Your brain is your body’s powerhouse of cognition and is one of the vital organs essential for your survival. But did you know that there are habits that can kill your brain? We’re not just talking psychologically but also physically. Some habits can degrade neurons and worsen communication between them, slowly degrading your brain tissue and making you more susceptible to serious neurodegenerative diseases. Being aware of some of these habits can be helpful in keeping your brain in optimal health. With that said, here are seven harmful habits that kill your brain.
1. Not Giving It a Challenge
“I noticed my memory getting worse over the past few years since I retired. When I started doing crossword puzzles and taking Spanish lessons, I felt more mentally sharp.”
How often do you challenge your mind? Did you know that failing to engage in mentally stimulating activities can lead to decreased cognitive function and memory loss? According to the National Institute of Aging, older adults who participate in mentally stimulating activities such as volunteering or taking an educational course have improved cognitive function compared to those who do not engage in similar activities. Furthermore, according to researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, engaging in new and mentally stimulating activities in an enriching environment can increase the growth of new neurons in the brain and strengthen existing connections. So, try stimulating your brain more often, whether it be by learning something new, playing a game of chess, or reading a good book. It’s better than not doing anything at all.
2. Not Hydrating
“There were times in college when I’d get so busy with studying that I’d forget to drink enough water. I always noticed it was harder to concentrate on exams days when I was dehydrated.”
Make sure you stay hydrated. It’s something that you probably hear all the time, but hydration has its benefits, especially for brain health. According to neurosurgeon Dr. Imran Fayas, prolonged dehydration can cause your brain to shrink in size and mass, which is a condition common to the elderly who have been dehydrated for many years. Dehydration can also decrease blood flow to the brain, leading to…