Our brain approximately consists 86 billion cells. We usually care about almost every other parts of body by excersing, managing to get better food and so on. But have you ever thought that your brain needs to be taken care of?
Experts have determined that our modern lifestyle is chipping away at our neural pathways, making us slower, dumber, and less creative.
There are hundreds of reasons why, to fix that we need to be aware of the bad habits that we’ve picked up. To some these habits can come as a shock — for they never would’ve thought that damage they are doing to themselves through their indulgence.
Let’s find out what they are.
The harmful effect of remaining inactive
Remote work is the new norm, Even if the COVID pandemic is gone it will be like that. Due to that many people have found themselves not leaving their bedrooms. I know people who eat, drink, sleep and work at the same place all day.
The only excersice they get is getting grocery, but thanks to technology, it also can be delivered easily.
Whether they realize it or not, it has grave consequences. Sitting for too long is directly linked to heart disease, obesity, depression, dementia, and cancer. More than that, it also changes certain neurons in the brain, for the worse.
It’s time for all of us to realize that movement is healthy for us. It makes us feel better, makes our hearts healthier, and our brains are more efficient when we exercise.
Excessive sitting at work causes us to hold our breath while typing on our computers. You can see it for yourself. As a result, the body’s oxygen levels drop, resulting in foggy thinking, fatigue, and poor focus.
How to fix it?
Hit the gym or hire a trainer, it’s that easy. But what if I say you don’t have to do that, there’s a better way.
20–30 minutes of movement is all you need. The popular 10,000 step rule is also a great goal to gun for. If you’re thinking — “I don’t have the time,” you’re lying to yourself.
Great inventors like Nikola Tesla, and Charles Darwin to the busiest CEOs like Jobs, Zuckerberg, Jeff Weiner, and Jack Dorsey, everyone is a fan of walking.
A simple approach is to walk and talk at the same time. Batch all the calls you can and take a walk. Before you know it, you’ll easily hit your goal and waste no extra time on it. Another approach is to have a standing/walking desk that helps you move more and burn more calories.
I know that you’re smart enough to be aware of the benefits. You just need to apply it in your life. And with these simple ways, there’s no excuse not to.
Killer of Concentration
An average person consumes 34GB of data in a single day, it’s 350% over nearly three decades. Says reports from University of California, San Diego.
It’s no surprise that constant sensory input is our number, one concentration killer. This includes emails, social media, face-to-face interactions, notifications, meetings, and much more. We can easily become overwhelmed and overburdened if we do not better manage our consumption.
Some people take pride in the fact that they can read a book at 3x speed on the way to work and listen to two podcasts while also checking emails, books, and the news. That, however, is not something to be proud of.
Even a minor piece of information can interfere with your concentration. For example, if you are attempting to concentrate on a task and you are aware that an email is sitting unread in your inbox, it can reduce your effective IQ by 10 points.
Use tools and processes to reduce the amount of content you consume on a daily basis. Spend less time reading short-form content and more time reading long-form pieces. Instead of jumping from one tweet to the next, they keep your attention and help you improve your focus.
Get rid of useless things like social media, news, gossip, and other things you have no control over or that have nothing to do with you.
Learn to spend as much time as possible in silence. Stillness and silence soothe the mind, body, and soul. Regular periods of silence are the only remedy to our overwhelming content consumption.
Most of are used to listen to music while working out, walking, or doing a mundane task like answering emails. And, in order to fully immerse ourselves in our favorite melodies, we invariably turn up the volume.
However, you should think twice before doing so. Noise-cancelling earphones, which are widely used, can easily damage your hearing. When your ears become accustomed to a certain volume, you must exert greater effort to hear the normal sounds of those around you. As a result, you can’t store things in your memory quickly enough.
According to Headphonesty, while listening, remove your headphones and hold them at arm’s length. If you can still hear the music, lower the volume and try again. This is a good check to ensure that your ears are protected. Also, if you must listen to music, take regular breaks to give your brain and ears a much-needed rest.
