The issue with “mindset hacks”

Written by Joe Cohen, BS | Last updated:

Go on any social media platform and in the first 5 minutes, you’re guaranteed to see one thing.

A life coach – or mindset guru, or mindfulness professional, or any other iteration of that title you see – will pop up in your timeline explaining how to “change the way you look at life,” with a carefully crafted motivational speech, coupled with some inspiring background music to further push that feeling of hope (and also push you towards their coaching program 😜.)

I believe that mindful activities like yoga and meditation work wonders for your mental health, but a lot of these life coaches are unqualified and, due to the algorithm, they’ve shown up on someone’s timeline that is actively searching to better themselves.

It slows down the process for the person actually looking to optimize their mental health – whether that’s to improve mood, enhance creativity, or increase motivation.

Plus, I think that only working on your mindset, or performing mindful activities, is not enough to get you to where you want to go.

Our physiology plays a huge role in shaping our brain health. There’s a reason why “exercise regularly” and “eat healthy” are the foundations of improved cognitive function and mood.

You can do all the mindset work in the world, if you’re still sitting on the couch all day eating McDonald’s, you are not going to see an improvement in your mental health.

The reality is, the human brain is intricately connected to your body.

But everybody is unique, and the way you interact with a certain food or supplement might be way different than even someone like your sibling.

If you want to really discover what works best for you, you need to look at your genetics.

Here are a couple of genes that I looked at in the beginning of my journey, which helped me improve my mood and get rid of brain fog.

ATF6B and Depression

Proteins are vital for our bodies to function correctly, and they’re continuously being produced in our cells. These proteins need to be precisely shaped.

Occasionally, proteins don’t shape correctly, and when they start piling up and can’t be corrected, it creates stress within the cell, which can lead to cell damage or even cell death.

There’s a defense mechanism in our cells – influenced by the ATF6α protein – which works to clear out the pile-up of misfolded proteins. However, if this defense mechanism is activated for too long, it can also lead to cell death.

That’s where another protein, ATF6β, comes into play. It helps to control the defense mechanism by inhibiting ATF6α, preventing it from being active for too long and thus, protecting our cells from too much damage.

The negative gene variant creates less ATF6β, which could cause this defense mechanism to remain active for too long, leading to more cell death and, in return, cause mood problems like depression.

Luckily, there’s one supplement that can help counteract the negative effects and help improve ATF6β function!

NFKBIL1 and Brain Fog

The NFKBIL1 gene is a part of a large network of genes that determine the overall function of the immune system.

This particular gene codes for a protein that suppresses the inflammatory response.

It does this by imitating a compound called IkB, which counteracts inflammation by inhibiting a pro-inflammatory protein called NF-kB.

In other words, having higher levels of this gene helps keep inflammation down.

Brain fog – and specifically processing speed – is a chronic cognitive issue that occurs due to inflammation in the brain.

So if you carry the variant that is not creating enough of this protein, it increases your risk of experiencing brain fog.

Start Your Journey To Better Mental Health

These are only 2 of the thousands of genes that are related to your brain health.

The good news is, SelfDecode analyzes and gives you actionable insights on all these genetic variants, giving you a roadmap to better health.

By understanding your genetics, you can start creating an exercise schedule that’s suitable for your body, and create a diet and supplement regimen that can help you succeed.

And while you’re optimizing your body with these changes, you’ll notice that your brain is also getting better. Your mood will improve, your motivation will increase, and you’ll start feeling more focused.

Couple that with the mindful activities, and you’ll find changes in yourself you’ve never dreamed of.



About the Author

Joe Cohen, BS

Joe Cohen, BS

Joe Cohen flipped the script on conventional and alternative medicine…and it worked. Growing up, he suffered from inflammation, brain fog, fatigue, digestive problems, insomnia, anxiety, and other issues that were poorly understood in traditional healthcare. Frustrated by the lack of good information and tools, Joe decided to embark on a learning journey to decode his DNA and track his biomarkers in search of better health. Through this personalized approach, he discovered his genetic weaknesses and was able to optimize his health 10X better than he ever thought was possible. Based on his own health success, he went on to found SelfDecode, the world’s first direct-to-consumer DNA analyzer & precision health tool that utilizes AI-driven polygenic risk scoring to produce accurate insights and health recommendations. Today, SelfDecode has helped over 100,000 people understand how to get healthier using their DNA and labs.
Joe is a thriving entrepreneur, with a mission of empowering people to take advantage of the precision health revolution and uncover insights from their DNA and biomarkers so that we can all feel great all of the time.


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