6 Habits That Are Dangerous For Your Brain (That Almost Everyone Does)

brain habitsmental health

It’s a well-known fact in the scientific community that brain cells don’t regenerate. Therefore, we need to be very careful in the ways we treat our brains these days, especially seeing that cases of neurodegenerative diseases – like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s – are at an all-time high. We might not realize it, but those diseases aren’t just reserved for people over 50. Even when we’re in our 20s and 30s, we might engage in bad habits that can damage our cognitive “cogs.” And while we don’t feel it right now, we will grow to regret it later.

The sooner we train ourselves into a discipline that allows for better brain health, the sooner we’ll be able to start decreasing the number of neurodegenerative diseases we deal with. Take a look at some habits that are really bad for our brain, yet everyone does them sometimes. Try to do these things less and less to ensure that your brain remains healthy.

Here Are 6 Habits That Are Dangerous for Your Brain

1. Smoking

We’ve all heard reasons why smoking is bad and you should consider quitting, but did you know that it can cause significant damage to your brain?  Cigarette smoke reduces the oxygen supply to the brain. This means you can’t function at your normal capacity. A link has been proven between Alzheimer’s, dementia, and smoking. Furthermore, cigarette smoke doesn’t only cause lung cancer. Cancerous cells as a result of incorrect DNA reproduction can manifest in the brain, too.

“Smoking is hateful to the nose, harmful to the brain, and dangerous to the lungs.” – King James I

2. Not sleeping enough

A lack of sleep has been associated heavily with early-onset dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. When you sleep, your brain gets a chance to rest and recuperate after a long day’s work. If you deprive your brain of that rest, it will degenerate more quickly. Many people today have a problem going to sleep at a good time and getting the right amount of REM cycles in their nights. If you’re struggling with insomnia, try reducing your caffeine and alcohol intake. Also avoid screens (such as laptops and televisions) right before bed. It won’t just help you feel better in the morning, but you’ll also be taking long-term care of your cognitive powers.

3. Loneliness

This might sound like an odd addition to the list and it’s sometimes not something you can directly fix. However, isolation can lead to cognitive deterioration. Of course, being lonely doesn’t just mean not having people around you. You can be just as lonely in a room full of people. To avoid this, evaluate the relationships with the people around you and think of them in a “quality over quantity” way. If you find yourself struggling to understand why you can’t create lasting relationships, consider seeking professional help.

anxiety

4. Forcing yourself to work when you’re ill

We’ve all had those moments when we’ve been sick with the flu and still forced ourselves out of bed to go to work. There are all sorts of reasons we do this. The fact remains is that it’s an extremely unhealthy habit when it comes to brain health. When you’re battling illness, your body is trying to concentrate its resources towards healing you. That goes for your brain, too. When you try to occupy your brain with other things, you’re overworking it immensely. This means it can’t do either of the two things well and you will only grow more ill. Recognize when you need to stay home from work to take care of yourself.

5. Bad hearing

Our ears are exposed to a lot of pressure in the modern world. Think of loud noises of cars and construction sites. Also, remember all those times you raised that favorite song to top volume on your headphones? If you try to measure the noise levels around you, you would be surprised to know how high they actually are. Scientists have proved that hearing loss is inevitably linked to cognitive decline. While it might seem hard, try to take better care of your ears and spend some more time in silence every day.

6. Sedentary lifestyles

We all have those days when we just don’t want to leave the house. However, spending all day on the sofa is detrimental to both your brain health and your overall body health. Sedentary lifestyles have been linked to diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, which in turn have been directly linked to degenerative brain disease. Even if it feels like you shouldn’t, make some time to go out every day, just for some fresh air. Then move along to having more exercise, taking long walks. The more your muscles move, the more your mind will be stimulated as well.

Final thoughts

It might seem like everything you do can be detrimental to your brain. However, try to stay positive. Now that you know how to take care of it, you will be able to do better in maintaining your health. Make sure to follow these tips to prepare for living out your golden years healthy and happy.

References:
https://www.theguardian.com/science/neurophilosophy/2012/feb/23/brain-new-cells-adult-neurogenesis
https://academic.oup.com/hmg/article/19/R1/R65/624493
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2952169/How-smoking-damages-BRAIN-Cigarettes-outer-layer-responsible-memory-language-perception.html
https://www.webmd.com/smoking-cessation/news/20101025/smoking-linked-to-alzheimers-and-dementia
https://www.starkey.com/improve-your-hearing/frequently-asked-questions/hearing-loss-and-cognitive-decline
https://www.webmd.com/alzheimers/ss/slideshow-bad-brain-habits
https://www.neuronation.com/science/5-daily-habits-damage-your-brain
https://steptohealth.com/11-daily-habits-damage-the-brain/

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