Even if you don’t have headphones, Keep your distance from places with loud music, such as clubs, studios, or concerts. After headbanging at a metal rock concert, a 50-year-old man complained of a chronic headache. A blood clot on the right side of his brain was discovered by a CT scan.
This isn’t to say that the same thing will happen to you. However, loud music is harmful to our brains in more ways than we can imagine. It’s best to turn down the volume — you can still enjoy your favourite music without harming your brain.
In Sri Lanka & India, as in most countries I assume, reality TV is a big thing. Naturally, people are attracted to drama (often fake).
When I warn people (including myself) not to watch such shows, they respond, “It’s harmless!” “Well, yeah, eating a burger every morning also appears harmless, but it has disastrous effects over time,” I say.
“Reality TV is junk food for our brain, and in the same way that junk food rots our teeth and makes us sick, bad reality TV rots our brain and makes us rude.”Psychiatrist Dr. Marcia Sirota
What we watch has a strong subconscious influence on us. You naturally feel righteous, selfless, and even patriotic when you walk out of a theater after seeing Captain America. Consider conditioning your brain with trashy content from reality shows.
We imbibe the same emotions and qualities that we see on screen over time. The type of content you watch can tell me a lot about you. Because it has a profound impact on our consciousness, moods, and behaviors.
Just as a slowly dripping faucet can waste gallons of water in a day, watching the wrong type of content can waste a lot of brain potential.
Multitasking is chipping away at your concentration one interruption at a time. In recent years, multitasking is promoted as a desired trait in people and often makes it to the job descriptions of many roles.
However, humans are not designed to multitask in any way. We can’t do two things at the same time and give them equal attention. Only computers are capable of doing so.
A juggler seems to be juggling three balls at once. It looks as if he’s giving equal attention to each of them, at the same time. However, he’s continuously switching between the balls which give us an illusion of multitasking.
Today’s nonstop multitasking actually wastes more time than it saves — and he says there’s evidence it may be killing our concentration and creativity too.
Clifford Nass, a psychology professor at Stanford University
At first, he was fascinated by people who claimed to be able to do more than one thing at a time. These people must be really intelligent, he thought.
However, when he studied them, he found the reality to be the opposite. They were beaten by their peers on all sorts of cognitive tasks and are “sucker for irrelevancy.” He also stated that,
People who multitask all the time can’t filter out irrelevancy. They can’t manage a working memory. They’re chronically distracted. They initiate much larger parts of their brain that are irrelevant to the task at hand. And even — they’re even terrible at multitasking.
When we ask them to multitask, they’re actually worse at it. So they’re pretty much mental wrecks. (laughter)
In other words, the more you multitask, the more damage you do to your brain.
Determine your ONE Thing to break free from this cycle. Prioritize your life ruthlessly to focus only on the essentials. Our multitasking habit is motivated by the fear of not completing our to-do list.
The solution is not to put in more hours. The solution is to pare down the list and keep only what is essential. Once you’ve done that, you won’t feel pressed to do ten different things at once.
When the pressure is removed, your focus and creativity improve, resulting in more output in less time.
Sugar Free Products
Is it Free of Sugar or Is the sugar free?
We live in a world where sugar is everywhere. Sugar is present in all processed foods because it is addictive and helps food manufacturers sell more units.
As consumers, we must be cautious of this fact. Sugar consumption can cause blood sugar levels to spike and abnormal blood flow patterns in the brain. Excess sugar consumption can also cause oxidative stress, which can result in mood swings, depression, poor memory, poor concentration, and slower thinking.
Essentially, your brain will underperform and you will have no idea why. I recommend keeping a food journal for a day or two to help you control your sugar intake. Sugar is so pervasive that it can end up in your mouth before you realize it. You’ll be off to a good start if you’re extra vigilant, check labels, and avoid processed foods.
These are some of the day to day habits that are weakening your brain in the long run. I was probably doing all of the above at one point. But now that I’ve cut back, I’m more productive, less moody, and much happier.
Along with them, don’t forget the fundamentals of brain health — a healthy diet, enough sleep, plenty of water, and so on.
It is our responsibility to take care of our brains. Keep in mind that if we live our lives according to our whims and fancies, it will not magically take care of itself.