If you have started making more typing mistakes, aren’t able to think as fast and as creatively as you could a few years ago, indications are clear that you losing grey cells.
It’s no secret that we lead stressful lives. The pressures of scoring well, bagging a great job, and an amazing life partner takes a toll on the best of us. Usually, the first thing to be compromised is health. We try to undo the harm by frequenting the gym. But little do we realize that the most affected organ in the long run is the brain.
Here are 10 daily habits we follow that are causing us brain damage and gradually making us dumber. Stop practising these right away!
1. Using Your Brain During Sickness
Not for nothing do doctors advise rest when you are sick, and even if you are feeling fine. The brain works overtime during illness. If it’s an infection, the brain has to send signals to lymph nodes to fight the infection. Overworking your brain at this sensitive stage will only lead to destruction of some of your grey cells. During fever, the body temperature is already high and if the brain is forced to function, it will not only worsen your temperature, it can overheat the brain too. True case of bheja fry. So, when unwell, keep calm and take a nap.
2. Skipping Breakfast
While you might feel tempted to rush out in the mornings skipping breakfast, thinking you’ll have something later, the habit is extremely harmful in the long run. It deprives your brain of nutrients for a good part of the day and forces it to function on a malnourished state. Not eating in the morning lowers your blood sugar level, thereby depleting your brain of essential nutrients required to keep it healthy. In the long run, this will gradually slower you down.
The solution to skipping a meal is NOT overeating. In fact, overeating can also prove harmful for your brain. Eating more than what your body needs can confuse the brain and cause an imbalance in insulin production. Not only can it lead to obesity and diabetes, it can also cause hardening of arteries which leads to a decrease in mental function over the years. As they say, a fit body will house a fit mind.
So, our brain is mostly water, and when we decide to sit in the AC for too long and not drink enough water, the cells in our body begin to shrink. The body, in the absence of water, borrows water from the brain, causing the cells to shrink further. Nobody is too smart on a parched brain.
5. Too Much Sugar
Okay we know you love you gulab jamuns and pastries, but if you’ve got to remain sharp enough to impress the ladies, cut down on that sugar intake. Studies have shown that consistently high levels of blood sugar can prove harmful for your memory and learning capabilities. In other words, eating too much sugar can make you stupid.
6. Covering Your Head While Sleeping
No matter how cold it is, never cover your head while sleeping if you want your brain to be as fit as your flexing abs. When you pull the blanket over your head, you cut off fresh air and expose yourself to more of carbon dioxide. Now we all know what lack of oxygen to the brain can do to it. Studies have shown a daily habit of covering your head while sleeping can lead to chronic headaches, and even dementia!
We all know stress is not good for the body. But the biggest harm it does is to the brain. When we stressed out, our kidneys produce a chemical called cortisol which in turn can kill our brain cells if produced in excess. So basically, if you stress too much over that presentation tomorrow, chances are you might screw it up.
8. Lack Of Sleep
After years of staying awake late chatting online and watching movies, going to bed early is a tad too difficult. But all those night hours have done and are still wreaking too much havoc with our brains. Lack of sleep causes a
No use staying awake mugging chapters the night before exam; it’ll anyway slow down your poor brain.
This one is a no brainer. Smoking messes up with a lot of things in our body, one of them being the brain. It has been found (in a study at Mcgill University) that smoking causes thinning of the cortex over time. Long story short, smoking causes your memory and language skills to go haywire in the long run. Not a very attractive thing to happen, eh?
Now this one is no secret. Your mother must have often told you how your brain has rusted from underuse. Well, she is kinda quite right on this one. The brain is one organ in the body that develops with use. Just like our body needs exercise for the muscles to remain toned, the brain needs activity to remain sharp. Leading a dull sluggish life that does not require you to think on your feet can gradually make you dumber. So get out those crosswords and solve that sudoko! Psst, they say even memory-based online video games help!
P.S. – Brain damage here means subtle and gradual changes in the functioning of the brain that you might or might not notice. It doesn’t include a drastic failure in brain function. IT covers mostly cognitive abilities, memory and learning skills.