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How I Use Biohacking to Overcome Burnout at Work Work stress resulted in depression and led this entrepreneur to seek new solutions.

By Simon Lovell

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

When you've spent so many days in front of the computer screen anxious, mentally exhausted and unable to focus on the work you love, you start to look for answers.

My build-up to burnout at work started with low-level stress, which then increased to anxiety. I would stay up late at night, force myself into bed and then get interrupted sleep, causing me to be grumpy the next day.

Over time, this lack of self-control manifested in irritability, anger and a lack of confidence, increasing my use of cigarettes, alcohol and anything else to block me from feeling my emotions because I couldn't handle them. I was in denial about what was happing in my personal relationships and constantly blamed the people around me without taking responsibility for my own mental health.

Eventually, this disconnection from my body led to self-doubt and social isolation. When people would invite me out, I would use two excuses: "I'm too tired" or "I'm too busy." These were lies to protect me from being around people because I couldn't handle the feelings that would come up when trying to connect with others.

The final stage of this aggressive attack on my true self was pushing those closest to me away. Unable to understand myself, I started to question who I was as a man, confused about my identity and desperate for answers. I was not present; I was preoccupied with my overactive mind and self-judgment.

That's when I turned to biohacking.

Biohacking entails hitting a challenge or number of challenges from multiple angles until you come up with an optimum solution. Sometimes, this can be a very costly journey, as it was for me. I have invested over $250,000 to "sort myself out." But I got the results I wanted, and once I did, I was determined to see if the process could help other people too.

My clients, who are working in very demanding roles, need to be at their best, and when their burnout is causing pressure at home, that's normally when I get the message to help. They don't understand how their brain works and need a plan to get back into the zone.

Related: What Exactly Is the Biohacking Movement?

Here's what happens when I'm working specifically with someone who is successful and need to get him or her back on track within days.

Biohack No. 1: Supercharging meditation

If you are going through a serious illness and are told by your doctor to go to the hospital for a five-day treatment that will preserve your ability to walk, you're going to do it. Often, that's not the case when meditation is the prescription.

Many business owners are inconsistent with meditation because they don't understand the significant impact that daily meditation at a certain time can have on reducing burnout and speeding up recovery. If you meditate for two days, then feel a little better and go back to your normal habits, you did little to rewire yourself or shift your consciousness — just like eating spinach twice will not make you lean (or Popeye). The brain requires strong and frequent action to forge "synaptic strength."

When I'm guiding my leaders through specific meditations (before they start work is key), it's not just about the type of meditation: It's about the consistency and actions that are taken afterward that also create a shift away from burnout. But variety is key in biohacking.

In the early stages, guided meditations are better for newcomers to meditation, especially entrepreneurs who have struggled in the past with being consistent. The mind wanders too much when there are simply sounds and music. If they are too "boring" for the ego early on, the impatient entrepreneur's mind will sabotage the long-term benefits. It's a trap so many fall into. I once did too.

Biohack No. 2: Awareness elevation

Neuroscience teaches us that education alone isn't enough to change us. The best example of this is courage (a key part of bouncing back from burnout). You don't become a courageous person from reading about courage. However, someone can bring awareness to a part of your personality that you may not be aware of, and then you get the opportunity to take a different action. If you always give your friends advice and get frustrated with nothing changing, it's likely because of this very principle. People have to want change badly enough to enact it.

We can start to overcome burnout at work quickly when we get the right education and then act. When this happens over a sequence of days, this backs up the already shifted energy in the morning (via meditation), which acts as a baseline for conscious actions. Without this, the actions are less likely because energies such as fear are still active in the nervous system. The body needs to feel safe to take action, which is a major factor in continued procrastination.

Biohack No. 3: Breaking the "stuck" cycle

When stress and disconnection build up to a level that robs others of our presence, we get caught in a repetitive cycle doing the same thing over and over again. This creates more frustration. When I'm guiding my clients back into flow, peace and ease in their business, to support the first two biohacks, I'm giving them specific micro-actions every day so that they alter what can become a mundane routine.

This could be as simple as trying out a different coffee shop, but builds over time until that spark and variety of life is injected, and the mind also starts to shift from its "mind-set-point." When you hear "change your mindset," it's really about changing your actions, which comes from a different energetic system. Then, when we feel good about what we just did or revisit what we once lost, we go back into business with that fire, happiness and love that were temporarily lost because of the disconnection between the mind and the heart.

These elements work on their own and together, much like a truly healthy smoothie; one ingredient can work well, but it's better to shoot for the ideal blend that works together for optimum results, especially if you want to be back to your best.

If you're reading this and feel compelled to take action, yet continue not to act, you're training yourself to repeat the same inaction. Do something now. There is a window of opportunity that was just opened for you.

Related: Can Biohacking Actually Improve Your Focus, Energy and Concentration?

Simon Lovell

Executive Coach

Simon Lovell is an executive coach and creator of The Super High Performance Formula.

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