We all recognize the importance of maintaining our body’s well-being: we invest in gym memberships; we experiment with the latest health trends; we drink soup when we’re sick and take vitamins when we’re healthy. But with all the attention paid towards exercising our bodies, we often forget the importance of exercising our brains. As the main headquarters of our body’s functionality, the brain must remain in good health for the rest of our organs to work properly. It’s essential to stay attuned to how your habits affect your wellbeing: here are five things you might be doing on a regular basis that are harmful to your brain.
Skimping out on sleep
As busy people, we’re guilty of this from time to time. However, too much sleep deprivation can be a serious detriment to your brain’s functionality; in fact, according to a study conducted by SRI International, a lack of sleep can result in a number of cognitive, attention and emotional deficits. It can impair your memory and interfere with your concentration. It has even been linked to the development of certain chronic conditions like diabetes and depression. Plus, it can make you cranky as heck. eight hours is the recommended dosage for a good night’s sleep; do your brain a favor and rest, to be at your sharpest tomorrow morning.
We’ve heard it time and time again: “it’s the most important meal of the day.” Well, in considering your brain’s well-being, it might actually be the case. Food is your fuel, and breakfast is your first gas station. It influences your focus, your endurance and your emotional status. Without that first meal, you might experience a lack of energy, poor concentration, irritability and impaired memory.
Working while sick
When you’re ill, your body is telling you that it needs rest to work properly. Forcing your brain into overdrive during sickness can be a detriment to your health; your body needs the energy to heal, and pushing your brain to work could hinder the healing process. It could also weaken your immune system, leaving you exposed to a slew of different types of illnesses. Give your body the rest it needs, and you’ll work even more efficiently when you’re recovered.
Consuming too much alcohol
We all know the effects of excess alcohol on the liver. But one too many drinks also have a detrimental influence on the brain. In the short term, it can lead to blurriness, impaired memory and poor decision making. In the long run, it might lead to brain shrinkage and loss of memory. Be mindful of how much you consume, particularly if you are susceptible to, or are dealing with, an alcohol addiction.
This one is a killer. Studies have shown that too much food causes a buildup of substances in the cerebral arteries, impairing long-term brain function. Staying mindful of food intake not only maintains your bodily health but your brain’s well-being, too.