Are you guilty these of 7 worst habits for your brain health? We all have some guilty pleasures we like to indulge in once in a while… but maybe it’s time to take a break from them for your mental health and well-being?
We all want to take care of ourselves, but sometimes we don’t even realize how certain habits might affect us.
Do you often stay up late at night or multi-task? Do you eat unhealthy snacks between meals or drink too much alcohol during the week?
If so, chances are you’ve been guilty of some major no-no’s when it comes to taking care of your mental health.
Here are seven worst (but sadly common) habits that can affect your brain — if these sound familiar, it might be time for a change!
- Why is brain health important to overall health?
- The worst habits for your brain health & overall well-being
- 1. Lack of socialization
- 2. You’re Multitasking all the time
- 3. Stressing out over small things
- 4. You’re still eating too many unhealthy foods
- 5. Smoking & drinking alcohol in excess
- 6. Not getting enough sleep
- 7. You don’t have a sense of purpose
- BONUS TIP – You’re not eating enough animal-based protein
- The wrap- worst brain health habits
Why is brain health important to overall health?
Brain health is often overlooked in wellness discussions, but it obviously has an enormous role to play! After all, the brain is the command center for our bodies and emotions!
Taking care of our brain through activities like exercise and healthy eating helps cultivate a strong mental environment where we can flourish and thrive.
Keeping our brains healthy lets us think more clearly and make better decisions, which can radiate outwards to affect our overall physical health, moods and relationships with others.
Brain health should always be at the top of the list when it comes to taking charge of our lives – so take as good care of your mind as you do your body!
So, stop sabotaging yourself and kick these bad brain health habits to the curb!
The worst habits for your brain health & overall well-being
1. Lack of socialization
Thinking about canceling on your friends tonight? Maybe you should think again…
Socialization is key when it comes to our mental health and wellness, but the world is becoming more digital by the day, and it can be hard to stay REALLY connected with your friends and family.
A lack of socialization leads to increased stress and depression and can even make us forget how to communicate effectively. We’re all so used to relying on text messages and emails nowadays that direct face-to-face communication has been thrown out of the window for some of us.
Time spent talking to others in person sparks activity in different areas of our brain responsible for creativity, problem-solving, and positive emotions.
So if you’ve been feeling a bit down lately or just need an extra mood boost, try making time for human connection with your besties.
2. You’re Multitasking all the time
When it comes to multi-tasking, our brains may want us to think that we’re cleverly juggling several tasks at once, but the truth is that our gray matter needs us to take it easy.
Our brains weren’t meant for nonstop task switching; in fact, this habit can lead to decreased efficiency and hampered mental performance.
According to Cleveland Clinic,
“Studies show that when our brain is constantly switching gears to bounce back and forth between tasks – especially when those tasks are complex and require our active attention – we become less efficient and more likely to make a mistake.”
Instead of multi-tasking, let’s focus on one thing at a time! This slower approach allows your brain to digest information properly and be more effective over the long haul.
So grab a cup of joe, take a deep breath, and try going single-tasker – trust me, your brain will thank you later!
3. Stressing out over small things
Many of us have a tendency to stress out over small, everyday things – whether it’s being late for an appointment or forgetting a grocery list. (I’m raising my hand high over here!)
But this type of attitude can quickly become unhealthy and can damage our brain health in more ways than we might think.
When we are too focused on the little details, it increases anxiety levels which can, in turn, lead to higher blood pressure, heart rate, and cortisol hormone levels.
These three things combined can have an extremely negative effect on our brain health and cause prolonged stress or exhaustion. So next time you find yourself sweating the small stuff, take a deep breath and remind yourself that life is all about balance – otherwise, you’ll end up with bigger problems in the long run!
Reminder: Stress comes in all forms – mental, emotional, and physical. (So that means taxing workouts too!)
