Last month we talked about all the basics one must dial into place before embarking on a pathway to hacking the human body. You can read Hack Your Body For Better Performance Right Now For Free now if you missed it. We’ll wait here.
Oh, you’re back. Great!
One could sum up the gist of the issue with a metaphor: duct taping a leaky helium balloon makes no sense.
In simple terms, it’s shortsighted to take nootropics when one feels under-rested and malnourished. Especially if those feelings arise from a lack of sleep and poor eating habits.
That’s like adding performance muffler to a car with a cracked engine. (I have a whole bag of metaphors over here.)
If this perspective gets you down ’cause you really wanted to hack your biology, take heed. You may already be onto some biohacking moves without knowing it.
You could be well on your way to being the coolest kid since David Asprey. [Advice: Aim higher.] Here are 5 ways you’re already hacking your biology.
If you subscribe to a way of eating which is not just what you see in front of you, like Paleo (sigh), Bulletproof (groan), vegan (eesh), whatever, you are making choices to control your intake.
They may not be wise choices, but the limitation of calories or certain nutrients may have a positive effect on the way you feel, at least at first.
You’re gonna have to read a lot and figure out what exactly is happening with your body. Also, accept that you may misunderstand the data at first. It happens to the best of us.
In time, the tweaks you make to your diet over time will get you closer to a better diet as you age. You will feel better and perform better with constant review of that diet, even if you decide not to make changes.
Long ago in a land far away, exercise was life. If one wanted food, he grew it or caught it. Washing clothes was a trip through the valley and over the hills to the river, carrying all the laundry, washing it by hand, then carrying it back. Talk about a workout!
When we were children, we called this exercise stuff playtime.
There is no easy way to put it. Going to the gym is weird. We show up to a place where we do a bunch of seemingly nonproductive movements. It’s not like every deadlift produces a bar of soap or every bench press set makes a new car tire.
Workouts, when one removes the machines from the equation, are weird movements. Performing those movements are a hack of our modern lives, adding back in a spice we lost when life got easier around the time we invented machines.
If you workout, you’re a bio-hacker.
Using A Sleep App
Many people find they sleep better with white noise, sounds like a fan or a TV on an off-station. (Do off-stations exist anymore?)
White noise, we’ve found, allows us to sleep better as the ocular inputs [read: ears] have nothing specific to hear. There is no rhythm with white noise, no loops like with music, no communicated information like when people speak. The brain has nothing to grab onto.
On top of that, white noise covers up other noises, which might otherwise arouse one from sleep, like neighbors talking or car horns, whatever.
To help us, app developers have created endless apps to provide the same effect, adding in alarms and time displays. If you’re using one of these apps to get better sleep, you are hacking your sleep.
The choice to meditate comes to us from nowhere. One might read a book or have a friend who suggests it, but taking the time to sit down in silence and breathe comes from an unexplainable desire inside.
The touted effects of meditation range from out-of-body experiences (OBEs) to more peaceful states of mind.
This writer’s advice is that you aim low on your expectations at first. It could take years before you see a shred of enlightenment. Meanwhile, your body reaps untold benefits.
From the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NIH):
“…there’s evidence that [meditation] may reduce blood pressure as well as symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and flare-ups in people who have had ulcerative colitis. It may ease symptoms of anxiety and depression, and may help people with insomnia.”
Whatever school you follow, taking the time to sit with your breath, when done the right way, has documented positive effects on one’s well-being. Mediators tend to be content people.
When you take the time to meditate, even if you feel you’re wasting your time, you’re at least creating the time in your life to learn. With persistence, reading, and coaching, you will take something positive from that time.
You are on your way to hacking your mind.
Historian, Yuval Noah, author of the books Sapiens and Homo Dues: A Brief History of Tomorrow, argues that the smart phone is the first move towards transhumanism. They are merely an intelligent extension of ourselves.
Smartphones free up brain power by allowing us to access information anywhere in the world. We don’t have to memorize details when we can look them up right now.
“In 2050, it is likely that your smartphone will not be separate from you at all,” Harari told NBC News. “It will be embedded in your body via biometric sensors, and it will monitor your heart rate, your blood pressure, and your brain activity 24 hours a day.”
Slow down there, Tex. Just because you’re meditating, doesn’t mean you’re eating enough veggies or sleeping the requisite sleep schedule for your body. Continue to refine the basics before you take to extreme measures.
In the long run, this author is not a fan of most diets, but you may learn something about yourself from trying a few of them.
As always, consult your doctor before making any lifestyle changes, like starting an exercise program, but definitely talk to the doctor before or taking supplements of any kind.