Your brain is a system and the key to hacking any system is to think about the inputs.
So, what are the inputs of the brain? We have your own thoughts of course but there are also many more: such as what you eat (and the chemicals that make their way into the brain as a result), what you are seeing, what you are hearing… even the temperature of your surroundings!
Let’s discuss 5 ways you can hack this system in order to get more out of it…
#1 Use Blue Light
The brain sets our sleep-wake cycle – or circadian rhythm – based on numerous different inputs. Key among these is the light that we detect through our eyelids and even through our skull. When the light is bright, we produce more cortisol and nitric oxide which keeps the brain alert and awake.
A simple hack then is to use blue light from a special lamp in order to keep yourself more switched on!
#2 Or Red Light
Likewise though, using light that is a little redder on the spectrum will have the opposite effect. This suggests to the brain that evening is setting in and that it’s time to wind down: thus it begins to produce melatonin. Use red light as evening comes around and you’ll be better primed for bed and will have a deeper night’s sleep, resulting in more energy the next day.
#3 Take a Cold Shower
The brain responds similarly to temperature. If you give yourself a cold shower, this will cause a flood of neurotransmitters associated with alertness and wakefulness. This is an ideal way to give yourself a rush of energy in the morning!
Working out will likewise also wake up the brain and cause a flood of wakefulness hormones to be unleashed. What’s more, is that it will increase the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the brain by dilating blood vessels.
The brain will naturally peak and trough in energy throughout the day as you veer between anabolic and catabolic states. The key is to recognize that those tired phases aren’t necessarily a ‘bad’ thing. These actually make us more creative and so one of the best things you can do is to time your work in such a way as to synchronise it with your brain’s internal rhythms. This is even better than trying to ‘hack’ it into the state you want to be in!
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