What Neurohacking Is and How to Change Life With Its Help?
Maintaining wellness and enjoying a fulfilling life requires more than just working on the improvement of your body. It is also important to pay great attention to upgrading and modernization of the mind.
Neurohacking is one of the innovative approaches that allows people to improve brain function in order to become more productive, healthier, and improve overall life quality.
Neurohacking: general definition
Neurohacking involves any method of interfering with the structure and function of neurons for their subsequent improvement and restoration. This direction combines various practices and technologies intended to improve and change the functioning of the brain.
Some sources define neurohacking as a form of biohacking that focuses directly on upgrading the brain and the central nervous system.
By practicing neurohacking, a person can influence different aspects of life. It can help to improve mental health, increase productivity, develop intelligence, critical thinking and intuition, prevent illnesses, relieve stress, anxiety, learn to make decisions faster, generate ideas more actively, etc.
To achieve desired goals, supporters of neurohacking use a variety of approaches. They use neurogadgets, follow recommendations for adjusting nutrition, go in for sports, take vitamins and dietary supplements, practice meditation, resort to self-hypnosis, etc.
Currently, neurohacking is practiced by politicians, businessmen, top managers of different companies, among others.
Practical use of neurohacking: what is it important to know?
Some psychological techniques imply that consciousness can be changed with the help of internal attitudes, a dialogue with yourself. In its turn, neurohacking suggests a completely different approach to upgrading of the mind. The main principle of this direction is as follows: first, you need to correct your behavior and only after that, the brain will be able to rebuild its functioning.
For example, if you want to become friendlier and more hospitable, you do not need to convince yourself of this. It's important to start saying hello. Moreover, it is not necessary to limit yourself to colleagues, relatives, and neighbors. You can greet a cashier in a supermarket, a gas station employee, or even a stranger. With this approach, the mind will eventually be forced to reorganize to the desired behavior model.
The principle of neurohacking is described in detail in one of the chapters of the book Stick with It: A Scientifically Proven Process for Changing Your Life-for Good, written by the Associate Professor of Family Medicine Sean Young. Reprogramming the brain helped the main character of this book to survive a difficult divorce and start living from scratch.
In the book, Sean Young gives an illustrative example that allows you to understand how neurohacking is used in practice. The book reveals that the main character was depressed due to a recent divorce. Despite the support from friends, it seemed to him that life was at an impasse. At one point, he needed to change the password on the computer. Then, the man decided that he could change his life with a new password, which sounded like “Forgive her”.
As a result, due to the fact that the hero regularly saw those words, he was able to forgive his ex-wife and transform his life. Thus, just one action helped to rewire the brain, get rid of psychological problems, and improve well-being.
Neurohacking in action: how to level up and upgrade your brain?
Improving the mind is not an easy process and brings positive results on the condition of a comprehensive approach. Therefore, in order to make the brain work intensively, it is necessary to correct behavior, approach nutrition correctly, conduct training to improve mental activity, pay attention to the psychological state, etc.
Here is a number of recommendations, following which you can level up your mind and bring your capabilities to a new level.
Use psychological tricks to change consciousness
Sean Young writes in his book that neurohacking includes a complex of psychological techniques that make people think better of themselves and do those things that they seemed to be incapable of before. Tricks can be based on behavior, body movements, physiology, emotions, speech, and thoughts.
Effective psychological tricks include the following techniques:
Behavior change. Doing unusual things and dealing with your fears is a signal to your brain that you can change. For example, if a person is afraid of an audience, it is worth visiting crowded places or speaking in front of a large audience. Then the fear will pass away after a while.
Control over body movements. Body movements can affect a person's self-esteem and confidence. Sean Young states that how a person evaluates himself is influenced by which hand he uses to write (dominant or non-dominant), which foot he hits the ball, etc. Therefore, in order for the brain to rebuild, it is necessary to control body movements. For example, sitting in an open position during an important meeting will increase your confidence.
Emotion management. Researches have shown that in order to assess themselves and make decisions about what to think and how to act, people interpret the expression of their own physiological and emotional state. That is, looking at his own facial expression, a person understands whether he spent time cheerfully or sadly at the event. The psychological trick is to deliberately manage your emotions. For example, when doing an uninteresting job with a smile, you may notice that this activity is not that tedious.
