Alternative therapies is back! With a slightly different twist, I’d like to share my daily routine of a Biohacker. Sounds fancy right! It’s simply the daily habits I’ve formed in creating my blueprint for happiness (and managing my mental illness).
I want to start by saying this was a journey and something I’ve shaped over a number of years. If you had visit old me in a time machine and said ‘Ryan, if you make this your daily routine you will feel relatively well most days’ My head would have said ‘fuck that’. It sounds like a lot of effort with zero fun. I would have found every excuse under the sun, legit reasons for not doing it mixed in with a healthy amount of bullshit excuses, either way my head would have stubbornly said, No.
Small steps is what got me here, a hell of a lot of failures, self love, kindness but the willingness to try again tomorrow. In the words of some of the most accomplished life coaches and motivational speakers, fail forwards. I started with the mind set of ‘I’m going to try to embed this practice this week and once that goes from occasional habit to routine then il add the next piece of the puzzle’, and so on.
Have you ever gone all guns blazing into a project setting yourself unreachable expectations and then it becomes too much and you lose you gusto, I have. Starting small and Cashing In those wins along the way before you know it you're there, Rome wasn’t built in a day. They didn’t have fancy machinery or the engineering genius of modern science so they built it brick by brick and did what they could until they basked in the glory of the empire.
Firstly, what do we mean by Biohacker as this is becoming a trending word and a cult of people such as Dave Asprey and Ben Angel have biohacked their way to optimal health.
‘Do it your self biology is a growing biotechnological social movement in which individuals, communities and organisations practice and study biology and life science’.
For me in simpler terms it’s getting the body to do what it does as well as it can and there are a number of resources available to us to do this. Here’s my daily routine:
6AM – Wake the fuck up. To have any chance of achieving this I’m asleep by 10pm.
In my experience (and I have a lot of this) nothing good ever came from staying up after 10pm. On one extreme chatting bollocks in a kitchen party to someone I’ve never met but convinced were new best friends to the other, one more episode of Netflix even though I know il be tired tomorrow.
The art of the ‘wake up’ was getting harder as the years go on, where have the days gone where I could go out partying all night charged up on God knows what, have a shower, go straight to work and hit the gym feeling fresh as the Fresh Prince. This waking up business takes time now so half asleep still I reach for my headphones and listen to 30 minutes of Binaural Beats – not some Ibiza class DJ you haven’t heard of, definition below:
‘Listening to Binaural Beats is an emerging form of sound wave therapy. When we listen to sounds at different frequencies it can activate the brain and studies have shown has been linked with lowered anxiety, increased brain function, focus, relaxation amongst other benefits’.
The 30 minutes track I listen to is called Awakening Spirit and can be found on Aubrey Marcus Fit For Service app (but lots of free resources on Youtube).
By the end of this I’m set, its nice to listen to and somehow (and I’m not going to bore you with frequency science) activates my brain to a point that I want to get up and I’m ready.
6:30 AM – Rehydrate
I mix one scoop of Super Greens by Chemical Warfare with 2 table spoons of Apple Cider Vinegar, 2 tablespoons of Lemon Juice and 3 pinch’s of Himalayan Sea Salt.
Lets keep this simple. We have all heard that water is good for us. Water gives us energy and helps the systems of the body do what they do well, we can be deficient in these necessary components (we often lose minerals by sweating during the night especially if at night your better half likes the windows shut, heating on and duvets wrapped round them like a human tortilla). By losing these necessary components in sweat it can put us at a loss. Food, drink, vitamins and minerals are like fuel and oil in your car – if we don’t put it in the car might still drive but not as efficiently.
Coffee – (but with one tea spoon of MCT Oil)
I used to hammer the coffee in an attempt to get going but a high intake of caffeine can be like using a fire alarm to wake you up in the morning. That stimulant, the adrenaline and the impending mid crash was something that I suffered with. MCT Oil (medium triglyceride chain) are more easily digested than other oils with a host of health benefits. As my body has to break down the KETO safe fat to get at the stores of energy help in the coffee it’s a slower release and at the age of 41 I have come to realize it’s a marathon, not a race.
7AM – Morning fat burning cardio. I’m not killing myself, I coast along at 130 – 140 BPM.
Mobility is good for the body and the Serotonin (a happy mood/brain chemical) from exercise is good for my brain. Add the that the sense of achievement that I’m winning today and I’m 100% now feeling ready to take on the days challenges I can confirm, I’m officially awake.
7:30AM – Nice, hot shower (followed by 2 minutes minimum of a cold shower)
The legendary Wim Hof has bought cold exposure to the masses with his combined breathwork method and spending time in the cold, usually a shower or ice bath.
This took time to embrace. I’m usually always warm and have a more Northern attitude to the cold. In the words of my Dad, ‘If your cold put a jumper on’ and the classic ‘shut the door, were you born in a barn’. But still, willingly getting fully immersed in cold water did not appeal to me. There are a host of physical health benefits but this is more about the mental health side and what this gives me is a higher stress threshold.
By getting into cold water (when are heads are saying) ‘are you fucking mad, why’?! we can increase our threshold for stress. The alarm bells go off telling us this is horrible get out but by breathing into the experience and embracing it I find a sense of peace and remarkably don’t feel cold anymore. It has been scientifically and medically proven that we can influence our biochemical process by breathing. Which leads me onto the last part of my morning routine…
3 sets of 30 breaths doing the Wim Hof Method. In his words ‘we can get high on our own supply’!
I liked the sound of that, it appeals to me. Long gone the old school meaning of this phrase where I would have gladly got high on mine, yours and anyone else’s supply at risk of losing a tooth, finger or being relived of my worldly possessions (all of which have been threatened previously) your telling me Wim, you charismatic Dutch Man, I could have got a buzz from breathing?! Fuck sake, where were you all those years ago?
But it's true.
I have attached the link below as Wim himself will explain it far better than I ever could but try it. When we breath in a certain way we can hack into our mind and experience a space of wellbeing that most of don’t know exists.
Following these few simple but sometimes hard to accomplish steps my physical health (which impacts our mental health) and my self destructive, chaos seeking brain is fine tuned, peaceful and focused.
Stay lively for part 2 as it doesn’t end there. If I set my day up in such a positive way then let my head run the show it would quickly turn to shit. These steps all help me to realise that you cant believe everything you think. Thanks brain, I thought you were on my side
Big love and respect to all.
If you haven't read part one, you can read it here: https://www.wearehummingbird.com/post/alternative-therapies-for-your-mental-health-part-1
If you haven't read part two, you can read it here: https://www.wearehummingbird.com/post/alternative-therapies-for-your-mental-health-part-2
If you haven't read part three, you can read it here: https://www.wearehummingbird.com/post/alternative-therapies-for-your-mental-health-part-3
If you haven't read part three, you can read it here: https://www.wearehummingbird.com/post/alternative-therapies-for-your-mental-health-part-4