4. You’re still eating too many unhealthy foods
Eating unhealthy foods can seriously impact the way our brains function, and while it may seem like indulging every once in a while isn’t that harmful, those burgers and fries have a more significant effect than you might think.
Sugar can devastate our brain health, as it blocks receptors for essential nutrients that are integral to cognitive development and overall mental health.
Many other unhealthy foods can also lead to poor memory recall, major mood changes, and less-than-optimal concentration.
So when you want a treat, it pays to make sure it’s going to do good – not harm – to your precious gray matter!
Not to mention, eating all the crap contributes to obesity, which is a major risk factor for dementia.
Try an animal-based ketovore diet to cut the crap and receive all the nutrients your brain and body need! (More on this in a min…)
5. Smoking & drinking alcohol in excess
You’re probably not surprised by this one! From the impairment of our decision-making skills to worrying memory losses and poor concentration, it’s no surprise why smoking and drinking alcohol in excess can be detrimental to our brain health!
It’s important to note that due to a lack of oxygen being supplied throughout the body, these habits can decrease the communication pathways within the brain, leading to cognitive impairments such as bad moods and problem-solving issues. (yikes!)
Not to mention, smoking and drinking damages blood vessels in the brain and increase the risk of stroke and dementia.
According to Purdue University, It is estimated that 35% of cigarette smokers have a behavioral health disorder.
So for all those keen to keep their brains sharp and functioning properly, it might be best to avoid overindulging in either of these activities – why not substitute smoking with chewing gum or drinking a mocktail?
Got my MOCKTail 👍
6. Not getting enough sleep
Sleep deprivation can seriously affect your brain health; it can impair your judgment, reduce your alertness, short-circuit your memory, and even increase the likelihood of neurological diseases.
It’s no surprise then that not getting enough sleep is a recipe for disaster – but let’s face it, who has ever made a major life decision after a good night’s sleep?
When we’re in a deep slumber, our brains do what researchers call ‘houskeeping’ that removes toxins and rejuvenates the brain.
So, getting the right amount of restful slumber is key to keeping your brain in peak condition! But that exact amount is different for everybody. (I need at least eight, preferably nine hours myself!)
So, next time you feel like staying up late scrolling on social media, ask yourself if the potential outcome really is worth the impaired cognition you’ll be dealing with the next day.
7. You don’t have a sense of purpose
Are you surprised by this one? Let me explain…. Without purpose, life can be a bit like wandering through a thick fog – you might move to the right or left but getting anywhere meaningful could be impossible.
This is exactly how not having a sense of purpose can affect our brain health – it’s like lost in the fog without hope of finding the way out.
On a physiological level, not having an intrinsic purpose in our lives can lead to lower levels of motivation, which in turn can have serious implications for grey matter thinning and increased risk for mental illness.
So why not aim for purposeful living and help your brain stay in tip-top shape? It may seem hard at first, but with dedication and some effort, setting a goal or two will do wonders for your mental well-being.
BONUS TIP – You’re not eating enough animal-based protein
Animal-based ketogenic diets (Ketovore) have been shown to have significant benefits for brain health and well-being that you may not have considered.
This way of eating can provide a high amount of healthy fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids, which are uber important to our brain functioning well!
The ketogenic diet also leads to the production of ketones, which can serve as an alternative energy source for the brain. Research confirms these ketones improve brain function and reduce inflammation. (A win-win for someone like me who suffers from chronic migraines and autoimmune diseases!)
Additionally, animal-based diets can provide essential nutrients that are EASILY absorbed by the body – for example, vitamin B12, folic acid, magnesium, and selenium (to name a few!) are all critical for our little noggins.
I must remind y’all again I’m not a doctor and only sharing my personal experience and research!
The wrap- worst brain health habits
So there you have it! The 7 worst habits for your brain health and well-being.
I hope this list has inspired you to break some of your old bad habits and adopt a few new, healthy ones.
Trust me, and your brain will thank you for it! Let me know what habits you’ll break for your brain in the comments below.