Updated: Sep 4, 2021
In a previous article I described the different aspects of mind-management, such as becoming more aware and increasing your level of present awareness (LPA) and finding the right balance between doing and being, and overall upgrading your level of thinking.
Think about the brain as the hardware, and the mind as the “operating system” or software, which runs on this hardware, performs its work and produces results (e.g., in the form of thoughts) and creates your experience of your personality or ego.
Compare this with your car: If your engine is not in good shape, is faulty, or does not have the proper or sufficient fuel, you will experience a suboptimal driving experience. Therefore it is a good idea to make an effort to ensure it's properly fueled, and you schedule periodic maintenance check-ups to maintain it well.
Your brain should be more important than your car, right?
Isn’t it, therefore, reasonable to prioritize the effort to take good care of your brain and body?
Unfortunately, most of us don’t do that, although many of us modern individuals have sufficient knowledge on how to do it (e.g., proper sleep, nutrition, exercise.)
A simplified formula to a better functioning mind is quite simple:
Better body = better brain = better mind!
In the past years, through continuous and countless new discoveries in medicine and science, we have now the situation that lots of applicable knowledge is out there on how we could leverage that access to knowledge to optimize our body and well-being. Many (good) books are available, and communities around these topics are forming and growing.
Over the past years, many individuals took advantage of this knowledge explosion. They investigated practical steps and methods that can be applied to increase their energy levels and overall well-being. You may have heard the more geeky terminology “biohacking” to describe this effort.
What is Biohacking?
Biohacking is the optimization of performance, health and well-being by utilizing science, technology and a deep understanding of human physiology and nutrition -Biohacker’s Handbook
It is therefore highly supportive and complementary to your mind-management practises.
Biohacking can be broadly categorized into these primary focus areas or aspects of optimizations:
Nutrition (incl. Micronutrients)
Intermittent Fasting (IF)
All of these are dependent on each other, and the challenge is to continuously create small synergistic actions that lead to overall incremental improvements of your body and mind.
Your body needs the proper amount of restorative sleep so that it can recharge and recover.
It needs a good mix of regular exercise and strength training to be healthy.
To achieve this, you will need to provide your body with nutritious and healthy food based on the latest scientific findings (e.g., the Bulletproof diet.)
Finding a good balance on when and what to eat while still leaving sufficient time for repairs through intermittent fasting is a crucial strategy so that the body can alternate between the modes of growing and repairing to maintain optimal health and performance levels. The book "Fast this Way" by Dave Aprey is a good read to get you started)
As the food quality has been declining during the past decades with less and less micronutrients available for us to absorb, you will need to compensate and optimize those deficiencies using a minimal amount of relevant micronutrients and supplements.
In addition, our environment is loaded increasingly with harmful toxins, heavy metals, and pesticides (to name a few). Our bodies are not designed to handle this high load, and it, therefore, requires your continuous support on detoxification.
Ultimately our body is made up of a community of 15 trillion cells, and most of them are powered through little organelles (bacteria), your mitochondria. Cells can have thousands of those. Only if these are in an overall healthy shape will you have the sufficient energy to thrive and build the necessary proteins that your body and brain need to function properly. Think about them as your “battery level.”
Unfortunately, in many of us individuals, those mitochondria, typically due to a poor lifestyle, are functioning on suboptimal levels, and therefore (already) decreasing your overall quality of life in several areas. Through appropriate and systematic actions and methods, you can help your mitochondria gradually to increase in quality and quantity.
Many technology options are available in all of those areas to assist you in achieving your goals. For example, through the help of sophisticated sleep trackers (like the Oura ring), you can make informed decisions on how to sleep better. Or, the continuous usage of red-light therapy devices (such as JOOVV) may help your mitochondria recharge better.
How Biohacking can support your Mind-Management practises
For the purpose of mind-management, I would like to point out a few areas that are helpful to maximize the results of your mind-management practice.
There is no “silver bullet,” as we are all unique individuals and have different needs and contexts.
Therefore, the idea is to use a scientific and data-driven experimentation approach that helps you make progress in little steps. This approach fits quite nicely to biohacking.
You will need to learn how to assess or measure the status of relevant biomarkers that give you a glimpse into your body’s overall state. For example, your Vitamin D level is a critical one, as Vitamin D is impacting more than 1000 internal metabolism processes (see also my comprehensive Vitamin D course @ The New U on how to get started.)
The more biomarkers you can capture, the more comprehensive your insight into your overall health becomes. In the analogy of the car, it is similar to opening up the hood and looking at (and measuring) what is actually there. This way, you can then make informed decisions on possible methods that may positively influence that state, experiment, and then re-assess the outcome. If it works for you well, then keep doing it. If not, then stop doing it and try something else.
All of the above areas of biohacking can be used to improve your mind-management practice (e.g., healthy food choices, optimized sleep, and effective exercise.)
However, when it comes to focusing, I suggest those subsets for areas of deeper exploration, as those can have a substantial outcome on your brain’s overall health and performance:
Nootropics - micronutrients that are supporting and optimizing your brain performance and health. For example, a very good articulated nootropic stack is available from Qualia (see Qualia Mind - The Building Block of a Nootropic Stack)
Neurofeedback (technology to assist you in increasing certain brain states, like alpha or theta waves)
I will cover those topics in more depth in subsequent articles - so stay tuned!
Biohacking as a systematic approach to optimize your health and wellbeing covers several important aspects of your life (e.g., sleep, nutrition, ..)
There are biomarkers available in each of those aspects that you can learn more about and use as guidance on your progress. For example, you can look at the amount of deep sleep per night within the sleep category
Biohacking is a lifestyle that requires your focus, attention, and ongoing commitment
It can help you to improve your health and wellbeing systematically, and therefore is supporting your mind management practice
There are special focus areas related to mind-management, such as the usage of nootropics, and technology options like the application of neuro-feedback, that can be helpful in further optimizing your mind-management practice.
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“There is no better moment to increase your level of present awareness than NOW” –Reiner Kraft
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