Your brain is obviously a very important part of your body. It is one of the largest organs in your body and is the main control center for every function that happens in your day-to-day life. It carries a heck of a lot of information around and has an endless list of responsibilities!
We’re not saying there is no truth to these healthy lifestyle advisors. But with all the attention given to our body, we shouldn’t forget about our brain’s health and fitness. Many of us fall into a trap of habits every day that are bad for our brains.
We have identified 7 habits that you should not pick up if your brain is near and dear to you
1- Sleeping with your head under the cover
Oxygen is very essential for normal brain functioning. The less air you inhale, the poorer your brain functions. A situation you create where you breathe in less than 20.
95% of oxygen is when you sleep with a blanket or comforter over your head. Is it all warm and cozy when you bury yourself under the covers? Certainly. Does it help to decrease the annoying effects of too much light or sound first thing in the morning? Of course, it does.
But it will result in an elevated intake of carbon dioxide which means you’re increasing the risk of damaging your brain cells.
2 – Multitasking
You’ve probably heard that multitasking hurts your productivity.
It turns out that doing this also scrambles your brain and makes you less effective. A neurologist at MIT and one of the world’s experts when it comes to divided attention, Earl Miller said that our brains are not wired to multitask well.
When people think they’re multitasking they’re switching from one activity to the other real quick. And every time they do there’s a cognitive cost. The habit of multitasking also increases the stress hormone cortisol as well as the fight or flight hormone adrenaline which can overstimulate your brain and can cause mental fog or scrambled thinking.
Researchers at Stanford University have discovered that people who are bombarded with multiple streams of digital information regularly have more pronounced problems recalling information and paying attention when compared to people who complete one activity at a time.
3 – Inadequate water intake
The body is made up of approximately 70% of water, so it’s vital to every bodily function including brain function. When your brain is functioning on a full reserve of water, you will be able to think faster, be more focused, and experience greater clarity and creativity.
Water is also essential for delivering nutrients to the brain and for eliminating toxins. When the brain is fully hydrated, the exchange of nutrients and toxins will be more efficient—thus ensuring better concentration and mental alertness.
The effect dehydration has on the brain is almost immediate with researchers saying that even two hours of intense exercise without water can cause a cognitive decline. Studies also show that dehydration had the most impact on functions like complex problem-solving, coordination, and attention.
The brain needs sufficient water to think faster and focus better. So you must stay hydrated all the time. Drinking water benefits both your body and brain enabling them to function better.
4 – Smoking
This is most likely the most harmful habit that indulging in it has on your brain. Smoking not only causes lung diseases or even heart disease, but it also has a lot of negative effects on your brain.
Smoking damages cell membranes and neural viability in certain areas of the brain that manage balance, coordination, and both fine and gross motor skills. Not only that, but it also thins the cortex where processes such as language, memory, and perception occur.
It can also lead to problems like dementia, Alzheimer’s, and maybe even death. Smoking excessively causes neuroinflammation indirectly, which can cause an autoimmune disorder known as Multiple Sclerosis or MS.
5 – Consuming alcohol
Alcohol begins affecting a person’s brain the moment it enters the bloodstream. For someone healthy, the liver quickly filters the alcohol, helping the body get rid of it.
However, when someone drinks excessively, the liver cannot filter the alcohol fast enough, and this triggers immediate changes in the brain; often known as getting drunk. Alcohol causes chemical imbalances when consumed for longer periods and larger quantities.
Brain volume also decreases due to chronic alcohol intake. There are some subtle differences in how brain damage occurs in men and women, but regardless of gender, loss of brain matter increases with age and the amount of alcohol consumed.
More than two units a day for men and one unit a day for ladies is considered excess alcohol.
6 – Working when sick
If ever need an excuse to get out of work, well here’s one. We often fall sick when we’re overworked.
If you continue working during an illness, it’s bound to take a toll on the brain’s efficiency and this only adds to the stress. A certain study showed that participants who had developed a cold reported less alertness, more negative moods, and sluggish thinking.
The second round of tests also revealed that they reacted slowly and were slower at learning new information and completing tasks dealing with verbal reasoning and semantic processing. When we’re sick the body and the brain are already working overtime to cope with the infection.
Working while sick only adds to the burden so take a break, relax and get better.
7 – Not exercising
Exercise affects the brain immensely. It increases your heart rate, which pumps more oxygen to the brain.
It also helps in the bodily release of some hormones, all of which participate in aiding and providing a conducive environment for the growth of brain cells. Exercising is also known to decrease stress levels in the body and also increases mobility and make you more flexible.
If you don’t exercise enough, your mobility and motor skills begin to decline in one way or another. Studies also show that exercise helps to keep us younger by releasing endorphins which are happy hormones.
All in all, exercise strengthens your heart and your lungs, not just the brain. If you’re concerned with the well-being of your brain and the quality of your thinking either now or in the future you need to learn to take care of your brain.
A few changes to the way you’re living your life could go a long way in boosting your memory, learning, mental resilience, and the health of your brain overall. Thank you guys so much for watching, if you liked or found value in the video, do give us a thumbs up.