There are many, many ways that one can ‘hack’ the brain. Doing so doesn’t have to be complicated, either. There are some simple practices that you can incorporate into your day-to-day life that can enhance and boost your brain and ultimately make your life easier!
In this article, we will look at a handful of simple practices that will help you hack your brain.
5 ways to hack your brain
The term ‘brain hack’ can be a bit misleading right off the bat. While some of the methods below involve little to no effort, some require a bit of effort. We are at a point in time where individuals want instant results with no effort. Unfortunately, that is not how life works. Fortunately, when it comes to brain-hacking, there are ways to hack the brain with very little effort!
Below are some simple brain-hacking methods that anyone can introduce into their life.
1) Rebooting your inner clock
One major factor in brain health is sleep. Getting enough hours of quality sleep can seem like an impossible task. In fact, around 35% of adults do not get enough hours of sleep at night. Lacking quality sleep on a regular basis can lead to a long list of severe health complications. Sleep is essential for brain health. No matter how healthy you are during your waking hours, you will not be able to truly thrive until you are able to sleep well at night. An effective way of getting better sleep is rebooting your circadian rhythm, which is your internal sleeping clock. There are a number of ways to do so. Try getting more sunlight and consuming less caffeine, especially after 15:00. Our internal clock tries very hard to sync with nature. Aligning yourself with the Sun’s natural patterns can help you fall asleep faster at night and stay asleep for longer. Additionally, doing so can help you wake up easier and decrease unwanted chronic brain fog. Youu could use apps to guide you to creating a better sleep rhythm, use blue-light glasses when you use your phone/laptop and even go as far as creating a consistent morning and/or evening routine. Sleep is essential for your brain to function optimally!
2) Try yoga
While regular intensive exercise is best for the brain, you don’t necessarily have to go to the gym every single day to reap some brain benefits. Movement is medicine and movement comes in all kinds of forms. If you cannot get yourself to stay consistent with the gym at this point, that is totally fine. Try something less demanding, eg. yoga. Moving your body in different ways, practising balance and maintaining mental focus is fantastic for the brain. Using your motor skills will improve brain-based skills. Not only will your brain benefit, but so will your mental health. You will feel more accomplished, more confident, more grounded, rooted and centered if you do yoga. Even if you do 5 or 10 minutes of yoga every day, that is better than doing 0 minutes. If you are still feeling as though that is hard to stick to, try keeping your yoga mat out so it is always ready. You may find yourself stepping on your mat more frequently if it is always out. Adding meditation to your yoga practice will only increase your brain function. De-stress and hack your brain in the same moment with yoga!
3) Write it all down
Writing has a whole heap of benefits. Who thought something so simple could be so impactful? It has been demonstrated that writing activities yield several intellectual, emotional and physiological benefits. Writing every day (even for 5-10 minutes) can improve memory, decrease symptomatology and increase feelings of happiness. Additionally, your brain-to-body connection is strong when you translate your thought into words on paper. If you are ever feeling stressed, angry or overwhelmed, try grabbing a pen and paper and see what happens. Most of the time you will be left feeling much better than before. Taking time to write down your thoughts/feelings is like taking a breath of fresh air. Thoughts can seem a lot more alarming and out of control when they are stuck in your head. Writing them down sets them free and puts things into a clearer perspective. Taking time to write every day is the ultimate brain hack!
4) Feed your brain
Whether you take the saying ‘feed your brain’ literally or not, both are beneficial. Eating nourishing whole foods alongside staying well hydrated is one of the most powerful ways to heal the brain. The same goes for supplements. Try learning about different Nootropics that help the brain. Alternatively, microdosing psychedelics (such as LSD and/or psilocybin mushrooms) was demonstrated to improve various brain functions in Paul Stamets’ microdosing study. One of the easiest brain hacks is taking brain-boosting supplements because it requires little to no effort and the results are often very noticeable! When it comes to Nootropics, there seems to be a supplement for every benefit. Feeling stressed out? Nootropics. Need more energy? Nootropics. Want to improve your sleep? Nootropics. Struggling with your sex drive? Nootropics. We all deserve to feel and perform well and sometimes improving our life can be done with simple acts.
5) Challenge your brain
The brain is a muscle, which means it needs to be exercised. Putting your brain skills to the test is an effective way to drastically change the way your brain performs. These challenges could be big or small. You could start with brushing your teeth with your non-dominant hand or go as far as learning a new language! The harder the challenge, the better the results. However, that isn’t to say that taking on small challenges every day won’t make much of a difference. The brain likes to work in repetition. This can be helpful in many ways as we can use it to our advantage. For example, we can use it to build healthy habits by training the brain over and over again to take on a new default action. However, it can work against us as well. If your brain is functioning in a repetitive nature in the wrong ways, it can work against you, too. Do your best to practise awareness and notice when a habit and/or action is not serving you and make the change. A lot of brain hacking is actually brain training.
I am not going to write this article and act like doing one of the brain-hacking methods above will rewire your brain. The truth is, hacking the brain is impossible unless you approach brain hacking with a collective mind-state and remain consistent. The best way to improve health, whether that be for your brain or body, having a collective approach is best, even if the collection of methods is done on a simple basis. And, as always, consistency is absolutely key!
Be realistic about it, do what you can and don’t give up!