16 Brain Damaging Behaviors You Must Quit Right Away

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  • 08 Nov 2023
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Have you ever felt as if your mental health was deteriorating by the day? As like you're regressing cognitively rather than progressing? It could be due to your behaviors, which can be brain-damaging and detrimental to your mental health.

See, some habits may appear to fit our lifestyles and wants, but they can negatively impact numerous areas of our mental health without our knowledge. Perhaps you are accustomed to consuming eight cups of coffee each day while working on time-sensitive assignments. It is beneficial to do so since it keeps you attentive and productive, but it slowly kills your brain.

Continue reading to learn how excessive caffeine works against you, as well as other behaviors you've developed as second nature that are slowly and quietly harming your brain.

You will discover what not to do in order to improve and preserve your mental health for many years. Here are 16 brain-damaging habits you should stop doing right now.

1. Allowing Yourself to Be Overwhelmed by Stress and Anxiety Frequently

If your life is packed with stressful situations that regularly drag you down, it may harm your mental health and damage your brain in the long run. Stress, according to research, can induce long-term changes in your brain that leave you susceptible to a variety of mental diseases by altering a process known as oligodendrogenesis. This process involves the production of oligodendrocytes, the nervous system's myelinating cells.

Myelination, which occurs in central nervous system cells, is characterized by an increase in the fatty myelin sheath that covers neuronal fibers and processes that improve electrical communication in the brain. When stress builds up in your life, it impacts the extent or rate of myelination, exposing you to mental health disorders.

To avoid feeling stressed all of the time, you can consider lowering the elements that contribute to stress. A problem-solving plan or technique that assists you in solving the challenges you confront on a regular basis might also be beneficial. Furthermore, using a stress-relieving practice like meditation can help reduce excessive levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

2. Failing to Take on New Challenging Activities

If you've been doing the same things every day for a long time, you're probably steadily damaging your brain. This is not to say that if you are a doctor or a lawyer and do the same things practically every day, you are harming your brain. No, having a career or becoming an expert at anything via consistent practice is acceptable and beneficial. However, if you don't go out of your way to try something new and extend your thinking, you're dragging troubles into your life.

According to research, practicing new activities develops new patterns for your cerebral activity, sharpening your brain and preserving optimal mental wellness.

Learning a new skill has been found to create these patterns, so learning fine arts, riding a motorcycle (if you only know how to drive a car), learning a new language, or learning any other skills, crafts, or activities that you have never done before adds value not only financially but also mentally.

Even at work, you can broaden your knowledge and skill set in various sectors of your employment by furthering your studies, which also benefits you. You don't have to learn a completely new hobby or talent that is unrelated to your area of work or hobbies.

3. Avoiding the Gym Room

We can all confess that it is not always easy to motivate ourselves to go to the gym or stick to our health goals. We all have days when we don't feel like ourselves. Then a day turns into two, then three, and before we know it, it's been months or years since we worked out.

Long periods of inactivity produce functional and anatomical changes in the brain, increasing the likelihood of developing cardiovascular problems. Sitting for hours without getting some meaningful exercise can have a huge impact on your health and be detrimental to your brain. That is why it is always recommended that you take a few minutes out of your day to undertake some type of physical exercise that will get your blood flowing.

Being physically active implies doing it on a regular basis, not every day. If your job schedule does not enable you to exercise every day, you can do so at least three to four times per day on days when you have little to no work.

Remember that your body is the only one you'll have for the rest of your life on Earth (and possibly Mars, if Elon Musk can make it habitable before we die). You won't receive another body at some time in the future, therefore you must take care of it by exercising frequently, whether it's aerobic activity, strength training, balance exercises, or any other type you find suitable for you.

4. Making Binge Eating Your Second Nature

Overeating is thought to be a negative eating pattern that leads to long-term brain-damaging health problems. It has a physical impact on you and puts you in danger of developing major health issues such as obesity, heart difficulties, high blood pressure, and diabetes, all of which are linked to brain conditions such as Alzheimer's and others.

According to a study presented at the American Academy of Neurology's annual meeting, eating too much food has also been linked to an elevated risk of mild cognitive impairment or memory loss after a few years. This is true for feasting on both nutritious and harmful foods for an extended length of time.

