The DIY Hack Meant To Naturally 'Upgrade' Your Brain & Body

Photo: janiecbros / Getty Images, Apex Creations, hellohawra via Canva
woman outside

We live in a society that has accepted stress as the status quo. It's a culture of achievement that produces continual pressure to strive for more — more money, more stuff, more success.

Our drive for success at an advanced time when almost anything is possible leads us to adopt a baseline level of stress that is extreme. It takes shape in the form of physical and emotional manifestations — everything from chronic metabolic and autoimmune diseases, to stomach ulcers, and, of course, anxiety and depression.

With these issues rising, it should be no surprise that most people seek change to improve their physical and mental health and well-being. Countering these issues is biohacking.

RELATED: 10 Habits The Healthiest People Do Before 10 AM Every Single Day

What is biohacking?

Biohacking is the practice of changing our body’s chemistry or physiology through science and self-experimentation to energize, enhance, and/or heal the body. It is also called citizen or do-it-yourself biology.

Biohacking works by making tiny and incremental changes to one's body, diet, and lifestyle that will enhance or improve one's well-being.

One example would be intermittent fasting, which can help regulate and maintain healthy blood sugar levels and weight.

TikToker Kaley Langille adds to this, saying that biohacking is when you use science to your advantage to improve your chemistry and physiology.



"A common way that people biohack their body, and they don't even realize they're biohacking, is just by changing their diet to alter their physiology," Langille explains.

She goes on to explain how she "biohacked" her serotonin by eating foods rich in tryptophan, staying in the sun, and doing aerobic exercises.

In other words, as a biohacker, you are optimizing your mental and physical performance through biology and modern technology. There is no way to know for sure if DIY at-home biohacking works, but there are many people who endorse the practice, such as former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.

But just like everything else, there is some risk involved with extreme biohacking methods; embedding magnets, chips, or computers under one's skin can lead to serious health issues due to its lack of substantial research. So biohack with caution!

7 Biohacking Methods For Mental & Physical Health

1. Grounding/earthing

The earth puts out an infinite supply of free electrons. When we connect with the earth using bare skin contact, the charge from the earth to the body reduces free radicals in the body.

Free radicals are damaged atoms that contribute directly to inflammation, aging and disease. With the connection to the earth, you reduce inflammation and start a healing process of joint discomfort, mobility issues such as osteoporosis among other things. Over time, you can also experience calmness and improved blood flow.

Consider spending a minimum of 30 minutes per day barefoot in order to receive these benefits on either grass or sand. If you are unable to go outside, there are earthing mats and other products that can give you the same results.

2. Sunlight exposure

Combine grounding with sunlight exposure and you can kill two birds with one stone.

Sunlight exposure can boost your mood and enhance cognitive function. The light spectrum from the sun gives you a more natural physiological and mental wake up. And, of course, the sun is a great source of vitamin D.

3. Intermittent fasting

If practiced responsibly, fasting can offer benefits for the body and mind. For one, cellular clean-up is promoted, which removes waste products from the body. There is also a connection between the healthy regulation of sugar and intermittent fasting.

Other benefits include lower blood pressure, reduced oxidative stress, and improved hormonal balance.

These benefits result in a more stable production of energy throughout the day, along with improved regulation of body weight, mitigating fat gain and even promoting fat loss, if that is your goal.

Be sure to consult with a healthcare professional before initiating an intermittent fast.

RELATED: Scientists Can Zap Mice Brains To Make Them More Social — Is This The Cure For Social Anxiety?

4. Hot and cold therapy

Cold water immersion has shown to lower heart rate and blood pressure while improving vasodilation (blood flow).

Another biological transformation is the white adipose tissue (white fat) converting into brown fat which is then used as an energy source along with fat burn.

Improvement in cardiovascular systems as well as lowering cortisol production have also been linked with cold water immersion.

Infrared sauna as a heat therapy mechanism has shown to aid in DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) and improve recovery time.

Studies have also proven that post-exercise sauna bathing over a period of three weeks substantially improved running performance, which can be attributed to an increase in blood volume.

It also aids in weight loss, immune system and heart health, and a general feeling of overall wellness and mental clarity.

5. Red light therapy

RLT, also known as photo bio-modulation, has shown many positive effects on the human body. Red light therapy is a natural, non-invasive process that delivers beneficial wavelengths of light to your skin and cells.

Improvement in skin tone and collagen production has been shown in clinical studies, as well as a faster healing process in scars and wounds. RLT also increases ATP (adenosine triphosphate) production for more energy output.

Studies are being performed regarding depression, calling RLT a possible antidepressant. Incorporating RLT, you may also benefit from improved melatonin production, sleep, joint pain, and inflammation.

It is a wonderful method of regulating your circadian clock.

6. Nootropics

Nootropics also termed "Smart Drugs" is a group of substances like supplements, drinks, and foods that help boost brain performance. A few examples include creatine and caffeine.

There are also certain prescription drugs that are categorized under this title like Ritalin, Adderall, and Axura, which are drugs used to treat Alzheimer's and ADHD.

They include stimulants, so you shouldn't take these often for non-medical reasons as they have been proven to lead to a higher risk of anxiety and developing PTSD.

7. Wearable tech

Wearable technology is not only trendy but is technically included as biohacking. These devices — such as smartwatches, fitness bands, and head-mounted displays — can help people track their "health stats."

In other words, it's a quick way to track health data and use it to make any improvements, rather than going to a doctor's office to get your blood pressure measured. This tech help one reach health goals.

There are even some companies that are starting to develop embedded implants that can do everything laid out. A few examples of embedded implants currently available are magnetic implants, memory chips, GPS systems, and electronic tattoos.

Now that you know how to biohack and the benefits of doing so, the results will be life-changing.

RELATED: 3 Common Health Conditions You Probably Had No Idea Are Caused By Stress

Samantha Benigno is a writer and mental health professional specializing in behavioral wellness and the mind/body relationship. She is also experienced with anxiety and depression, mindfulness, and is a PhD Candidate in Clinical Psychology with a specialization is psychophysics.