Updated: Mar 25, 2021
Allison is a consultant, working for a top-tier consulting firm. Although the routines and habits centered around hard work served her well in her early career, regular promotions mean she now has increasing workload, as well as an active social and family life – leaving little time for her to spend on her own.
As such, she’s caught herself sometimes experiencing brain fog, and a sense of overwhelm leading to high stress levels.
She’s heard through a grapevine - without actively researching - about neurohacking, and how it can help solve some of the very challenges she’s experiencing. There 'hacks', however, have typically been in the form of supplements and technologies that would require financial investment, something Allison isn't interested in.
There is a misconception that Neurohacking requires financial investment / significant time and commitment. Whilst it's true that certain supplements and devices can really help unlock our potential, there are practices that we can introduce into our daily routine.
With that in mind, here are top 5 neurohacks that you can implement into your daily routine.
If done right, journaling forces and allows us to examine our behaviours and patterns - rather than letting them. We can make journaling purposeful and reflective by answering some of these questions:
What worked well for me today?
What could I have done differently, and how?
What small step did I take to today or will I take tomorrow to get started to (i) solve a big problem, (ii) learn something new. (iii) set me up on a path to a new goal?
Were my actions today reflective of the person I want to become?
Was I deliberate with my decisions, or did I let life happen to me?
We all have good days and bad days, but falling into the trap of having a victim’s mentality can be a downward spiral
The purpose of practicing gratitude (and this hack can be integrated with journaling) is to be grateful for what we have or have achieved so far in our journey, but not at the expense of our ambitions or desires
Gratitude can significantly improve our health and wellbeing if practiced regularly (daily, if possible), and can include anything from your health, the health of your loved ones, having Wi-Fi at home (who isn’t grateful for this 😊)or the comfort of having a roof over your head tonight.
As part of your journaling practice, include a gratitude list of at least 5 things – no matter how big or small – that you’re grateful for
This needn’t be a gruelling workout, but a moderate exercise – 30 mins a day, 5 days a week – that roughly amounts to 2.5 hours every week.
Whether this means taking a walk, going for a run, riding a bike, hitting the gym, doing yoga or just playing!
If you’re struggling for time – and we all are – try one or a combination of the following hacks:
Wake up 30 mins early
Instead of scrolling mindlessly through your social media first thing when you wake up, try a morning workout
Have a walking meeting at work
Get out of the office for lunch
Catching public transport? Skip a station
Aside from the physical benefits, regular exercise can help manage depression symptoms, and can pay dividends in your profession by improving your cognitive ability, and helping alleviate anxiety and stress
Feed your curiosity
The next time you find yourself doomscrolling through YouTube or your social media feed, try typing into YouTube a skill that you’ve wanted to learn, e.g., “How to speak Spanish”, or “How to juggle”
Feeding your curiosity leads to stimulation of neural activity within your brain through the formation of more neural connections. This improves your learning capability and strengthens your mind.
Breaking away from something that is – by design – created to keep you hooked is easier said than done, but this is one of the easiest hacks to act on (but harder to maintain for some) if you find yourself suffering from brain clutter and overwhelm
But disconnecting from social media can:
Free up your time!
Free up your mental capacity – to think about the things that matter to you, not the Mediterranean holiday your best friend is on or the restaurant your colleague is dining in
Reduce stress levels – constant engagement with social media platforms can lead to mental fatigue, depression, and impact your sleep patterns
Be present, and explore the real world
If you have access to it, we highly recommend a viewing of ‘The Social Dilemma’ on Netflix
To conclude, if you’re early in our journey to be the best versions of ourselves, there’s no shortage of hacks Allison can try without investing too much time or money. Starting with one of the above, stacking more hacks every couple of days and building on your progress is the best way to integrate the habit into her routine.
Outcome – if practiced consistently and for a longer period of time, Alison observed:
Sense of purpose
Pull towards a mission, rather than a push - therefore more longer lasting