Even though you likely don't give it an inordinate amount of thought, practically every single thing you do each day has some sort of effect on you. The choices you make can affect your physical health, mental health, relationships, career satisfaction, and more. They affect your muscles, skin, digestion, and even your brain. There are some weird things you do everyday you didn't know are causing you brain damage that you might want to know more about because, chances are, some of them are things you're doing all the time.
Taking care of your brain is super important throughout your life and some of the things that can negatively affect your brain are things that you'd likely never suspect might have that sort of effect because, in some cases, they don't even seem like things that would have anything to do with your brain at all. The things you eat, how you structure your day, and more can all have a major impact on the health of your brain, so taking note of the things that you do without thinking that they're any big deal but that actually can hurt you — is super important. It just goes to show that the choices you make might affect you in ways far different than you would ever expect.
1. Staying Up Late & Waking Up Early
A 2014 study published in the journal Sleep found that, among Gulf War veterans, poor quality of sleep led to a reduction in volume of brain tissue. If you're not sleeping well or not sleeping enough — and you make that a habit — it may have a serious effect on your brain. And that's not good.
Bad news for people who love to multi-task. Talent Smart noted that researchers at the University of Sussex in the UK found that people who spend more time multi-tasking on tech devices have a less-dense anterior cingulate cortex. That can effect your cognitive abilities, which, as even the best multi-taskers often know, can take a hit when you're trying to switch things up too often and too quickly.
3. Being In Charge
As it turns out, success and power may come at a sort of price. The Atlantic reported that Sukhvinder Obhi, a neuroscientist at McMaster University in Canada, found that having a lot of power can interfere with mirroring, a neural process that could be important when it comes to empathy. That means that people who are powerful and in charge have different-looking brains than those they're leading.
4. Getting Super Stressed Out
You probably already know that stress is bad for you, but you might not realize that it's seriously bad for your brain too. In an interview with Prevention, Dr. Brendan Kelley, MD, a neurologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, said that lots of stress doesn't just interfere with how your brain works, it also might be associated with a greater risk of Alzheimer's disease. Another reason to destress this weekend.
5. Eating A High-Calorie Diet
A high-calorie diet affects more than your waistline. In an interview with Health, Dr. Allen Towfigh, MD, a neurologist and sleep specialist, said that eating a lot of calories can raise your risk of certain chronic diseases like hypertension, which can hurt your brain.
6. Eating Lots Of Certain Fish
Arsenic is bad news when it comes to brain health and if you eat a ton of certain foods, you might be getting more than your fair share. A 2013 study from Dartmouth College found that eating some fish, like swordfish, tuna steaks, and mackerel, can raise arsenic levels in your body. And a 2014 systematic review concluded that arsenic can change different things in your brain.
7. Always Eating Dessert
It's nice to end the day with something sweet, but if you're eating a lot of sugar, you might be negatively affecting your brain. The aforementioned article for Prevention noted that University of Southern California researchers conducting an animal experiment found that diets high in sugar negatively affect brain cells.