6 habits that damage your productivity and affect brain functioning

 "Successful people are simply those with successful habits", quoted Brian Tracy. Every coin has two sides. If some habits can make your life a triumphant one, some others can make you unsuccessful and ruin your life as well. Generally, we term the former as good habits and the latter the exact opposite. 

In this article, we shall examine 6 habits that damage your productivity and affect your brain functioning.

Habits that damage your productivity

Habits that damage your productivity

Our Earth originated several hundred thousand years ago, with a Big Bang. From the Australopithecus to the present man, we've been evolving and developing ever since. As we're evolving, we are also developing new habits and progressing. Some habits that we've built in recent times, are curtailing us from the path of progress we are meant to be. Some of the habits that damage your productivity are as follows.

1. Social media overkill

Social media has been a boon to many, and a curse to many more. While some use it to expand their business, create new opportunities, and turned stars overnight, some others fell victim, to the malicious virtual world and internet addiction. According to platform reports, 3.6 billion people worldwide use social media. 90% of 18-29 years old are on social media. 

Nobody here posts anything about their grievances. Not even a bit about their failures and setbacks. Their only focus is PERFECTION. Not reality, but perfection. 

So, when you surf through social sites you see people happy, precisely, pretending to be happy. You see them spending the time of their lives. And then comes into play, the thief of joy, COMPARISON. You compare your life with someone else's. Thus springs insecurity, somewhere deep in your mind. And then you feel the need to post. After posting, you wish for people to engage with your profile and posts. You want them to like, comment and share your posts. If this doesn't happen, you get disappointed. Even if it happens, you'd still be disappointed in envying someone else's profile engagement. Ultimately, you get trapped in this vicious circle. The makers of these platforms have made them so, to ensure your participation. The basic concept is that these platforms make you seek others' approval to feel good about yourself. And that, my friend, is no good.
This damages your self-esteem and makes you feel less confident about yourself. It diverts your focus and attention rendering you inane and not so productive. You lose precious time over it.
Not only that, social media overkill causes vision-related troubles, body aches, insomnia, weight gain/loss, carpal tunnel syndrome, etc. 
And the deadliest of all the drawbacks is that it damages your real-world relationships. Having a million friends/followers in the virtual world doesn't make you any good. But respecting and valuing real relationships definitely does. Ignoring this fact, people put their efforts into growing their followers count.

2. Eating unhealthy food

"Anything that affects the gut also affects the brain", said Dr.Charles Major. Have you known that what you eat has a direct, long-lasting impact on your brain? You probably must have heard the famous adage, 'You are what you eat'. Well, it turns out to be true. 

Our brain makes nearly 2% of our body weight and uses about 20% of our energy resources.
The compounds of the food we eat stimulate the brain to release mood-altering neurotransmitters. So, what you eat matters. For, it affects the gut-brain connection.

Within our gut exists millions of microorganisms termed as the gut bacteria. They perform several functions in our body. Taking healthy, nutritious food makes your gut microbiota diverse and rich. Harvard medical connects gut bacteria to fighting disease, improving the immune system, and even regulating our mood. The gut microbiome is the central part of our nervous system. Disturbance in it causes disturbance in the whole body. If this disturbance prolongs, the chances that it affects your brain health, are extremely high.

 Conversely, if you ingest unhealthy food, this natural balance is destroyed, and therefore you pave the way to physical and mental disorders. Nutritional psychiatry has established this fact by proving that depression, stress, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, etc are linked to poor gut health. Studies have shown that gastrointestinal problems cause anxiety and vice versa due to the primordial gut-brain connection. And also because our gastrointestinal tract is sensitive to emotions.

3. Negative self-talk

Indulging in negative self-talk is like making yourself a captive of your insecure thoughts and sulking emotions and letting mundane affairs affect your personal life and emotional well-being. When you are negative minded, it means you aren't self-confident, you doubt your capabilities, you compare yourself with others, you lack the freedom to act on your choices, you are obsessed with perfection. To put it in simple words, you are in a very unhealthy and bad state of mind.

The law of life is the law of belief. As a man thinketh so shall he be. Unlike your conscious mind, your subconscious is subjective suggesting that it manifests what you think. If you think negatively, your subconscious mind responds accordingly and ameliorates your grief, pain, and trauma. 

