7 Routine Habits That Hurt Your Brain
Your brain is the central control room for all physical activities. It performs different functions to regulate vital activities such as heartbeat, blood pressure, and breathing. Yet, most people damage the brain every day without knowing what they do.
In this article, we are not informing you about brain-damaging activities such as excessive drinking, smoking, and some others. Instead, we will focus on the everyday things and habits that damage the brain in normal life.
Sitting aloof and doing nothing is one of the most neglected ways people hurt their brains without any hint. The brain is just like any other muscle of the body. It will disappear if you are not using it. The brain has a primary responsibility of “Thinking.” There are several ways to stimulate the brain with the help of reading, writing, and conversations, learning new languages, thinking about challenges, playing games, and even solving puzzles. All these activities help develop the ability to adapt and it is called Neuroplasticity.
Like any other muscle of the body, your brain demands continuous utilization in order to remain in shape.
What to Do?
Studies prove that brain workouts have a great impact on overall cognitive potential. So, what are you looking for? Ask yourself and do the challenging things in daily life to have a working brain and body.
Reading a new book covering any topic (even if you are not familiar with the topic) is helpful to keep the brain working. For example, you can start learning Arabic, Spanish, French, and any other language as a brain exercise. What about some artistic work?
What’s one factor that sounds scary but still attractive? Search it and develop a program to start brain training as soon as possible.
Our Biggest Enemies:
Bad news: Some of your close friends/utilities may be your worst enemies.
Good news: There are ways to defeat the biggest enemies.
I am talking about digital screens. Everyone uses laptops, tablets, and phones. These gadgets have a tremendous ability to keep the users busy on screen. However, it is good to keep in mind that social media giants such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are deadly for the brain.
If your eyes feel dry and start to hurt while using the screens, it is time to give up and put the electronic gadgets on the side. Take a little break and close your eyes to feel comfortable. The biggest fact is that most people are not aware of this negative impact even if they feel dry and hurting eyes. Instead, everyone keeps scrolling because of the tempting images, posts, and stories or because we believe that we have to read more emails and write replies.
Yet, research shows a direct link between stress and screen-time. There is no reason to deny that most of the online materials and contents are always negative and bad for personal wellbeing. We always experience mental overstimulation and then hurt our eyes. The third reason is the social media covering negative news that can harm emotions. These also impact our ability to think positively. Is it not enough to think about reducing screen time? Remember, scientific studies show that overuse of electronic gadgets may impair brain functions and structures.
What to do?
There is no need to stop using technology and social media altogether. It is only about prioritizing screen time and use. You have to set healthy boundaries to ensure that your social media use doesn’t affect your life.
Most Smartphone devices offer screen-time tracking. Users can easily calculate how much time they spend utilizing their phones. According to TechJury, the majority of Americans use smartphones for at least 5.4 hours per day on average.
Just imagine the value of 5 hours in a day. You could have created, done, or completed so many different things by utilizing this time. Try finding some good activities to invest the same time and energy in. For the next few days, monitor the average use of the screen and ask yourself how to control this habit.
Don’t Remain Seated For Longer:
No doubt, seating feels like a natural activity, but it can create harmful effects on physical as well as mental health. We usually spend several hours sitting on a chair while working on office tasks and studying the books. This habit brings sharp changes in lifestyle. This habit also leads to certain disorders such as dementia, depression, obesity, and heart disease. Yet, another study discovered that a sedentary lifestyle leads to negative outcomes for the brain. For instance, it may affect memory and concentration.
There is nothing wrong if someone sits more than usual for rest and chilling. It is good to sit for a long time but with regular movement of hands, body and especially the legs. The main issue is that millions of people use a sedentary lifestyle and add numbers to disorders, as mentioned above. We all know about the pain of stiff neck, shoulder tension, and lower back pain. However, we are not ready to focus on the main reasons behind these problems.
What to do?
Beating a sedentary lifestyle is not difficult. It is not about choosing tough workouts and running marathons. All you have to do is modify the daily routines and activities. You have to take short breaks while at work and take a short walk or simply stand upright. According to studies, even excessive exercises and high levels of body movement don’t offset the negative impacts of sitting for long periods. It may be frustrating, but it is also good to know because you can bring small changes on a daily basis to shape brain health significantly.
Sometimes, keeping yourself busy with new activities and tasks offers good results. For example, you can set alarms on the phone to remind you to stop work and stand up for a short walk. You can also take some snacks, drinks, or even coffee during these breaks while having fun with friends. After learning some small daily changes, select activities to enjoy the time. Create a daily or weekly schedule. Join a community, a dance club, or a yoga class to have some entertainment with relaxation. You can start a voluntary service at the office by changing the work routines. This decision will be good for everyone who wants to avoid a sedentary lifestyle.
Eating More Sugars:
According to UCLA reports by Professor of neurosurgery, Fernando Gomes Pinilla, the things we eat affect how we think.
Studies show that high sugar diets and meals are detrimental to the brain. These slow down brain activity and limit learning and memory skills. In some cases, the body may demand more sugar (sugar craving) in order to deal with high stress. However, the body will need more energy after receiving certain types of stress. Sugar is the only way to deliver instant energy.
No doubt, the human brain is only 2% of the total body weight, but it consumes more than 20% of our resources. This is why we feel good when we eat junk foods because they have high salt and sugar contents with low nutrients. In this way, we feel happy, but junk foods never remove hunger. This habit offers malnutrition and disturbs the natural salt and sugar balance in the body. This is why the foods we consume have a big effect on decision-making power, stress dealing ability, and memory.
What to do?
