Neurology Professor Reveals 4 "Normal" Habits That Destroy Your Brain

You damage your brain health daily with these four habits.

woman standing outside with hand on side of head Mladen Mitrinovic / Shutterstock

Your routine and habits impact your brain health in the long term so you are unknowingly harming your brain health a little daily.

Dr. Rudolph E. Tanzi, a professor of Neurology, blames these reckless routines that are harming your cognition and pushing you toward neurodegenerative diseases.

These everyday habits are so normalized that they have now become the norm. It’s a way of life that is not only accepted but appreciated.


Here are the four everyday habits that are hurting your cognition and memory.

RELATED: 8 Brain-Damaging Habits That Destroy Your Mind

Here are 4 "normal habits" that destroy your brain:

1. Working an 8-hour day

It is the norm to work for at least 8 hours a day. There’s no denying that the pressure and workload of most jobs will have you put in at least 8 hours daily.


Corporate has made it a norm, you can not get any job with less work time but this extensive workday is killing your productivity and brain cells. You are not made for sitting and working 8 hours daily.

You need work to add purpose to your life and to keep your brain sharp. But overworking and a sedentary life are poisoning your cognitive health little by little daily.

Late-night calls, long repetitive meetings, and busy weekends cause huge burnouts that no vacation can cure.

You need to lighten your everyday workload to improve your cognitive health.

Here's what you can do:

  • Batch similar tasks and do them in one work session.
  • Take a 5-minute walking break every hour of sitting.
  • Spend more time in nature to get adequate sunlight.

RELATED: Why We Need To Ditch The 9 To 5 Workday


2. Playing the introvert card

Crowds are a bane of my existence so I refuse to get out of the house on weekends.

I am highly introverted and even the thought of a conversation with a stranger makes me wish I had a shell I could retreat into, Lucky turtles!

But this attitude will lead to poor cognitive health, you need to connect with other human beings regularly for optimal brain health.

Isolation increases psychosocial stress associated with a higher risk of heart and neurological diseases.

Loneliness increases your risk of anxiety and depression, which can shrink your brain. So, protect your cognition by connecting with people regularly.

Dr. Tanzi says, that you need to have meaningful interactions with people so choose someone whom you care about and who cares about you too.


Here's what you can do:

  • Plan regular phone calls with friends.
  • Make plans to do something fun and active with peers on weekends.
  • Try out a group class to find people with similar hobbies.

RELATED: 7 Subtle Signs You're Suffering From Chronic Loneliness

3. Engaging in excessive screen time 

Your 8-hour workday creates another major problem that can lead to poor cognition.

You sit and work in front of a screen for a third of the day and then you relax by watching television or playing a video game.

Both our work and relaxation are hacked by screens. But this mindless exposure to screens is messing with your sleep, which you desperately need for better cognition.


You need at least six hours of sleep every night to function well the next day. Even minor sleep deprivation can wreck your focus, alertness, and concentration.

Dr. Tanzi advises going to bed an hour early rather than obsessing about sleep.

Here's what you can do:

  • Rest your eyes by closing them for just two minutes.
  • Find new hobbies that don’t require staring at a screen.
  • Reduce blue light exposure one hour before sleep.

4. Hustling yourself to death 

Another celebrated aspect of our modern life is hustle. The race to see who can achieve more and earn the most money is never-ending.

This race is a hamster wheel that will take all your time and energy. It’s a black hole where your youth will be lost forever.


Hustling will add stress on top of a busy day job. Yes, multiple income sources are good but you need to be realistic.

You’ll need to hustle for a long time before you make a dime. So, do work that enriches your life and start a side hustle that has the potential to monetize a hobby.

Dr. Tanzi recommends fighting stress with a calming mantra like, “I am alright now.”


Here's what you can do:

  • Start a small side hustle to develop your skills.
  • Set SMART goals that you can easily achieve.
  • Start a side hustle for fun.

RELATED: Hustle Culture: Why You Need To Give Yourself Permission To Rest

It’s high time, you need to change the norm and live a life that enriches your brain health. Save your cognition by breaking your patterns.

  • Overworking will drill all the good ideas out of your brain.
  • Sitting for long periods will wreck both your back and cognition.
  • Unregulated blue-light screen exposure will break your sleep cycle.
  • Chronic stress from juggling work and side hustle will wreck your mental health.

So, stop these devious habits today for better brain health in the future.


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Khyati Jain is an editor and writer with expertise in health, fitness, lifestyle, and mental health.