Every day is a new opportunity for us. But how judicially do we use these opportunities? What are we prioritizing today?
If you open the internet, you will stumble upon innumerable tips on how to take care of your body, how to exercise well, what food to intake and how to maintain a proper diet, but tips on how to make a habit of taking care of your brain are scarce.
Unknowingly, we all are engaged in a number of daily habits that damage our brains. No matter how natural they seem, they are degrading your brain health over a long span of time.
8 Daily Habits That Damage Your Brain
Here are a few unhealthy habits that you may unknowingly engage in that can adversely affect your brain and cognitive abilities –
1. Skipping breakfast
Eating breakfast is significantly beneficial for stimulating the release of certain brain chemicals which are responsible for instigating positive feelings in a person, studies reveal.
Researchers have found that eating a protein-rich breakfast can potentially increase the secretion of neurotransmitters, like dopamine, which increases the rewarding feelings and regulates the food intake in the following few hours afterward. This also helps reduce the probability of obesity by curbing the intake of unnecessary snacks during the wrong time.
Skipping breakfast does not allow the intake of useful nutrients required for the proper functioning of the brain, leading to gradual stress on the brain cells.
Smoking has multidimensional adverse effects on the brain.
A study in 2012 found out that middle-aged male smokers experienced more rapid cognitive decline than nonsmokers or female smokers.
Another research in 2015, compared smokers and nonsmokers from 37 studies and found that smokers were at 30% higher chances of having dementia as compared to non-smokers. According to research in 2017, smokers were at a higher risk of greater amounts of age-related brain volume loss in several areas of the brain.
So, you already got so many reasons to give up on smoking.
3. Guzzling too much food
Are you a foodie? Scientists believe it’s not a crime until you are overdoing it.
Overeating not only has degrading physiological effects but also is harmful to your brain. But how?
Researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine reveals how overeating can cause a malfunction in brain insulin signaling and lead to life-threatening consequences like obesity and diabetes.
Dr. Buettner says, “When you overeat, your brain becomes unresponsive to these important clues such as insulin, which puts you on the road to diabetes. We believe that what happens in rats also happens in humans”
It’s time to watch out for what’s on your plate.
Multitasking has been our go-to coping strategy to deal with the work burden. Where’s the time to complete all our daily tasks one at a time?
But the sad news is, multitasking is a slow poison for your brain. Researchers at Stanford University discovered that people who are burdened with a stream of digital information on a daily basis have more pronounced problems recalling information and also sustaining attention in comparison to people who complete one task at a time.
Not only this but also another UK study found that high multitaskers are at a higher risk of damaging their brain cells beyond repair. It was discovered that the anterior cingulate cortex of multitaskers had less brain density, a region responsible for emotion regulation, empathy, and impulse control.
Hence, people who multitask are increasingly damaging their brains.
5. Not staying hydrated enough
Research in Harvard Medical School revealed that prolonged periods of dehydration can cause the brain tissues to shrink which hampers a person’s ability to execute cognitive functions like visuospatial processing, planning, and decision making.
Drinking water can seem to be a very insignificant activity to perform but it has everlasting negative effects on the brain. Do not drink water only for quenching thirst. Make it a habit to drink water at certain intervals of work.
6. Depriving oneself of proper sleep
We all know it. Despite knowing it, we all have been depriving ourselves of beauty sleep.
Unfortunately, we all are getting it less than ever. Now that we all are so used to multitasking and squeezing the day into a 24-hour slot, the first thing that we compromise is our sleep.
If you are unaware, you must know that recent studies have linked undersleeping with reduced efficiency in your cognitive function. A lack of sleep is also shown to kill brain cells.
7. Working while you are sick
You must not overwork your brain while you’re still recovering from any illness. Because a lot of the energy that is required for the recovery process is used in the intense cognitive functions that are used for finishing your tasks.
This simply takes up the energy that is needed in your healing and hence over time it affects your immunes system and delays the recovery process.
8. Googling everything under the sun
Before the networking era took over, we used to use psychological tricks to remember important information. When we had to memorize a number we used the procedure of ‘clustering’, and when we had to remember a long statement we used an acronym for it.
A 2011 research on college students revealed that they recall less when they knew that they had access to the internet for answers. This shows how less of our brain is being utilized for performing even our daily activities like recalling passwords.
Our brain is an amazing creation. Keeping it healthy and functioning must be the most crucial objective in one’s life because if you are keeping your upper compartment functioning well, you will live an overall fulfilling life. So from today, resolve to not indulge these habits anymore.