"Most people never heal because they stay in their heads, replaying corrupted scenarios", said Sylvester mc. nut. We've all been victims of bad memories, experiences, and situations. While some of us get over it, the others get stuck to it, blaming the injustices and prejudices of life.

4. Absorbing junky information

A wandering mind is an unhappy mind with littered thoughts lingering in your head hindering your concentration. It is definitely not a sign of a healthy mind. In our daily lives, we are bombarded with loads of information of which much is of no significant use to us. But still, we cling to them.

It was found that in the US, 76% of people experienced loneliness ranging from low to severe stages. And in the US alone, more than one teenager takes his/her life every day. 
When your mind is baffled with such infuriating thoughts, your brain's learning and growth centers shut down due to the release of norepinephrine and cortisol. Research from Harvard shows, the mind wanders, on average, 47% of the time. It means about half of your life span you are distracted!!!
Isn't it heart-thudding?

This chaos makes your focus blurred rendering you inane and not-so-productive. If this ordeal prolongs, it leads you nowhere in life. You probably must have encountered problems lacking concentration while studying, working, etc. Why go that far? Where is your mind wandering at this moment? Is it focused on the screen right in front of you? Or is it thinking of something else? You definitely know the answer to that one.

5. Irregular sleep patterns

"Early to bed and early to rise makes you healthy, happy and wise", said Jeff Bezos.
According to studies, an average human being needs 6- 8 hours of sleep. So the time between 8-10 pm is the ideal one to get to bed.
2-3 hours soon after sunset, your melatonin levels increase. This increase in melatonin levels tells your body that it needs to rest. By 10 pm, this reaches its maximum increase. Consequently, your metabolic activity increases aiding repair and regeneration. If you sleep before 10 pm, you will benefit the most. For, the span between 10 pm to 2 am is known as regenerative sleep. After 2 pm your sleep quality deprives. If you sleep after 10pm, you will have very few hours of regenerative sleep left. Thus, by disturbing this natural cycle, you are harming your harmony. Many people inflict self-harm by disrupting their sleep cycles. 

Our brain produces electric impulses often referred to as waves or brain waves. When you wake up early, for the first few minutes, your brain operates at around 10.5 waves per second. The range from 8 to 13 Hertz is called the Alpha wave state. ( Alpha wave state means being calm and composed.) When you wake up your mind is between theta and alpha. This state is like a gateway to your subconscious mind. In this state, your mind is capable of deep and effective learning. And you can focus effortlessly. 
And for the first 20 minutes, your brain is in its best active state. That's why, when you learn something early in the morning, you can't forget it that easily. For, it penetrates deep in your brain. Literally.

Unfortunately, oblivious of the facts mentioned above, social media is the first thing that people cling to while they are up in the morning and it is the last, too, before they get dozed off. The kind of thoughts you impregnate your subconscious mind with, prior to sleep, and soon after getting up, deeply impact your holistic functioning. 

6. Substance abuse

Smoking, consumption of alcohol, doing drugs, etc can be fatal. They are extremely malicious. They damage the vital organs of your body like the liver, lungs, and brain too. We must discern the fact they affect the brain more than the body. 

 According to the National Institute on Drug abuse, USA, Theses interfere with the way neurons send, receive, and process signals via neurotransmitters. Some drugs, such as marijuana and heroin, can activate neurons because their chemical structure mimics that of a natural neurotransmitter in the body. This allows the drugs to attach onto and activate the neurons. Although these drugs mimic the brain’s own chemicals, they don’t activate neurons in the same way as a natural neurotransmitter, and they lead to abnormal messages being sent through the network.
Substance abuse affects the functioning of some parts of the brain like the amygdala, prefrontal cortex, and basal ganglia which perform several important functions. 

As rightly stated by John C. Maxwell, "You'll never change until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine". Bad habits like the ones above get you stuck in life. They will lead you nowhere. 
It is a bit tough to outclass them, but not impossible either. With a modicum of motivation, you can beat your addiction.

Hope my article, '6 habits that damage your productivity and affect brain functioning', is of assistance. Subscribe for updates.

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