Use Your Body to Hack Your Brain
July 18, 2014
Rough night last night with the baby; have been a zombie all day.
Can’t focus on any creative work… want to become one with the couch…
“No way in hell I’m going to the (climbing) gym.”
Know That feeling? Of course you do.
Luckily, I remembered a concept from Scott Adams’ Latest Book about tricking your brain into a new mood, and I thought I’d put it to the test.
Spoiler: It totally worked.
Your brain is basically just responding to everything that is thrown at it; fresh sensory input coming in, memories bubbling up with suggestions on your current situation, and — importantly — messages in the form of hormones of all kind released by your body.
Here’s the nifty part: it’s pretty easy to get your body to send different messages to your brain, tipping your mood in the right direction.
All you have to do, in fact, is force yourself to do 15 minutes of any kind of intense physical activity that you enjoy. A few minutes later your body will start releasing endorphins which your brain just loves… all of a sudden, your mood and energy improve.
Yes, you may still be tired after a while, but less than before — and your mental ability will definitely be elevated by a notch or two.
Note that this works even if you are in a grumpy mood while you do it (I proved that today). It also works even if you are aware that you are trying to trick yourself… The endorphins are just as real to your brain either way.
Feeling down, tired, or frustrated? 15 minutes of fun exertion and you’ve flooded your brain with happy juice. Makes the rest of your day much easier. 🙂
BTW: The book I mentioned above, “How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big” is actually one of the most useful books I’ve read in at least a year. Scott has a very engineering-minded approach to his life, and he lays out some very compelling steps you can steal and apply to make your life easier (and presumably more successful, if that’s something you want).
I plan to write about this book more in the near future, as soon as my neighbor returns my copy! In the meantime, though, I guarantee that if you give this a read you’ll find it worth your while.
Check it out!
(Disclosure: Affiliate link… but I don’t use affiliate links unless I completely believe in what I’m pointing you towards!)