12 Bullet Proof Life Hacks
Hundreds of physical, mental, and emotional constructs impact our personal and professional development. So there are many more in my life, but these 12 life-hacks are only highlights that made a significant impact. I encapsulate them and explain each point briefly on how they produced excellent results in all domains.
1 — Ketosis
Probably putting this controversial item first is risky as some people still think of it just as a simple molecule. Bear with me.
Ketosis made a massive impact on physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual domains. So far, deep ketosis was the only biological phenomenon that helped me experience euphoria.
Ketones can be seen as simple molecules as an alternative energy source for the body and the brain. However, despite the deceptive perception, these signalling molecules have a tremendous impact on our mental health, emotional maturity, and physical performance.
Being in ketosis means that our body is fat adapted. The fear of survival is gone. The body has an abundance of energy even if we don’t have food for days and months. When fat-adapted, the body uses stored fat as energy for the function of many organs, especially for the brain. It is metabolically cleaner and more efficient than glucose.
Since I experienced ketosis, I had remarkable changes in my physical, mental, and emotional health. Thus, even though ketosis is a physical and biological construct, it also affected me emotionally and spiritually.
When I am in deep ketosis, my mood gets better, and everything looks brighter. Hunger disappears, inflammation subsides, and pain gradually disappears.
We reach ketosis when liver glycogen is consumed, external glucose is absent, and hormones like insulin and cortisol are at minimal levels in the bloodstream. However, the body still creates essential glucose for the bloodstream through gluconeogenesis. This vital process is the essence of our evolution in challenging times.
Ketones are not just energy-producing molecules. They do more. For example, they signal the body to reduce inflammation hence decrease stress. When we are in ketosis, our craving disappears. The brain is happy with the alternative energy, and the body knows it has the required energy. It does not feel in starvation mode even though we don’t eat anything for days.
In short, by staying in ketosis, like thousands of other people, I increased my energy, maintained a healthy weight, and reduced inflammation and stress. I rewired my brain using ketones especially β-Hydroxybutyrate. Rewiring Brain by Activating BDNF & β-Hydroxybutyrate: How to initiate neurogenesis and enhance cognitive reserves with simple lifestyle habits.
2 — Jubilant Workouts
Movement is critical for the body and the brain. However, exercise creates stress, and unless our workouts are joyful and delightful, we don’t want to do exercise naturally. We need to trick the brain into initiating the process. Paradoxically, when the workout starts, the brain naturally produces those feel-good hormones.
The brain is designed to preserve energy for survival. It sees the exercise as a threat wasting valuable energy required for essential survival. Therefore, unless there is an intentional stimulus, we stay in sedentary mode as default. This awareness is a life hack and the key to fitness.
Using the power of happiness hormones such as dopamine, we can create stimuli easily. Therefore, I only focus on joyful exercises which make me happy. When we start simple and easy exercises, after warming up with boosting good feel hormones, we can do more tedious and high impact workouts.
Making joyful exercises as a habit had a tremendous effect on my personal development and health. For example, these exercises reversed my insulin resistance, helped me lose fat, defined my body, and strengthened my bones and muscles.
3 — Mindfulness
Living in the moment is the present that we can give to ourselves. Memories of past events bring negative emotions such as guilt and regret. Future thoughts bring anxiety and fear.
By being aware of now and accepting our current situation, we live in the moment. The high-quality focus on each specific moment determines outcomes thus contribute to our future success.
Regret, guilt, anxiety, and fear have a role in survival. However, without mindfulness, they take over and put us in victim mode.
With mindful living, being aware of each moment, accepting life energy as is, we can create our reality and transform into our desired state.
4 — Self Conversations
Some might think it as madness, but self-talk is an indication of self-love, self-confidence, and self-esteem.
The best way to catch up on thoughts for me was having an intimate conversation with myself. Asking questions to myself for the origin and meaning of thoughts, such as where this specific thought came from and what it meant to me, created a new dimension in my life.
When we observe and verbalize our thoughts, we can have control over our emotions. Thoughts based on negative and positive nature are capable of creating corresponding emotions.
I also use journaling to record my thoughts, sometimes asking questions with my right hand and replying with my left one. My left hand always surprised me, echoing voices from suppressed childhood memories.
Our emotional health depends on the quality of our thoughts. By talking to myself with empathy and compassion, I can better communicate with my thoughts and consequently manage my emotions. Self-talk can increase self-love.
5 — Scheduling Fun
Fun is a critical factor for our physical, mental, and emotional health. The more fun we have, the better moods and more positive behaviours we create. Our inner child craves for fun and serves us better when we plan and enjoy.
The best way of introducing fun to my life was scheduling it and honoring my schedule. Allocating time for pleasurable events such as laughter, dancing, play, and therapeutic events made a huge difference in controlling my mood. I see life as a playground during my scheduled fun sessions.
Without scheduled fun, our reptilian brain runs the show by making us anxious. Our thinking brain is how we plan and design things that can contribute to our well-being. Scheduled events with repetitions can turn into valuable habits.
6 — Customized Diet
I learned that each of us is unique and need a customized diet based on several factors such as genetic make-up, metabolic differences, and health conditions.