Instead of avoiding sugar content such as foods and drinks, make sure you use good alternatives that can support the brain. Whole grains, berries, and green leafy vegetables are some of the excellent examples to get natural salt and sugar content with perfect nutrition.
Choose whole food diets that contain high-quality proteins and veggies whenever possible. If you still feel sugar craving, add a teaspoon to the cup of coffee. I prefer dark chocolate without sugar. It is best to use because of the natural combination. It not only satisfies the sugar craving but also activates brain activity. Also, don’t ignore healthy foods such as omega-rich meals, nuts, seeds, and healthy fats. According to the UCLA reports, including omega-3 fatty acids can minimize brain damage, especially caused by the high sugar intake.
And finally, make sure that you have a habit of drinking fresh water. Avoid dehydration at any cost. Dehydration directly affects the ability of the brain to think and perform functions, even if there are healthy foods in your daily meals. It may disturb the entire body.
Remember, they don’t count. As humans, we love social interactions. According to a report by Harvard Adult Development, good friendships and relationships keep us healthy and happy. It is hard for humans to isolate and stay in the dark. However, Facebook friends and connections are not healthy alternatives to actual gatherings. These don’t provide a real sense of friendship. The level of adrenaline increases in the body when you feel lonely, even if there are hundreds of people around. Being alone doesn’t promote the feeling of loneliness. It happens when you don’t have quality friendship and connection. Studies show that lack of social interaction (high quality) can cause mental and health challenges. Human connections make or break the brain. This is why digital communication is not a healthy solution and we should promote face-to-face interactions.
What to do?
The quality of connections and social interaction significantly affects overall brain health. It also changes the overall quality of life. In everyday life, you have to cover different tasks. People make To-Do Lists in order to organize their daily activities. Include your loved ones and friends in this list so you can enjoy quality time with people rather than chatting on computers and phones.
Socializing is more important than anything else in life. This is why we should include active meetings and visits in daily life. A study made by the University of Michigan reported that face-to-face interaction, even for a short period of 10 minutes, can positively affect the brain, especially for cognition and memory. Follow the covid-19 SOPs while meeting friends and colleagues. You can easily get the positive effects of face-to-face meetings without having health risks.
People Don’t Do Enough of This:
Do you feel best and perform well even without sleep? It is hard to find such a moment in life. Let me guess: This will never happen in any case. We all understand that poor sleep leads to different issues such as lack of concentration, headache, bulging eyes, and mood swings.
Even though quality sleep is important for life, we usually ignore its significance. In the current productivity-driven world, most people compromise on sleep in order to work more and achieve their goals on time. Yet, sleep deprivation results are dangerous and can lead to dementia.
In the worst situation, poor quality sleep causes brain cell death, Alzheimer and memory loss. These changes may slow down the overall ability to think, remember and learn. Research also shows that lack of sleep might shrink the size of the brain.
When someone sleeps, the brain gets a chance to start the recovery process. It stops performing other vital activities to support memory, health, and damage repair. It also processes the daily experiences and things we learn in a day during this time.
What to do?
How much and how well someone sleeps can positively affect memory and brain health. Most people spend 7 quality hours sleeping. It is good to keep this time around 8 hours so you can get excellent results. It is also necessary to focus on the quality of sleep. One easiest way to improve the quality of sleep is by fixing a sleep schedule and going to bed early. Develop a little bedtime ritual so it will keep you calm down and comfortable before seeing the bed.
The use of health supplements to improve sleep quality is another option. This option has positive effects, but high care is necessary to use the supplements. Not all types of supplements are good for your health. You have to consult a physician before bringing a diet supplement with sleep benefits. On the other hand, minor changes in the lifestyle such as eating light meals at dinner can also be useful. Never use fast foods and soda drinks at night. Late-night meals and drinks are dangerous for the stomach and health. Take light meals at least 3 hours before your sleep time. This habit will offer a comfortable and peaceful sleep at night without stomach burning and acid burns.
Never let the Music Harm Your Brain:
Another neglected way people might be harming their brains every day is music. Undoubtedly, music is good for health, but it may be dangerous if you use headphones with high volume. Regular use of modern earphones has become a lifestyle. Several technology manufacturers such as Apple and Samsung have specialized headphones, ear pods and more for users. You may experience permanent hearing loss after using headphones for 30 minutes. The worst part of this hearing loss is that it is connected to cognitive decline and brain issues. If you live in busy cities and experience loud noises every day, this may also damage the brain. It leads to the partial or complete destruction of the brain cells related to hearing.
What to do?
I know that it is very attractive to listen to music using headphones. Earphones and headphones have become digital with modern features. We use earphones for multiple hours every day, even when walking, exercising, dining or hiking. Make sure that volume is adjusted and it is not above the limits. Whenever you utilize headphones for several hours, keep checking the volume regularly. We don’t feel that volume is increasing and hurting the ears most of the time. It doesn’t feel bad. Remember, it is dangerous and you have to be highly careful in order to protect your hearing ability.
Remove the headphones after every 50 minutes and take some rest. Let the ears feel good before putting the headphones on again. This strategy helps to adjust the volume as well as the brain’s ability to process the data. The volume should not cross the final limits. Digital headphones connected with phones show a warning message when users increase the volume. This is a great feature, and we must use it while enjoying our favorite songs, movies, and TV shows.
Instead of overloading your mind with some negative feelings and experiencing brain damage, you must focus on healthy alternatives. Everyone is busy in life, but we must focus on the pros and cons of daily activities. We have to reevaluate our routines. This is helpful to see how to control the negative effects of modern lifestyle and technologies. Most of the activities and habits can cause serious health risks. The good news is that we have solutions and alternatives. It would be nice to focus on healthy activities and solutions to avoid brain damage.
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