these methods, it’s vital to track how your mood, decision making, and how your physical performance changes. If you are satisfied with the results, keep doing this method. If not, change it.