These days, pretty much everything is considered a hack. If someone leaves their Facebook open, it’s essentially hacked by others. If you come up with quirky, unconventional ways to solve problems, they end up being considered a lifehack, for better or worse.
That expands to just about everything from money and finances to lifestyles and all the way to modern tech and devices. So, it makes sense that you should be able to “hack” your body, or even personal biology.
That’s precisely where the concept of biohacking comes into play.
What is biohacking? For lack of a better description, it is the conscious, physical and mental control of various elements that influence the body. This includes what we eat, drink, smell, touch, hear, see or interact with.
You are taking advantage of high-efficiency fixes that deliver the best payoff for your investment — usually time.
What Is Biohacking?
At its core, biohacking is about how you treat your body and what you allow it to come into contact or interact with — both good and bad.
Having said that, it’s not what you might initially think. It may include the improvement of anything from your metabolism and immune system to your cognitive performance.
For example, marijuana is considered to be a biohack for people with certain medical conditions.
Late-stage cancer treatment and comfort is the most obvious use. But it can also improve skin health, regulate blood pressure, balance body weight, or even strengthen bones and joints.
What makes it a biohack is that it is both holistic and unconventional in regards to medicinal use and the benefits it offers. In other words, you wouldn’t necessarily visit a conventional doctor to receive assistance with marijuana.
It’s much bigger than marijuana, though. In fact, you don’t even have to involve yourself with a drug like marijuana to take advantage of biohacks.
Now that you know what biohacking is, here are some of the best reasons to give the modern method a try:
Why Try Biohacking?
1. You Live Healthier
One primary tenant of biohacking is that you’re making improvements to your lifestyle or personal decisions that work to enhance your health.
Of course, there are many improvements you could essentially take advantage of.
Your body is naturally supposed to get a certain amount of good and deep sleep every night. Biohack is to use a device or system to start tracking your sleep.
In this way, you can see just how much quality sleep you’re getting. Your body might be getting less meaningful sleep than you’d expect, which can contribute to a lot of health and mood issues.
Some related sleep hacks include installing blackout curtains, developing a better bedtime routine, and even using a sleep-tracking app or device to get a better understanding of your cycles.
Sleep is, without a doubt, just one aspect of your health and life. You could also do the same for your eating habits, activity and exercise, or even just meditation and quiet time.
2. Your Body Feels Better
Assuming you’re following the basic guidelines of biohacking — which is improving your body, health and soul — you will eventually start to feel better.
The difference between biohacks and any number of promising methods, campaigns or self-help programs is that you, yourself, are focused on improving your health.
The goal is not to take someone else’s word for it or follow a strict set of limitations. Instead, you are looking for the means to improve your own life.
You have the freedom to discover what helps your body, in your own time, and in your way. Because everyone is different, this is incredibly important.
What works for someone else may not work as great for you. Maybe improving your diet, for example, has been a focus for years but doesn’t offer the benefits everyone else claims it does.
Biohacking is, first and foremost, about the benefits it affords your own body.
3. Your Quality of Life Improves
Eating better, sleeping better, exercising more and just living a healthier, more active life is better for your body. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to visit the gym every day, though.
Now that we answered the question ‘What is biohacking?’, you know it’s all about improving your quality of life.
Inherently, you’ll experience enhanced cognitive functions, increased energy and libido, better moods and sleep patterns, fewer junk food cravings and even better focus. Poor health can contribute to brain fog or a lack of productivity.
Overall, you’re eliminating what makes your body hurt, and that means improving your quality of life, comfort levels and general health.
4. You Extend Your Life
When you sit down and look at the biggest contributing factors to early death or health problems, many things stand out. For example, smoking can lead to COPD or cancer.
You also have to consider general health, which includes things like the foods you eat. It can also contribute to sugar levels, cholesterol, heart function and even blood pressure.
Finally, we have your brain and its chemical balance. You’re more likely to experience depression, mental and mood instability, and a variety of major health defects if and when your body is unhealthy.
Through biohacks, you are essentially rebuilding and boosting your life.
Instead of turning to junk and greasy foods when you’re upset, for example, you could make a pact to go running or walking instead. You are actively making better decisions that work to improve your health and extend your life.
5. Your Appearance Will Improve
The happier you are, the better you look. This does tend to correlate with body image — weight, unfortunately, plays a role — but also personal confidence.
It doesn’t matter who you are: Confidence hinges on body health, mental health and more.
Biohacks are inherently designed to improve both confidence and emotion regarding your own body.
There are many of you out there that will immediately dismiss this concept for being against overweight people. That’s not the case at all.
It’s more about personal outlook and perception. What do you think will be best for your own body? That may very well be gaining weight as opposed to losing it.
In the end, proper use of a biohacking works to improve your overall composition as opposed to hindering or reversing it.
Because this could be construed as vague, it’s about improving your general health, happiness, and lifestyle. Maybe something would make your body better, but not your mind and soul. That would not be considered a biohack.
6. You’ll Have More Energy
Sugar and caffeine offer great kicks or jolts of energy, but they are not sustainable. Eventually, they run out, and that leaves you feeling drained, tired and sometimes even depressed.
Biohacks, on the other hand, actively work against this sort of thing. It’s the art of molding your biology to work for you, instead of against you.
There are dozens of TED talks on the subject, but the most beneficial is that of Ellen Jorgensen in 2012.
A true biohack is something that anyone can do — even you — and it offers significant health or biological benefits.
Since improved health means more energy and power to get things done, it’s become one of the main reasons for adopting the methodology.
In the end, it’s about you and your body and what kind of improvements will help you reach a healthier, more active lifestyle.
Now that we answered the question ‘What is biohacking’ and you saw how it can change your life, it’s worth making a plan on where to start.
About The Author
Kayla Matthews writes about self-development, productivity and goal-setting. Her work has been featured on MakeUseOf, The Daily Muse, VentureBeat and Tiny Buddha, among other publications. To read more from Kayla, you can visit her blog Productivity Theory.