Monday, June 25, 2018

11 BASIC BIOHACKS for a healthy life ✨

do you biohack? (you probably do) biohacking is, according to guru Dave Asprey, "the art and science of changing the environment around you and inside you" to live your healthiest life. so basically, anytime you make changes in your lifestyle for the betterment of your health, you're biohacking! yay! 

biohacking is GOOD! it's paying attention to your body cues and making intentional choices - taking action! - where there's room for improvement. biohacks include nutrition and exercise, but also so much more like sleep habits and aspects of our daily routines that contribute to overall health. biohacking differs from "self-care" in that it is focused on biological, or life, changes. self-care is often a superficial, temporary or one-time, and vanity-based change. self-care would tell me to enjoy girls night out. biohacking would say drink more water, girl. biohacking is taking care of my overall health considering the long term. 

i like to constantly be in tune with my physical, mental, and emotional self, and biohack as needed.  biohacking is an ongoing process. as we age and as seasons change, our bodies needs will change! if you're not currently biohacking, or you've been doing the same routine for years, now is a good time to check in with yourself and biohack :) 

here are 11 OF MY FAVORITE BASIC BIOHACKS that i incorporate on a regular basis:

1. SLEEP // biohack your sleep. this is not breaking news: sleep is important. i make sure to get 7-9 hours of sleep every night. there's a ton of research out there that links sleep to overall health and vitality. some of my sleep well tips are: turn down the lighting and noise in your environment about an hour or so before bedtime to let the body/mind begin to prep for rest, keep electronics out of the bedroom (including TV) or only for alarm purposes (we use an iHome connected to our phone for white noise and progressive alarm), sleep with socks on, spend a big chunk of time off of screens (TV, computer, phone) before falling asleep (i read and pray), and stick to a regular bedtime routine. adults need to be sleep trained just like babies! 

2. MOVEMENT // biohack your energy. the saying "a body at rest will stay at rest, and a body in motion will stay in motion" is true! my body responds positively when i'm physically active. i try to workout 5 days a week, but even on days 6 and 7 i make an effort to spend time moving my body like taking a walk with the fam, or going to a cardio dance class at the gym. physical activity is good for body and mind.   

3. PRAYER // biohack your worries. you can worry, or you can pray, but you can't do both at the same time, so choose! praying is obviously better for your health than worrying. anytime i catch myself unusually stressed, i'll biohack by adding more prayer into my routine. one thing i've found is that my time spent in prayer is never wasted! i'm always centered and at peace after praying and talking with God. one of my biggest biohacks for anxiety and fear is to PRAY FOR OTHERS! friends, loved ones, church, city, country, and world leaders, difficult people, my kids' friends, my kids' future spouses, neighbors, and anyone that comes to mind. it's pretty neato how God will shift my focus OFF of myself and my problems when i begin to pray for others. and peace follows every time. 

4. NATURE // biohack your perspective. getting in nature, breathing in the fresh air, and soaking up the sunlight is a biohack i like especially for emotional healing. taking time to appreciate creation and the natural beauty around me is so good for my soul. sometimes all we need is literally a change in scenery. taking a walk and taking time to be mindful of nature always makes me think of Psalm 121 "my help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth."  

5. P TRACKER // biohack your lady time. the P Tracker app keeps track of my cycle and helps me stay in tune with my bod. i'm amazed at how knowing where i am in my cycle, and making changes at certain times of the month in my eating, sleeping, and physical activity habits, makes it all so much better. skin, cramps, bloat, mood - all of it is affected. the more you know! this app takes the guesswork out of why am i feeling this way? so i can adjust and adapt accordingly.   

6. PRIORITIZE // biohack your calendar. if your calendar seems overwhelming with social engagements, appointments, and places to be and things to do, it might be time to biohack your calendar by re-establishing your priorities. having priorities in place will help keep the to do list and calendar in check because you can say YES or NO to invitations and obligations based on those priorities. this has been hugely helpful for me! as opportunities come my way, even if i really want to say yes, i consider my priorities. sometimes i have to say no to good things so i can say yes to better things. perpetual busy-ness isn't healthy. protect your time for your mental health!  

7. WATER // biohack your hydration. our bodies need more water than we realize. the sensation of being thirsty is actually an early sign of dehydration. drinking water all day long will keep the bod hydrated and healthy! skin, organs, mental clarity, cells, tissues, joints... every aspect of the body depends on water. now, this might be TMI, but my friend and i joke about achieving "clear pee" status throughout the day because clear urine means i'm sufficiently hydrated! seriously, though, water does a body good. i drink at least 8 ounces first thing in the morning, and i refill my cup several times during the day.     

8. FOOD DIARY // biohack your diet. whenever my digestion goes crazy or i notice my energy levels dipping, or my body gives me any other clues like headaches or any discomfort, i stop to think about what i've been eating. i can almost always trace any icky feeling back to something i ate, and almost 100% of the time it was a processed food, contained MSG, or otherwise rejected by my gut. sometimes it's too much of something or too little of something that is causing the ruckus. the solution is always found when i track my food in a "diary" - just basically listing out what i eat. over the years i've found that the foods i have adverse reactions to changes from time to time. for instance, sugar in any form used to really upset my system but now i can handle pure cane sugar in moderation. so, it's always good to re-assess and biohack as needed. 

9. PURGE // biohack your clutter. clutter in the home creates clutter in the heart. think about that: if you think your home is cluttered, you'll feel like you can't have friends over, you'll feel like your house is too small, you'll feel disorganized, and you'll probably double-buy because things get lost in the clutter. it's overwhelming! and it confuses the truth that life isn't about things. so whether you need to organize, trash, or donate, just purge. less is more. simplify your life by living simpler. instead of striving to obtain/collect/buy more, strive for freedom from material things. minimizing your stuff will tremendously maximize your mental and emotional health. re-evaulate/remember what's important in life. purge the rest.    

10. DETOX // biohack your toxins. it's good to take a good, hard look at the toxins around you every once in a while. toxins are everywhere and there are some we can avoid, some we can not. what changes can you make to your environment to clear the toxins? switch to nontoxic makeup and skincare? upgrade to organic bedding? start using a nontoxic deodorant and toothpaste? find a chemical-free dry cleaner? check for weird chemicals in your foods? step out of a toxic relationship? yep, toxins affect every area of life. biohack! detoxing will play a huge role in improving your overall health!  

11. COMMUNITY // biohack your heart. it breaks my heart that there are 7 billion people in the world, and yet people still feel lonely. we were created to be together. we were created to live in community - it's all over the bible. whether you call yourself an introvert or extrovert, or wherever you fall on the ennegram thing, you are made to be in community with other people. "in community" isn't walking the aisles of Target and making small talk with strangers at Starbucks. it's being intentional about spending quality time with other people regularly, with the goal to establish authentic, deep, relationships. you can get in community by going to church or bible study, getting involved at your kids' school or activities, joining a rec club or class, becoming active in your neighborhood association, or making an effort to get plugged in with a new circle of people. i feel lonely when i haven't spent time with my community. loneliness a solvable problem. biohack it and your heart will be glad!   

so, the next time you purposely refill your glass of water, cut something out of your diet because it makes you feel sick, or step outside for some fresh air, consider it a biohack! what biohacks do you recommend? 

Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. 3 John 1:2

be well, biohackers! xo