Choosing the right words. Speech neurohacks are based on the idea that changes in speech affect how a person evaluates himself and what actions he takes in the future. Therefore, you need to carefully approach the choice of words that are associated with identity. For example, when a person calls himself a good worker, his mind becomes convinced of this. As a result, he really becomes more productive and shows good results.
Tuning the brain to the right thoughts. The main idea of this technique is that in order to change behavior, you need to adjust your thoughts. This technique is difficult because it implies control over your mind.
Neurogadgets are devices designed to stimulate brain functions. Devices of this kind are used to develop memory and attention, get rid of anxiety, improve reaction, manage sleep, fight depression, and even read thoughts.
There are different types of neurogadgets. For example, the invention of American scientists Thync helps to get rid of stress and cheer up. The device is attached to the head and sends micro electric impulses to the brain.
The LucidCatcher gadget is used to control dreams. The operation principle of the device is based on the transcranial alternating current stimulation technique. It allows a person to fall into lucid dreaming.
In order not to harm your health, consult with a doctor before you use one of the neurogadgets.
Pay attention to nutrition
Food is fuel for the brain. This opinion is shared by Dave Asprey, a well-known biohacker and author of the book Head Strong: The Bulletproof Plan to Activate Untapped Brain Energy to Work Smarter and Think Faster-in Just Two Weeks.
Dave believes that in order to improve brain performance, it is necessary to eat products that contain polyphenols. The diet should include food that facilitates the production of neurotransmitters – chemicals engaged in the communication of information between neurons. The biohacker also speaks about the benefits of a ketogenic diet and fasting.
Brain neurochemistry: how to increase dopamine and serotonin levels?
A person’s well-being and behavior depends, among other things, on the amount of such chemicals as dopamine and serotonin in the body. The task of the supporters of neurohacking is to hack into the biochemistry of the brain and, using various approaches, control the content of elements important for mental activity.
About dopamine – the hormone of pleasure
Dopamine is a substance (neurotransmitter) produced by the brain and a hormone produced by adrenal glands. It is produced during processes that a person enjoys. Moreover, its production can take place even at a time when a person is only thinking about some pleasant things, for example, winning a competition or a promotion at work.
The neurotransmitter dopamine is responsible for motivation, movement control, and satisfaction after performed work. Having a sufficient amount of this substance, the person experiences pleasure and wants to repeat a certain action that made him feel joy. However, its deficiency can cause irritability, apathy, chronic fatigue, etc.
The following methods help to normalize the level of dopamine in the body:
Eating protein-rich foods. These are turkey, beans, eggs, etc.
Limited intake of saturated fats. They are found in animal grease, palm and coconut oil, and fatty dairy products.
Regular sports activities.
Sleep quality control. Getting enough sleep is important for your brain to produce the right amount of dopamine. Biohackers, for example, argue that sleep should last about eight hours.
Meditation. It increases the activity of brain regions that are associated with the release of dopamine.
Massage. There is a study that confirms that after massage, the level of dopamine and serotonin increases in the body.
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About serotonin – the hormone of happiness
Serotonin is a hormone and neurotransmitter. It is produced in the brain and intestines. This substance is responsible for regulating the mood and circadian rhythms of sleep, controlling the appetite.
When serotonin levels are in the norm, a person feels happy, calm, and focused. Misbalance of the substance can contribute to the development of depression and anxiety. The excess of the hormone of happiness can lead to drowsiness, nausea, migraine and other symptoms.
You can increase the level of serotonin by:
Including in the diet a sufficient amount of products high in tryptophan – fish, cottage cheese, pumpkin seeds, peanuts, etc.
Avoiding caffeine. The substance produced from coffee beans and tea leaves prevents the formation of serotonin.
Staying in the sunlight for long. It is believed that sunlight accelerates the synthesis of serotonin.
Changes in thinking. Rebuilding thoughts in a positive way by your own efforts or with the help of a therapist helps to increase the production of the hormone of happiness.
More information about effective methods for improving physical and mental health will be reported at Biohacking Conference Kyiv. The event will take place on November 11.