To remedy this, you must first be aware of the dangers that overeating exposes you to. Would you prefer to suffer for the rest of your life because you ate the giant pizza every day for a month or more? Is it truly worthwhile?

Being aware of this when you are tempted to eat or when your desires are intense, along with a strong desire to alter your life for the sake of your serenity and health, can help you make a positive change in your life.

5. Obsessing Over Sugary Foods

Consuming foods with no nutritional value is harmful to your body and brain. Your brain requires nutrients to function properly, and if you have a tendency to eat high-sugar foods, you are depriving your brain of the ability to function and develop properly, resulting in a condition known as malnutrition.

Furthermore, persons who regularly consume junk food have brain areas related to memory and learning that are significantly smaller than those who consume nutritious meals.

You should make an effort to eat healthy meals frequently and in sufficient quantities so that your body can benefit from them and improve your health.

6. Not Getting Enough Restful Sleep

We all need restorative sleep after a hard day at work, but we don't always get it. Perhaps you have some duties to accomplish or an assignment to submit before the deadline, so you sacrifice some of your sleep time to work on it.

Making this a habit and not getting enough sleep makes it difficult for your brain to function correctly. Other areas of your brain's attentiveness, memory, language learning ability, and emotional state are also affected.

Sleep deprivation also reduces productivity and your capacity to read people's emotions. Managing your time effectively during the day, avoiding caffeine and alcohol, avoiding technology, and avoiding stress are all better strategies to ensure you receive the amount of sleep your brain requires to function optimally.

7. Juggling Many Tasks at Once

The primary reason we multitask is to accomplish more in less time. However, doing so is more harmful than you would believe.

For starters, you believe you are accomplishing more in a shorter period of time when, in fact, you are setting yourself up for failure. Our brains aren't built to multitask. We are designed to focus on one task at a time, and when we multitask, our attention is fragmented, resulting in poor-quality work. You give your brain very little time to process and plan how you should approach each task in order to achieve the required results, straining it.

Furthermore, studies reveal that multitasking raises stress hormone levels, which can be harmful to the brain. Over time, your behaviors have an impact on your brain's overall performance.

8. Constant Information Overload

We live in a society where we are always seeking new information or receiving information that is intended to better our lives in many ways. However, if we repeatedly place ourselves in situations where we are receiving more information than we can handle, our brains suffer.

If you take in a lot of new information on a typical day and try to process and work with it, you place a lot of strain on your brain's ability to interpret and apply the knowledge in the essential areas, making you ineffective. You also have an impact on your memory and decision-making ability.

Whether it is a new training at work, keeping up with new technologies, or even doing your studies, you should attempt to do it in moderation so that you profit from it and your brain continues to function properly. Creating a plan for how you will take in knowledge in little chunks, analyze it, rest your brain, and then return to it depending on your timetable will also save you a lot of time.

9. Loving the Couch Too Much

The brain is built in such a way that it only improves when put to use. Consider it like a muscle. You should start training right away so that you can be strong. In the same way, you should train your mind by involving it in a succession of tasks throughout the day, some of which are very difficult, to encourage it to go the additional mile, resulting in enhanced performance and mental talents.

For example, if you are used to concentrating for 30 minutes to an hour and then taking a break while working, you may try doing one hour to one hour and 15 minutes three times a week. Then, once it becomes second nature to you, you make it a daily habit.

If you sit inactive for an extended amount of time, your mind will suffer from mental decline, which will have an impact on your life and make it harder for you to be as efficient as other people. However, if you push your mind just a little bit every now and again, you will improve and realize your full potential.

10. Limited Socializing

Most introverts will be disappointed, although not significantly. Staying alone for an extended amount of time may be working against you more than you realize.

Humans, you see, grow and improve as they engage with more people. The act of engaging with another person involves the brain and improves its function. When speaking to someone, you must think, reason, and comprehend what you are taught in order to provide appropriate responses. You must recover some information from your memory and use it in your discussions, as well as store fresh information obtained from the individual you are chatting with for future use.

