Fredda Branyon has dedicated her life to the advancement of complementary medicine.
Our brain is the most important organ in our body, and we often neglect to take care of our brains' health as much as we do with our bodies. While changing bad habits isn't easy as it seems, we may be causing irreplaceable harm to our brain if we continue to disregard it.
Breaking bad habits won't necessarily solve all your problems, but it can improve your mood and give you more emotional energy as you go through your day. To improve your brain's health and function, here are a few bad habits to change in your lifestyle.
Lack of Sleep
The effects of sleep deprivation on the brain are more difficult to detect than the physical effects, which poses the most significant risks to your brain's health. When you are sleep-deprived, the brain's cells are less likely to communicate because there's not enough energy for it to go around effectively. The brain is left exhausted and unable to perform its daily responsibilities, affecting concentration, mood, memory, and judgment.
Most of us love coffee and make it a part of our daily routine. But the number of cups you drink in a day can affect your health at a cost. Drinking six or more cups in a day can impact our brain's health, increasing our risk of neurological diseases such as dementia. Apart from that, it can also stimulate your nervous system, making your anxiety worse.
While it's not a bad thing to drink coffee, people often rely on caffeine to substitute for unhealthy behaviors. If your occasional coffee binge becomes more frequent, it's time to rethink your daily intake.
Alcohol and Smoking
Smoking is harmful to our health in general. Though we are most aware of the effect of nicotine in our lungs, it also has a significant impact on both our physical and psychological levels. Smoking could decrease blood flow to the brain and account for several brain-related illnesses, such as strokes and dementia.
Studies have shown that drinking wine in moderation can help reduce inflammation in the brain. There's no harm in a little bit of wine from time to time. However, binge drinking can adversely affect the parts of the brain that process communication. Long-term alcohol abuse can decrease attention span and lead to difficulty in learning.
Too Much Screen Time
While technology can be helpful in learning and building a sense of community, it can also disrupt our sleep and hinder creativity. As a result of the increasing number of hours spent online, people use digital tools more often to compensate for the lack of face-to-face interaction.
Electronic devices emit light that interferes with our sleep cycle and disrupts us from getting a good night's sleep. In addition to interfering with our sleeping patterns, it also negatively affects our mental, emotional, and physical health.
Lack of Social Contact
Humans are made to interact socially. Socialization and conversation stimulate the brain's growth and development. Engaging in intellectual conversations strengthens our brains and increases our performance, making us happier and more productive. Socializing helps reduce the risks of suffering from brain decline and Alzheimer's. Consider taking part in activities that involve others, such as dancing, tennis, and bridge.
It's possible that consuming too much junk food, such as hamburgers, fries, potato chips, and soda can shrink parts of the brain, affecting cognitive development and health. Food containing high levels of refined sugar and saturated fats can lead to inflammation in the brain, damaging brain cells. The next time you need a snack, grab a handful of nuts and berries instead of a bag of chips to preserve your brain function and slow down cognitive decline.
There is no doubt that food plays an essential part in the brain's functioning, but too much of anything is bad for us. Excessive food consumption contributes to weight gain and an increased risk of obesity, leading to heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure, often linked to impaired brain function.
Listening to Loud Music
We all know how comforting it is to play music through our headphones while carrying out everyday tasks. But have you ever taken into consideration that maybe you've been listening to music a little too loud?
As noise-canceling earphones become more popular among everyone, users are at risk of damaging the ear part vital for healthy hearing. It's hard for the brain to store what you hear into memory when it works just as much to understand what people say.
During the pandemic, people have adapted to staying at home most of the time. Although they may not realize it, staying at home can have serious consequences. Lack of physical activity can be associated with chronic health conditions such as heart disease, obesity, depression, dementia, and cancer. Diabetes and high blood pressure may even increase the likelihood of getting Alzheimer's.