Human beings are the most destructive creatures on the planet. We pollute our environment, we hurt each other, we start wars, and we leave derelict ugly buildings in every town in the world. Strangely, for a species that has rational thought, we also hurt ourselves, by mistake or by intention. Those actions limit our lives and sometimes reduce them in numerous ways – here are eight of the most common.
When it comes to calorie consumption no nation does it quite like the US, but according to a recent study British residents scoff an average of 3440 calories a day – well above the recommended intake. A poor diet combined with a lack of exercise is an accident waiting to happen for well being, and also affects a person’s confidence and social life. Obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease and numerous other life-shortening effects are the by-products to gluttony and lethargy.
Lack of sleep
Poor sleeping can also lead to serious health problems, and there are numerous other possibilities – such as forgetfulness or accidents – that might have dire consequences. A consistent lack of sleep will cause your body to release more cortisol, a hormone associated with stress that damages the skin and makes you look older.
Where to start? A little wine or beer every day won’t hurt, but anything over 2-3 units per day (3-4 for men), equating to a standard glass of wine or pint of beer respectively, can damage internal organs and the nervous system. It’s also been linked with a decline in IQ and possible early onset of dementia.
Smoking 20 packets of poisonous chemicals a day will wreck your lungs and heart, and leave you with numerous symptoms of ageing such as dry, yellow skin, and bad teeth. Moderation, and combining smoking with vaping through Phoenix e-cig batteries, e-liquids and starter packs, will help.
We’ve already looked at how the stress hormone cortisol can affect the human body. While small increases do also have some benefits (preparing us for action, lower sensitivity to pain), long spells of anger or worry can impair cognitive function and send blood pressure rocketing.
Exposing ourselves to illness/pollution
Much of the human environment, particularly industrial or urban areas, is not conducive to long health – so why do so few people wear masks or protect themselves? As evidence, London’s air quality is the filthiest in Europe and a planned Heathrow expansion which could cost the UK £300m in fines from the EU, could only make it worse.
Drinking excessive tea and coffee
There is contradictory evidence on the consumption of several cups of tea and coffee. What is true is that at least some studies have shown desperate negative effects, from headaches and depression to high blood pressure and early death according to Mayo Clinic.
Lack of mental stimulation
Mundane work, boredom, and a lack of new experiences and mental tests can be deadly. Puzzles and reading increase the flow of blood to the brain, and promote and increase in protective chemicals. There’s also significant evidence that problem solving can lessen the risk of dementia. Think again when you pass through a day where you feel you haven’t learned anything.