Wherever you go, you will find lots of good advice to lead a healthy life – how exactly you should perform your everyday activities for maximum benefit, avoid ailments, and gain weight. Most of such tips are aimed at the body, and fewer by far – at the brain’s health. Meanwhile, so many routine habits are detrimental to the brain. Below you will find some of them that are better forgone if you want to rely on your brain’s proper functioning.
You allow yourself to go with little sleep
About some of our misbehaviors, we don’t give a care, nor do we notice when they become established habits. Therefore we are not aware that we are harming our brains. Fitful, insufficient sleep for many nights in a row is inductive to Dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s disease. See to it that your rest is regular and sufficient; in case you find it hard to do, as evening approaches, lay off the alcohol, caffeine, and electronic gadgets, and spend your pre-bed hours quietly.
You well may not notice how much salt you use with your meals; if brain-centered, you should really. JAMA Neurology’s journal devoted a special study to salt in connection with high blood pressure. Scientific research does prove that too much salt in the diet can escalate the risk of running high blood pressure. Permanent abnormally high pressure commonly results in emergence of minor cognitive deficits as well as in a higher possibility of a stroke. Now even a higher than average risk of stroke is pernicious to the brain.
Roughly gauging, we spend more than six hours sitting every day, and it’s not the way our brain would like us to do. Back in 2018, it emerged from a PLOS One study that overly prolonged sitting is one of the factors leading to certain changes in the brain, especially in areas related to memory functions, thereby implying a risk of worsening cognitive decline.
Consequently, take the trouble to move around after each half-hour of sitting. Stretch your legs in the office. If you are at home, go for simple physical exercises like push-ups.
Staying alone for too long
People are undoubtedly gregarious. Those who have quality relationships are known as more efficacious and contented, though their friends may be few. If you find you spend too long alone, take up an activity where you will meet new people – and do something interesting besides! Besides, relationships diminish the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other brain problems.
One of the things constantly surrounding us is noise – construction and repairs and cars on the streets, subway roar below, music on your player or phone, background music in stores. You can go for days without finding yourself in a quiet, silent spot.
Your ears don’t like it either: experts state that hearing impairments are on the rise. As appears from research carried out at the John Hopkins University, people with impaired hearing run a higher risk of developing cognitive deterioration by as many as 30 to 40%. That means it’s worth your while to make some arrangements for ear protection. The advice from audiologists is to use ear plugs – you can have ones made especially for your ears to protect from the intrusive noise around.
Overindulgence in junk food
It is a fact that people who replenish themselves off fries, hamburgers, other junk food, and soft drinks possess smaller areas of the brain related to memory, cognitive processes, and mental health. Whereas a regular intake of whole grains, green vegetables, berries, and nuts helps the brain’s proper functions and prevents mental decline. Next time when shopping, pass by the chips shelf and head straight for nuts.
As you smoke more, your brain begins to shrink – think about it when you light another cigarette. Your memory will be deteriorating slowly, and the possibility of developing Dementia accompanied by Alzheimer’s grows by two. You are also in for a high risk of cardiac diseases, stroke, and diabetes. Your blood pressure will be higher than normal.
Enduring a constant state of stress
Constant stress can do a lot of damage: it is deadly for brain cells and affects the prefrontal cortex, which is linked with learning and memory. A common source of strong stress for mature adults is an all-through-winner attitude. It creates very high expectations that generate negative reactions whenever something goes wrong. Such occasions give a significate increase to stress levels.
To avoid that, you should control your reactions. As you feel on the verge of getting heated, breathe in deeply and tell yourself that your flying off the handle will hardly get you anywhere. You should really seek other solutions to the enraging situation.
The brain slows down significantly in those who customarily overeat – although it may be healthy food, the brain forms fewer connections that provide remembrance and an uninterrupted train of thought. After a time, overeating results in gaining weight – an issue that redounds to developing cardiac troubles, diabetes, and abnormally high blood pressure. In turn, these are linked to brain malfunctions and, probably, Alzheimer’s disease.
You often find yourself in a dark environment
When a person experiences a dearth of natural light, it can cause fits of depression. The brain functions better in the sunlight. Being deprived of it for a long time can slow it down.
Your favorite beverages contain a lot of sugar
If you are in the habit of strengthening yourself in the morning with a big glass of sweet juice, mind that it well may be insidious. A few years back, the research discovered links between indulgence in sugary beverages and worse episodic memory; also affected adversely can be the brain volume and the hippocampal volume. These considerations make sweet tea, soda, and plenty of juice undesirable.
As the consumption of sweet drinks increases, blood sugar may spike dramatically and in some people, an abnormal insulin response may occur. These processes may provide conditions for brain inflammation. Better replace juices with whole fruits.
You mind the negative side of life more
When the prevalent habit makes you dwell on offenses (real and imaginable), grudges, indignities, and suchlike, this ensures a lot of pessimistic spells – but not only. With maturer people over 55 this proclivity may cause deterioration in cognitive abilities and memory retention, as revealed in a study published in the Alzheimer’s & Dementia. People embraced by the research who mulled over negative thoughts registered higher content of amyloid and tau in their brain, they being Alzheimer’s disease’s biological markers.
However, all this negativity can be defused. When you feel the onset of gloomy thoughts, chase them away by employing the techniques listed below:
- Write out a list of events and circumstances you feel grateful for and ruminate on them.
- Take a pause, breathe deeply for a while, then get busy on something new or meditate on performing your tasks at hand.
- As a negative thought crosses your mind, tell it “Hello,” and immediately dismiss it, saying “Goodbye.”
Your life lacks a solid purpose
Adult life creates many responsibilities – we seem to be obliged to do everything we can to make our boss, partner, and babies happy. We want to be dependable. As we grow to realize our mission in life, we collect the contributions we have made to our company, our family and our community. Waking up every morning, we can ponder on fresh important things we can do for our (and our near and dears’) well-being and feel the meaning of our life.
If this doesn’t relate to you, try and rearrange your mindset. Go through your current responsibilities and think about what new ones you can add so that they bring a new purpose. See if you can allot time off from household tasks to become interested in some exciting project, traveling, breeding animals – whatever captures your fancy and enhances the enjoyment of your life.