Your Brain is being damaged right now!

But you can do
something about it…

Brain health is important. Healthy brain function is necessary for everything from productivity at work and school to the ability to engage in daily living skills and actively participate in our relationships.

We know we need our bodies to be healthy. We’ve even learned to attend to our mental/emotional health. But what about our brain health? Without a healthy brain neither our bodies OR minds will work well. So, it’s in our best interest to take care of our brains, RIGHT?

Unfortunately, most of us don’t. And that’s because we take our brains for granted, exposing it to toxins every day that have been associated with causing damage to its structures and functions.

The good news is that we can DO something about that. Just as there are behaviors and activities that we can engage in to preserve and optimize our body’s health and to preserve our mental health, the same is true for the brain. We can also learn how to minimize behaviors and toxins that can negatively affects our brains.

But that requires learning more about your brain’s health, check out some facts below. 

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What you may be
doing to your brain

We’ve been forced onto screens by the pandemic. Screens for work, screens for school, screens to see our family and friends, screens for entertainment! And while we can be grateful for technology and its benefits, have you been wondering, how is this affecting my brain health?

One major threat to our brain health is excessive screen time. Research shows that over-use of screens can affect our brain and behavior in ways that can range from damage to important brain structures necessary for learning, memory and emotional regulation to diminished function affecting productivity and enjoyment in life.

Here are some quick facts:

  • People are spending an average of more than seven hours a day looking at screens (and that was BEFORE COVID!)
  • About 90% of kids are using screens by age one
  • Multiple studies have shown that excessive screen time is associated with:
    • Atrophy (shrinkage or loss of tissue volume) in white and gray matter areas of the brain from excessive screen time
    • A loss of volume in the striatum, an area of your brain involved in addiction and the suppression of socially unacceptable impulses.
    • Damage to an area known as the insula, which is involved in our capacity to develop empathy and compassion for others
    • Impairments in brain structure and function involving emotional processing, executive attention, decision making, and cognitive control.
    • Damage in the brain’s frontal lobe, which undergoes massive changes from puberty until the mid-twenties. Frontal lobe development, largely determines success in every area of life—from sense of well-being to academic or career success to relationship skills.

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Make Brain Health a

Priority!

Maybe you’re a team leader in an organization that recognizes that your employee’s brain health is tied to the health of your company. You could be an administrator planning next year’s school curriculum and you want to design one that takes into consideration your learner’s brain health. How about a parent, who just wants to make informed, conscious decisions to protect your child’s brain health; in any of those situations, we have solutions for you. 

Dr. Julia Harper, PhD, MS, OTR/L, is a therapist and expert in neuroplasticity with over 20 years of experience delivering brain-based intervention with focus on supporting brain, body and mental health in children and adults around the world. She provides Brain Health consultations that will focus on providing information that will help you to protect your brain and to can help you develop programs to protect the brains of your team members, learners and your children.

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