Your brain is the control system for all of the activities that occur in your body.
But did you know that most of us engage in daily habits that actually hinder our brain’s ability to do its thing?
Even worse, many of these habits can have serious long-term consequences! Knowing how to look after your most important organ, is vital. This means, taking into consideration things that help your brain stay healthy, and things that may actually cause harm.
The following habits damage your brain more than you think!
1. Exposure To Loud Noises.
For those especially, who live in the city – your ears are constantly exposed to a lot of loud noises – just think of cars and construction.
Also, if you frequently have earbuds in your ears blasting your favorite tracks, you may want to stop doing this.
It only takes about 30 minutes of listening to loud music to cause permanent damage to your hearing. So, what does this mean for your brain?
Well, scientists have proved that hearing loss is inevitably linked to cognitive decline. In fact, hearing loss puts you at great risk of losing brain tissue – and as an adult, it also increases your risk of Alzheimer’s.
While listening to music, your ears have a way of adapting – almost signaling you that it’s not loud enough. That’s the reason you often find yourself increasing the volume.
From time to time, take out your earbuds for about 30 seconds. Then plug them back in. Often, after this short break, you will find the music to be way too loud – Yeah, that’s how you’ve been listening to it the whole time, without realizing it.
Always try your best to keep your earphone volume at 50% when you listen to music, and no louder and try not to be plugged in all the time.
2. Too Much Time In Darkness.
There’s something calming about darkness. I’m not sure about you guys, but I know that I enjoy a more intimate environment with dimmed lights in general, this includes the time I spend working on the computer.
But the body needs natural light, and staying in the dark for too long can lead to depression – which can ultimately cause the brain to decline.
So, whenever you get the chance, step outside for a few minutes and be exposed to some natural light.
3. Poor Dietary Choices.
It’s really important to have a nutritious diet. This helps keep your brain working at an optimal level.
It should come as no surprise that while there are some foods out there that can boost the functionality of your brain, there are also some foods that will do the exact opposite.
For example, junk food – and yes, this includes most fast food. Junk food in general has very minimal nutrients, and when consumed too often, can weaken your mental health.
Too much sugar can also be a big problem. The consumption of excessive amounts of sugar is associated with many adverse health issues. This includes obesity, diabetes and more serious things like cancer.
Too much sugar messes with the absorption of nutrients in the food we consume – which in time, can lead to malnutrition. This results in slowing brain development due to the brain not getting the required nutrients it needs.
You should always make an effort to avoid junk food and excessive sugar – and instead, opt for a whole food diet.
While smoking cigarettes has been on a decline over the decades, there are still many people who smoke.
And of course, we’ve all heard about the negative effects of smoking – but did you know that it can cause significant damage to your brain?
Cigarette smoke reduces the oxygen flow to the brain. This means you can’t function at your normal capacity.
Research has shown that there is a strong correlation between Alzheimer’s, dementia, and smoking.
Furthermore, we all know that cigarette smoke causes lung cancer, but these cancerous cells as a result of incorrect DNA reproduction can manifest in the brain too.
5. Drinking Too Much Alcohol.
A little while back, we made an article about alcohol and it seemed to trigger a lot of people, so I want to get this out of the way and say that there is nothing wrong with a beer or glass of wine here and there.
The problem starts when you get addicted. That’s when the brain starts to become affected.
Most alcoholics become deficient in vitamin B1 and magnesium. B1 deficiencies include confusion, memory loss, decreased mental alertness, and emotional instability.
And when you’re not getting enough magnesium, this can cause depression, disorientation, and irritability.
Combine those two and you can easily see how being addicted to alcohol can transform your brain for the worse.
6. Sedentary Lifestyle.
There is nothing wrong with taking some time out and relaxing on the couch. It’s actually good for you. However, sitting on your ass all day, doing little to no exercise is bad for both your brain health and the overall health of your body.
Inactive lifestyles have been linked to diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, which in turn have been directly linked to degenerative brain disease. Make sure that you go out every day, at least to get some fresh air.
Go for a walk around your neighborhood or join a gym. The more active you are, the more stimulated your brain will be as well.
Research has shown that people who regularly multitask are susceptible to harming their brains by hindering brain development. So why is that?
Well, the brain’s gray matter, which is responsible for emotional control, decision-making and empathy tends to shrink during multitasking. To avoid this from happening, it’s best to stick to one task at a time – regardless of what you’re doing.
This will not only increase your productivity, but it will also protect your brain.
8. Sleep Deprivation.
Sleep is a vital part of the body’s physical and mental health. When you sleep after a long day, your brain gets the chance to rest and recover. But, when you don’t get adequate sleep, your brain doesn’t get the chance to rest – and this can lead a loss of brain cells, and early memory loss, or Alzheimer’s disease.
This is why it’s so important to get enough sleep. You should be getting about 8 hours every night. If you find yourself struggling with insomnia, to remedy the situation, limit your caffeine and alcohol intake, and cut down on the screen time before bed.
By doing this, you will not only be taking long-term care of your cognitive powers, but you’ll feel much better in the morning as well.
9. Working When You’re Sick.
There are so many people who sacrifice their health for their studies and careers. But forcing your brain to work or study when you’re sick or recovering from an illness is a bad idea.
You see, when you are not well and fighting with an illness, your body tries to concentrate all of its resources on healing. And it’s the same for your brain.
When you give your brain other things to focus on, you are essentially overworking it, and it can’t do either of the two things well. Do yourself a favor, and recognize when you need a day off to recover and stay home from school or work, and take care of yourself.
10. Not Engaging In Stimulating Activities.
Much like a muscle, if you don’t exercise your brain regularly, it will shrink. For example, by putting off reading on a regular basis, you’re only speeding up the deterioration of your cognitive and verbal skills over the long run.
Research also shows that people who rarely talk and interact with others, suffer from negative impacts on the brain. When you’re not actively engaging in conversation, your brain cells become dormant, and this causes your brain to shrink.
So, to keep your brain working at its best, be sure to read often, play some puzzle games, and engage in intellectual conversations regularly.
11. Sleeping With Your Head Covered.
You may find a blanket over your head comforting and warm – but sleeping with your head covered, leads to increased intake of carbon dioxide and decreased intake of oxygen.
When you inhale larger amounts of carbon dioxide, your brain experiences negative impacts that are not favorable to your overall health.
Since oxygen is vital for brain function, it is best not to cover your head. If you find that you’re too cold at night, it’s better to adjust the temperature instead.
12. Not Drinking Enough Water.
We all know that drinking water is not only essential, but it’s literally the best thing we can do for our bodies.
Water helps us regulate our internal body temperature, digest our food, lubricate our joints, and acts as a “shock absorber” for our brains and spinal cord.
However, if you become dehydrated because you don’t replenish your body’s water supply, your body won’t be unable to perform its normal functions – including attention and memory.
Dehydration affects electrolyte levels in the body – which has also been linked to cognitive changes. In order to keep your brain function healthy, you need to drink water regularly.
This becomes even more important on those hot summer days, when you’re active outdoors. So grab a reusable water bottle, and keep filling it up throughout your day!
I know…. It may seem like everything you do can be detrimental to your brain. But, there is good news. You can always change your habits!
Now that you have a little bit more insight, it will be much easier to maintain the health of your brain. You’ll thank yourself later in life.
So what do you think? Which of these habits surprised you the most?