8 Brain-Damaging Habits That Destroy Your Mind

Maybe some of your habits are damaging the brain. Find out how to fix it.

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The brain is an extraordinary computer with 86 billion neurons and 85 billion non-neural cells; neurons are the fundamental unit of our nervous system, which controls everything we do: breathe, walk, feel, and think.

We have to take care of the brain to have a healthy and happy life, but we unintentionally damage the brain by building bad habits which are detrimental to our nervous system.

Studies show that our high-tech society is making our brains slow and dumber day by day.


We do not know that these habits we enjoy are damaging our brains.

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Here are 8 brain-damaging habits that destroy your mind:

1. High sugar consumption

Everyone knows that when we consume a lot of sugar, our blood glucose level rises. High glucose in the blood decreases the production of brain-derived neurotrophic (BDNF), which is an imperative chemical for the brain to make new memories and learn new things.

As a result, a high-sugar diet restricts the brain’s capability to learn and form memories. This is most likely the point where you discover why you have had trouble with your short-term memory recently.


There are numerous studies on sugar’s effects on the brain; here is a fascinating article, sugar now or cocaine later by Anne.

Some of the largest companies are now using brain scans to study how we react neurologically to certain foods, especially sugar. They’ve discovered that the brain lights up for sugar the same way it does for cocaine.

— Michael Moss

How to fix it?

Try to minimize the sugar intake daily; the following steps might help you cut down on sugar poisoning.

  • Don’t buy soda; try to ditch it with diet drinks if you really want it. Water is the best option.
  • Eat fresh, frozen, or dried fruits
  • Read the labels to buy the lowest sugar and sodium product
  • Add banana or dates in oats instead of sugar
  • and slowly replace it completely

2. Too much screen time can negatively impact your mental health

It’s been more than a year since I stepped inside the office. Modern technology and the pandemic accelerated screen time in the past couple of years.


Study shows that face-to-face meetings are really valuable for our mental health. People are spending way more time on screen than ever int he history.

Research at the University of Michigan also found that a 10-minute face-to-face conversation improves cognitive functions.

This study shows that amid the pandemic, mental health increased because people are spending way more time alone and at home, causing depression. The lack of personal interaction limits the brain to generate better connections.

Looking at screens all day, starting from first thing in the morning can hurt your wrists, back, eyes, neck, and ears. Too much screen time is also interrupted our quality of sleep.


Researchers show that excessive screen time has proven adverse effects on our creativity, intellect, and emotional health.

How to fix it?

Set a clear limit with screens to avoid damaging your brain in the long run. The goal is not to 100% avoid screen time which is impossible in modern society.

Research shows that adults should limit 2 hours of screen time outside of work.

3. Sleep deprivation

We all know that our central nervous system is our body’s main information highway. Sleep is vital for your body to function perfectly, but severe insomnia can cause disruptions in how your body transmits and processes information.

Pathways establish between nerve cells (neurons) in your brain during sleep that help you recall new knowledge. Sleep deprivation drains your brain, making it unable to perform its functions effectively. Here is an excellent article on how to sleep productively.


Sometimes lack of quality sleep develops micro-sleep which means people fall asleep from a few seconds to 30 seconds. Out of control microsleep can be fatal, especially when you are in the driving seat.

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4. Overeating

Overeating is thought to be a bad eating habit that leads to long-term health consequences for the brain. It has a physical impact on you and puts you at risk for major health problems, including obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure, all of which are linked to brain diseases like Alzheimer’s, etc.

Research shows that overeating food has been linked to a higher risk of moderate cognitive impairment, memory loss over time, and obesity.


How to fix it?

You first need to be conscious of the risks you expose yourself to overeating. Would you like to have to suffer for a lifetime for eating the jumbo pizza or box full of high-sugar chocolates every night for a month or more? Is it really worth it?

5. Multitasking 

Over time, stress hormones from multitasking can damage the memory center in the brain. Focus on one task at a time for better efficiency and memory.

— Peter Lawrence

People who multitask are persistently distracted, and they aren’t as focused as those who use the brain to work on one task since they are using all portions of the brain at once. Multitaskers have a harder time filtering out extraneous information.


The worst finding is that multitasking consumes even more time than saving while compromising innovation.

Research shows that multitaskers had reduced density in the anterior cingulate cortex, which is crucial for cognitive, empathy, and emotional regulation.

6. No movement

We aren’t always motivated to go to the gym or stick to our health goals. You can easily observe the gyms spike in January, but it drops off a few weeks later.

Study shows that staying physically inactive for a long period creates anatomical changes in the brain, increasing the risk of heart disease. It is also true that sitting for long hours without moving can negatively affect your brain health.


To get the motivation to hit the gym or go for a long walk, remember we have only one body for the rest of our life, and it’s our duty to keep it healthy.

Try to incorporate some kind of regular movement in your life. I love to go on hikes instead of confined spaces called gyms. Hiking has great benefits for our brains.

Exercise is really for the brain, not the body. It affects mood, vitality, alertness, and feelings of well-being. — John Ratey

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7. Bad hearing

Your delicate ears are the ones that suffer the most in today’s loud surroundings. Today, your ears have a lot more to deal with traffic noise, subways roaring, music, headphones, and construction in the area.


The noise level is insanely high. Research shows that hearing issues are increasing day by day in this modern society.

Research shows that ear infections can create difficulties for hearing and neurological complications in the long run.

8. Constant information

Too much information will make your brain choke. — Bryan Davis

Research shows that an average American consumes around 34 GB of information per day, increasing at least 350% in the past 3 decades.

The study also shows that if we continually put ourselves in a state where we receive more information than we can handle, this can damage our brain by constantly handling irrelevant new information.


When your brain takes new information daily and tries to digest and work with it, you put a lot of strain on applying the learning in the appropriate places.

Too much data also affect your cognitive functions, especially decision-making.

So many people are struggling to create happiness while their brain is inundated by noise. If your brain is receiving too much information, it automatically thinks you’re under threat and scans the world for negative first. Because the brain is limited, whatever you attend to first becomes your reality.

— Shawn Achor

  • These are some of the habits we may not know are hurting our brains. I used to do almost all of them after learning I am constantly trying to cut back to keep my brain healthy.
  • I believe my hiking habit is adding a lot of value to staying in shape and also keeping my brain healthy.
  • Always try to live a balanced life: quality sleep, a lot of water, and a great diet (dark leafy greens) here is a great article on brain foods.

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Sufyan Maan is a freelance writer who writes about personal growth and how to invest in yourself. He has been featured on Vocal Media, News Break, Better Humans, and more.