7 Brain-Damaging Habits We Are Guilty Of
These twelve seemingly harmless habits can actually damage your brain, according to several scientific studies from all over the world.
1. Not Getting Enough Sleep
A 2017 published study concluded that among the short- and long-term consequences of sleep deprivation include mood disorders and a myriad of other mental health problems; heightened stress responsivity; somatic problems such as pain or fatigue; cognition and memory deficits, adverse changes in behavior; and overall reduced quality of life.
2. Relying on Caffeine to Get You Through the Day
Coffee can be beneficial to your brain in moderation. When consumed in excess, however, caffeine can impact your physical and mental health by causing extreme anxiety, heart palpitations, and sleep disturbance. You already know how sleep deprivation affects your brain. Combining it with the negative consequences of excessive caffeine consumption can have calamitous effects on your concentration and productivity.
3. Drinking the Pain, Stress, or Boredom Away
An article published in The Wall Street Journal mentioned that advances in brain imaging are unveiling the destructive effects of long-term alcohol abuse on the structure of the mind. The writer shared that alcohol shrinks the essential gray matter cells in areas of the brain that manage decision-making and thought-processing. Insobriety also plays a role in weakening the white-matter fibers that connect one part of the brain to the others.
4. Constant Exposure to Electronic Devices Before Bedtime
According to the National Sleep Foundation, using smartphones, tablets computers, and other electronic devices before going to bed delays your body’s internal clock or circadian rhythm, suppressing your body's release of melatonin (a sleep-inducing hormone). As a result, falling asleep when you finally want to becomes difficult.
Moreover, a 2017 study published in the Journal of Global Pediatric Health noted that exposure to technology before bedtime causes sleep problems among children. It is crucial to know that sleep is fundamental in a child's optimal functioning and development.
5. Being Alone Too Much
Humans require social interaction. However, the number of Facebook friends or Instagram followers you have does not count. What matters is having a real sense of connection; having genuine relationships. WebMD revealed that people who have a few close friends are much happier and more productive than those with dozens of acquaintances. They are also less likely to experience cognitive decline and Alzheimer's disease.
Loneliness is a growing epidemic in hundreds of cities around the world. Whenever you feel alone, do not hesitate to call friends and family, or try something new to meet and interact with people. You can join your local gym, volunteer, or simply walk your dog to meet fellow pet lovers.
6. Not Getting Enough Sun
Your serotonin (sometimes called the happy chemical) levels can drop if you stay indoors too often and avoid the sun. Low levels of serotonin can increase your risk of acquiring major depressive disorder with a seasonal pattern — a serious mental illness associated with self-harm and suicide.
7. Googling Everything
The results of a 2011 study titled Google Effects on Memory: Cognitive Consequences of Having Information at Our Fingertips explicated that college students remembered fewer details and information about their previous classes since they knew they could Google it anyway. Because anything and everything is available with a click of a button, it can lead us to forget about learning and absorbing information.
Many of us are guilty of at least two of these, while some of us may even be guilty of every brain-damaging habit on this list. The good news is that you can correct these habits now and keep your brain in tip-top condition.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Fredda Branyon