A habit is a regular practice, that most of us are dependent on. Often, we don’t realize the cause or its effects. Some everyday, seemingly harmless habits can be so bad that they can cause lasting damage. The human brain is the most important organ of our body and we all fail to think that the brain also requires exercise or training and nutrition for it to function well. Thus, forming good habits and avoiding the following bad habits will prevent damage and keep it healthy.
What Are the Causes:
1. Skipping Breakfast:
Our brain also needs appropriate nutrients at the appropriate time to function at its best. Due to a fast-paced lifestyle, most of us avoid or end up skipping our breakfast to save some time in the early hours of the day. This leads to low sugar supply and poor nutrient supply to the brain. The brain needs pure glucose to function. Poor nutrition can have long-term harmful effects on the brain like degeneration of the brain cells.
It’s said that “too much of anything is bad”. The same applies to our brain too. We tend to overeat if the brain is not functioning normally and vice versa, over-eating leads to brain damage. Over-eating leads to the deposition of cholesterol plaques and the thickening of blood vessels of the brain causing a reduced blood supply to brain cells. This can cause serious damage to the normal functioning of the brain. It is found that overeating leads to Alzheimer’s disease. Over-eating leads to obesity which in turn damages our self-image and self-confidence and can lead to depression and other psychological problems.
3. Lack of Sleep:
Sleep deprivation hinders the brain’s ability to perform normally. If you have ever lost your way home or forgotten your keys somewhere and cannot recollect where then lack of sleep has probably been the culprit behind this temporary memory loss. Sleep deprivation leads to cognitive issues. Without enough sleep, certain brain cells die and it then becomes harder for you to remember things. Psychological issues can also crop up due to bad sleep or sleep disturbances. So make sure you get your daily dose of 7 hours of beauty, as well brain-friendly sleep.
4. Eating Sugary Foods:
Knowingly or sometimes unknowingly, we all consume sugar in most of our food and beverages. High consumption of refined sugars is known to destroy the ability of the brain and body to absorb proteins and nutrients. Poor nutrition will lead to malnourishment and brain disorders like poor memory, learning disorders, hyperactivity, and depression. So, the next time you add a large coke to your happy meal, think again because it’s loaded with nearly 20 spoonfuls of sugar!
This is probably one of the most harmful habits that we indulge in, as smoking not only causes lung diseases or heart diseases but also leads to shrinkage of multiple cells in the brain and can lead to problems like dementia, Alzheimer’s, and maybe even death. Excessive smoking indirectly causes neuroinflammation which can cause an autoimmune disorder called Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
6. Covering the Head While Sleeping:
Sleeping with the head covered leads to an increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide and it further reduces the oxygen concentration in the blood. If the oxygen supply is poor, the brain functioning capacity reduces. You may feel suffocated and sleep deprived leading to fatigue and drowsiness.
7. Working When Sick:
We often fall ill when we are overworked. If during sickness we continue working, then the brain’s efficacy is bound to take a dramatic hit. This will only add to the stress. When we are ill, the brain and body are already working extra hard to cope with the infection. Working on a sick day will only add to the burden. So take a break, relax, and recuperate.
8. Lack of Socializing:
Socializing, and talking, encourages the growth and development of the brain. Intellectual conversations strengthen the brain and improve its capacity to work. You can increase your creativity by meeting new people and making new friends. Socializing or interacting is also a great way to express yourself freely. If there is no socializing or if communication is low, you might feel low and depressed.
9. No Exercise:
As the saying goes, “all work and no play make Jack a dull boy”. Exercise makes you more flexible and increases mobility. Without enough exercise, the mobility and brain’s power of movement reduce and decrease stability and motor skills. Studies have shown exercise helps to keep us younger by releasing happy hormones called endorphins. Not just the brain, but exercise strengthens your heart and lungs too. Do you need more reason to exercise?
10. Consuming Alcohol:
The greater the percentage of alcohol, the higher the number of cells that die in the brain. Alcohol leads to chemical imbalances when continued for longer durations and in large quantities. Brain volume decreases due to chronic alcohol intake. Anything more than 2 units/ day for men and 1 unit/ day for women is excess alcohol.
11. Exposure to Contaminated Chemicals/Pollution:
Our brain is totally dependent on oxygen. The more you expose yourself to harmful chemicals or polluted and contaminated air, the lesser oxygen reaches the brain. Lack of adequate oxygen in the body may lead to the death of cells in the brain. Studies in mice exposed to polluted air over a long run show physical damage to the brain. Time to get out to the park and breathe some fresh air each day.
12. Premature Stress:
Stress is a part of everyone’s life. A certain amount of stress related to work or family is a part and parcel of life. The stress of completing work on time or winning a competition is a healthy expression of stress. But when stress goes beyond your capacity to cope, it hinders the normal functioning of the brain and makes you feel low, depressed, angry, irritable, and sleepless. If you feel one or more of these emotions too often, it is time to seek help from a counselor or move away from things that are causing stress.
13. Lack of Stimulating Thoughts:
Research shows that people who do not think much or often enough have shrinking brains. Thus, to maintain and expand the brain it is very necessary to think. Thinking, reading, and writing will train and enhance the brain for better functioning and prevent it from being damaged.
Article Credit: https://www.medindia.net/patients/lifestyleandwellness/13-daily-habits-that-damage-the-brain.htm