Certain Behaviors Can Affect Your Brain
The skull is busy protecting our brain from many possible dangerous situations. Our brains are fairly delicate so it’s no wonder our bodies are designed to keep it encased and safe. Is it really safe though? It’s more sensitive than you realize. What we eat, ingest, breathe, and even our thought patterns all have an impact on our brain function. Today we review several ways our actions can impact our brains and how we can combat that.
Smoking Isn’t Limited To The Lungs
We are all well aware of the addictive nature of nicotine. What many people don’t realize is just how much it changes our brain and causes a severe problem in which a smoking addiction is almost on the same level as a heroin addiction. As people smoke cigarettes, the brain is busy creating more nicotine receptors. More receptors mean the brain can take in more nicotine, resulting in an increase of smoking activity. When the brain doesn’t receive enough nicotine for each receptor, the body goes into withdrawal. This results in heightened anxiety, shaking, and severe mood swings. Many people switch to vaping e-juice to combat their nicotine addiction. If used carefully, you can wean yourself off of the nicotine and make quitting smoking an easier task.
Food Has A Profound Effect
We already know that processed foods are horrible for our bodies but did you know it targets the brain as well? Refined sugars and processed foods tend to lower our serotonin levels and line our bellies with bad bacteria. It leaves us feeling sluggish, heavy, and can cause “brain fog.” Fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains lend themselves to a healthier body, healthier bacteria, and contribute to serotonin levels in the brain. It is also believed that if we eat a diet heavy in processed foods, it can lead to disorders that center around memory loss. Let’s face it, when we eat healthily we are able to think clearly, make better decisions, and function on a higher level than when we eat junk.
A Traumatic Experience Can Change Everything
Post-traumatic stress disorder is now becoming widely recognized as a disorder affecting millions of Americans not just military veterans. Veterans, first responders, firefighters, and police officers are often diagnosed with PTSD and they provide the understanding of how PTSD rewires the brain. It is becoming more complex as we understand the condition better. The person held at gunpoint while working at the gas station may experience some PTSD after the fact. And the child born in an abusive home can likely develop abusive adult relationships and continue to expose themselves to traumatic situations.
Sexual violence, gun violence, domestic violence, emotional abuse, and even financial abuse can all compound the effects of trauma on the brain. It changes how we process events around us, how we respond to them, and many folks find themselves stuck in a spiral of negative self-talk and low self-esteem. Compound that with horrifying nightmares and low serotonin levels and you have someone truly struggling to fight their own brain. Fortunately, there are therapies to combat those effects and to lessen the hold that PTSD can have on a person. It often includes medications to make you receptive to retraining your own thought patterns. Many sufferers are able to eventually stop the medications and live a new life with a trained brain.
Our bodies are designed to function off each system and work hard to keep us happy, healthy, and safe. When we take care of one part, we inadvertently take care of another. Maintain that healthy diet, wean off the negative habits, and seek out help when you need it and your brain can live a long time.