Do you know that there are a few habits that decrease your cognitive power? Have you ever tried to monitor your cognitive function?
You walk into the room, asking your family where the keys are and at the end, you find yourself holding the keys you were looking for. Does it sound familiar to you? Or, sometimes you find it so difficult to understand what someone is talking about and you wonder what is wrong with you.
Poor memory, difficulty concentrating and processing information may be the signs that your cognitive power is not in its best condition. It can happen due to illness or ageing. However, it may also happen due to bad habits that are slowly decreasing your cognitive power without you realizing it.
Habits that can decrease your cognitive power
Here are 13 habits that decrease your cognitive power:
Letting stress and loneliness control you
Everyone may experience stress and loneliness. However, if you let them control you for a long time, it will do no good for your brain.
Numerous studies have shown that stress can affect an individual’s memory and learning processes. Being too lonely also affects our cognitive function. A study by Louise C. Hawkley and John. T Cacioppo reported that loneliness can lead to impaired cognitive performance.
Not paying attention to what you eat
“You are what you eat” and the foods you eat can affect your cognitive function. For example, if you eat too many fatty foods, you might suffer from brain fog and you might feel fatigued which makes you unable to do your activities properly.
Lack of sleep
I am sure most of you understand how it feels when we have to face the day after not getting enough sleep. Moodiness, fatigue, and inability to process information are mostly what we experience due to lack of sleep.
Living near major roads
It is probably not good news for those who live in a big city full of pollution. A study published in The Lancet shows that people who live close to heavy traffic have a high risk of experiencing dementia.
Not only does smoking harm your lungs and heart, but it also gives a negative effect on your brain. Smokefree.gov mentioned on one of their posts that smoking can change your brain which makes you get addicted to it and you will experience withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety when you try to quit.
Lack of exercise
Doing enough exercises is good for your memory. An author, Marcel Daane once mentioned that movements help produce hormones and proteins in the brain which can stimulate your memory and make you more alert. It means a lack of exercise can make your brain unable to get enough hormones and proteins it requires to keep you alert and to stimulate your memory.
Not drinking enough water
A study shows that not getting enough water can actually affect our brain structure and it might affect the cognitive function negatively. That is why it is important to always make sure that you drink enough water daily for the sake of your body and brain.
Taking too much salt
Some people love to eat salty food. However, it is important to understand that too much salt is bad for your cognitive power. Whilst it does not affect your brain directly, too much salt can lead to hypertension which can hinder blood flow to your brain. Once it happens, you may find it quite difficult to focus and memorize things.
Listening to too loud music
If you love listening to loud music, it is time for you to start decreasing the volume. A study conducted by neuroscientists at the University of Texas at Dallas reported that “prolonged exposure to loud noise alters how the brain processes speech, potentially increasing the difficulty in distinguishing speech sounds”.
Drinking too much alcohol
Drinking too much alcohol also can give a negative impact on your cognitive brain. As reported in a study published on the British Medical Journal, “Alcohol consumption, even at moderate levels, is associated with adverse brain outcomes including hippocampal atrophy.”
Not getting enough sun
Lack of vitamin D can affect our cognitive function and faster memory loss. It is also correlated with a higher risk of dementia.
Forcing yourself to work when you are sick
No matter how much you love your work, you should not forget to put your health first. You do not need to force yourself to work when you are sick, especially because forcing your brain to work while you are ill can weaken your immune system and it just makes your situation worse.
Multitasking, such as answering a phone call while writing an email, can give permanent effect to your brain. Forcing your brain to do more than one thing at the same time will only lead you to problems in processing information and paying attention.
Consuming certain drugs regularly for a long period of time can impact your cognition. For example, for people who consume cannabis regularly just to get high, they may start experiencing brain fog. Brain fog is a collection of symptoms which include poor memory, short span of attention, difficulty processing information, fatigue, and disorientation.
How can I monitor my cognitive power?
There are certain ways to help you monitor your cognitive power and make sure that your brain works normally. Thanks to the internet, now you can even take a free online cognitive function test to let you get more understanding of your brain current situation.
One of them is Brainitor. It is an online cognitive function test which allows you to take a 2-minute or 8-minute test and get immediate result. It is accessible from all devices and it is completely FREE. You can also save your current result and compare it to your last results, your friends’, or other people from all over the world.