Okay, that title is sensationalism… sorry. Let’s uncover what stress-response is and how you can improve your life/health.
Hormesis is a term used by toxicologists to refer to a biphasic dose response to an environmental agent characterized by a low dose stimulation or beneficial effect and a high dose inhibitory or toxic effect. -NCBI
In other words (and for our real world application) – stimulate cells/organisms/you with exposure to something difficult/”bad”/toxic and then (in theory) enjoy a positive and improved aftermath.
We’re living in a day and age where everything is handed to us with simplicity and ease. You don’t have to hunt for food or manage your crops to avoid starvation. You have the store. You don’t have to exert physical energy to the point of exhaustion just to protect your family from predators and impending danger. You have countless protections. There’s never been a weaker and less prepared society. Yes, we’re smart, connected, and have figured out better ways to do things but our bodies and minds are worse off. We’re collectively weaker physically and mentally (we let really dumb things bum us out).
This is why there’s a growing number of people trying to “biohack” their physical & mental health. Biohacking (to me) includes activities to improve mental and physical health.
Here are list of things you can do that are difficult and provide massive benefit both physically and mentally.
- Fasting (from: Food, Entertainment, Vices)
- Cold (Shower, Immersion, Outdoors)
- Hot (Sauna, Sunlight)
- Movement (Lift Heavy, HIIIT, Endurance, Sprinting)
- Intellect (Challenging Intellectual Thought/Work/Study)
All of these tasks involve some sort of stressor – an activity that’s hard or uncomfortable.
Have you recently stopped eating for an extended period of time, stopped watching shows or social media, taken a cold shower or dip in a mountain lake, sat in the sauna longer than was comfortable, worked to the point of exhaustion in the sun, lifted heavy weights that made your body so sore it was hard to move, ran so hard or far that you were completely wiped out, worked on a project that demanded your absolute focus? If yes, great job… now let’s add to it.