In an era of better technology, we are all being rewired to do more to the detriment of our brains. According to experts, our modern lifestyle is chipping away at neural pathways and making us slower, denser and less capable of original thought. Hyperconnectivity is increasingly taking its toll on our brains. In the end, we end up less productive and ineffective.
When it comes to our health, we don’t always think about nurturing our brains the way we nourish our bodies. But to be our most productive self, we need to do more of what improves our brain health, and less of what causes cognitive decline. Start by adjusting your daily habits and avoiding these common modern habits — your mind will thank you.
Today, face-to-face interactions are increasingly being replaced by digital tools. People spend more time online than ever before.
“Anything with a screen — television, phones, tablets, computers, video games — constitutes screen time,” explains Tom Kersting, a licensed psychotherapist and an expert in the field of mental health and parenting in the digital age. “If the majority of our waking hours entails looking at a screen, then we know it is way too much.”
A face-to-face conversation is incredibly beneficial for your brain. A study by the University of Michigan found that even just 10 minutes per day of conversation with another person improved memory and cognition.
“In our study, socializing was just as effective as more traditional kinds of mental exercise in boosting memory and intellectual performance,” said Oscar Ybarra, a psychologist at the U-M Institute for Social Research (ISR) and a lead author of the study with ISR psychologist Eugene Burnstein and psychologist Piotr Winkielman from the University of California, San Diego.
The lack of true personal interaction limits the brain’s opportunities to make better connections. It can also lead to loneliness and depression — mental conditions that contribute significantly to reduced brain health.