Initially, I thought any generic diet could apply to anyone. This assumption was a big mistake I learned by paying a high health bill. I tried many diets. Unfortunately, none of the dietary approaches I tried based on previous nutritional advice worked for me. They left damaging havoc, which I had to fill in a costly way as discussed in this story: My Unusual Diet Revealed: How a carnivore lifestyle transformed my health and fitness.
I discovered the optimal diet for my fitness, excellent health, life satisfaction, and high performance with self-experimentation, curiosity, and courage. For example, my allergies and autoimmune conditions made me decide to remove plant foods and fiber from my diet. This simple decision helped me resolve many health issues.
Even though the dietary regimen I follow is still controversial and frowned up by some people based on ethical and political premises, I am confident in my choice based on my long term experimentation.
I don’t criticize other people’s dietary choices and expect the same from me. I am grateful that my family members who follow a different regime support my choice, and I support their choice.
However, I had some strong reactions such as once I was thrown out from an AirBnb accommodation due to my diet. How I Felt When I Was Thrown out of an Airbnb House: Being rejected from accommodation services taught me valuable and memorable life lessons
I respect all dietary choices. There is no one fit for all. I see diet as a health issue, not an ethical and political matter.
7 — Detoxification
I am not talking about kale, celery, fruit juice or detox supplements here.
Our body and the brain are under constant toxic attacks from metabolism and the environment. For example, we get toxins from our food during digestion and metabolism, drinking, and breathing.
These toxins can cause oxidative stress and autoimmune responses hence increase inflammation.
I found many detoxification methods. For example, mindful breathing, drinking clean water, breathing clean air, sweating, hormetic and autophagy generating activities such as fasting, heat and cold therapy.
To touch on it once more, ketosis also contributes to detoxification. In ketosis, the body initiates autophagy (eating useless tissues) and burns metabolically cleaner energy.
8 — Serendipitous Kindness
All good things entered my life and the lives of other people I observed through a series of serendipitous encounters and act of kindness. So many setbacks turned into serendipity, resolved with kindness, and proved as blessings in disguise.
Serendipity is the development of events by chance or luck, resulting in good outcomes. Staying in the moment mindfully, with awareness and acceptance, I find ways to create serendipitous encounters. Some adverse events and setbacks usually turned into blessings from hindsight.
Altruistic events, the act of kindness, reciprocity, and tolerance to uncertainty are sources of creating serendipity. We are all capable of creating serendipity using these approaches.
I see serendipitous kindness as a unique path to oneness.
9 — Growth Mindset
There are different mindsets. The most common ones are growth and fixed mindsets. These two mindsets determine our happiness or suffering in life. We cannot change our circumstances and external conditions directly; however, a growth mindset can have a favorable effect on outcomes.
Open-mindedness to possibilities can create a growth mindset. Optimism is another factor creating a growth mindset.
When I learned the importance of a growth mindset and understood the risks of a fixed mindset, I attracted valuable experiences, new opportunities, and interesting people to my life. In addition, implementing a growth mindset contributed to reducing the intensity of my sufferings — more to this critical point in a follow-up article.
10 — Cold/Heat Exposure
This item may look trivial from the outset as cold and heat are natural and straightforward concepts. We give little thought to these as the autonomic nervous system manages them without conscious effort. Our body has a thermostat to keep us at a specific temperature for survival.
However, both cold and heat can be used to make substantial physical, mental, and emotional changes. Using altered temperature to challenge our body can bring therapeutic effects.
For example, using both cold and hot therapy, I managed my stress better, addressed inflammation, improved my sleep, got rid of toxins, and resolved my depressive thoughts.
Exposing the body to both excessive cold and heat can turn longevity genes, produce valuable neurotransmitters, and disseminate protective hormones across the body.
For example, the dry sauna is one of the heat therapies that help me detoxify my body naturally. Cold showers help me gain a better hormonal balance and improve my sleep. There is significant research on using thermic effects for physical and mental healing.
11 — Creativity and Innovation
Creativity opened new opportunities for my personal and professional life. By using mindfulness, brain boosters, artistic endeavors, unique communication strategies, I increased my creativity.
Related to creativity, innovative thinking contributed to personal and professional development and life satisfaction.
Innovation is creating new ideas and results from old ones by looking at things from different perspectives, combining unrelated things, and creating new meanings. By using innovative thinking, I was able to invent, turning ideas into useful products.
A growth mindset and mindfulness helped me become more creative, innovative, and inventive turning my ideas to tangible products and services.
12 — Collaboration & Synergy
We are social beings needing each other. Our social connections determine our life quality. Only by supporting each other do we grow, survive, and thrive.
Even though collaboration may sound like a business concept associated with partnership and affiliations, in essence, collaboration is working with others to extend and enhance capabilities for mutual benefits.
Rituals in spiritual communities can be considered collaborative activities. This is because members can extend and enhance their sensations with collective input.
We collaborate with our parents, siblings, relatives, friends, colleagues, community members, and the members of a larger society. Collaboration creates synergy, meaning when we collaborate, we create synergistic outcomes.
Thank you for reading my perspectives.
About the Author
I am a technologist, postdoctoral researcher, published author, editor, and digital marketing strategist with four decades of industry experience.
I write articles for Medium, NewsBreak, and Vocal Media. On Medium, I established ILLUMINATION, ILLUMINATION-Curated, ILLUMINATION’ S MIRROR, ILLUMINATION Book Chapters, Technology Hits, and SYNERGY publications supporting 11,900+ writers on Medium.