When you don't meet new people or chat with the individuals you currently know, you're missing out, and this can be harmful to your brain. According to research, developing and actively maintaining social networks helps to prevent mental deterioration and allows you to be more mentally alert.

Even if you are an introvert who feels more powerful while alone, strive to balance your alone time with time to get to know people. You'll be surprised at how much you've been missing out on.

11. Blasting Your Headphones

According to neuroscientists from the University of Dallas, being exposed to loud noises may impair your brain's ability to interpret sound and make your brain struggle even more to recognize spoken sounds. It may also cause memory loss as well as emotional and behavioral changes. This is one of the factors that contribute to memory problems in older persons later in life. In other words, repeated exposure to loud noises might be harmful to the brain.

Because the brain is being overburdened, it finds it difficult to keep up with everyday demands while remaining at its peak for years to come. While listening to loud music may sound pleasant, you should strive to limit the number of times you listen to loud music or are in a location with a loud noise to safeguard the vital parts of your brain.

You can use a 3:1 ratio, which means that for every three times you listen to low music, you listen to loud music once. Alternatively, you can abandon it totally and concentrate solely on moderate volume.

12. Heavy Smoking

When a pregnant woman smokes, she inhibits the brain development of the baby she is carrying, which has long-term consequences for the kid. Smoking also causes brain shrinkage, an imbalance of brain-controlled hormones, and makes you twice as likely as an ordinary person to get dementia.

Heavy smoking also impairs your memory. If you are a heavy smoker, you should consider obtaining therapy to help you quit the destructive habit. You should also explore using other self-improvement strategies such as awareness meditation, subliminal messages, and others that you believe may work well for you.

13. Having a Thing for Darkness

Staying indoors in dimly lit rooms all day for weeks might cause depression and raise your chances of developing cognitive impairment.

Sunlight provides vitamin D, which is crucial for regulating cerebrospinal fluid and enzymes in the brain, both of which are linked to nerve growth and the manufacture of neurotransmitters, which aid in the transmission of electrical signals in the brain. It also encourages a healthy circadian rhythm, which sharpens the brain.

A few minutes spent basking in the morning and afternoon sun has a lot of nutritional value for your physical and mental wellness.

14. Covering Your Head When Sleeping

When you sleep with your head covered, you increase carbon dioxide intake and decrease oxygen levels in your brain. You end up injuring yourself because your brain requires oxygen to function properly.

This is also one of the acts that may contribute to baby fatalities. As a result, you should always sleep with your head and your baby's head exposed.

15. The Smart Device Addiction

In this technological age, using mobile devices is unavoidable. However, doing it too frequently, especially at night, jeopardizes your ability to fall asleep easily, resulting in the brain-damaging effects of sleep deprivation.

Furthermore, it limits your creativity and makes you dependent, which is not ideal for someone who needs to be busy and creative during the day and sleep comfortably at night. Smart device addiction is also linked to poor mental health, low self-esteem, limited learning abilities, and a high risk of cognitive decline.

While you must use mobile devices, it is best to limit your time spent on them.

16. Strong Relationship With Caffeine

Caffeine is wonderful for staying alert and busy, but when you consume more than 400 mg, which is around 4 cups, you put yourself in a position where you are more prone to suffer from headaches, drowsiness, and migraines. In rare situations, it may result in hallucinations and increased confusion in your life.

Caffeine, like all of the other habits discussed here, appears to be a basic and common thing that we do, yet it can have a significant influence on our brains over time if not controlled. Caffeine can be harmful to the brain, but it is easy to avoid.


In conclusion, adopting habits that seem more comfortable and appropriate for us in various contexts may appear to better our lives, but they may actually have the opposite effect. They could be destructive to our brains or even harmful to our physical health.

Instead, you should strive to engage in various mental and physical exercises such as meditation, frequent visits to the gym, participation in challenging brain games, learning new languages, using your other hand instead of the dominant one, being mindful of how you sleep and how you deal with stressful events in your life, and remaining active for the majority of the day. Also, don't forget to make new friends on a regular basis.

These behaviors will not only push you out of your comfort zone, but will also test and enhance your thinking.

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