Who doesn’t have bad habits? Barring a few that we can give up on, the rest of us always talk about getting rid of these habits. But do you know that some of these habits can be a blessing in disguise? You didn’t, right? The content to come will enlighten you on just this.
Chocolate – Good or Bad?
The oldest woman in the world on record, and only confirmed person ever to live more than 120 years, Jeanne Louise Calment, from Arles, France, went on to live for 122 years and 164 days (1875 – 1997). Another 3 years and she would have lived in the 19th, 20th, and 21st century. She used to eat 10 pounds of chocolate every month, all her life.
Bad habits that are good for you. Does this even sound right? Am sure if a habit is bad, your parents, teachers, relatives, or whoever else, have always been nagging you about it. And we all know that some habits never go away easy.
But what if we were to understand how a particular bad habit can actually be beneficial to us in someway! Awesome, right! Well, let’s not waste anymore time, and get right down and check them out.
The Pric(z)e for Being Late
The early bird catches the worm! Everyone knows and believes this one, right? It is widely believed that morning people are more active and productive throughout the day. But dig this! Sleeping-in late sometimes has its own benefits too. It helps in better organization of one’s memory, thus improving long-term memory.
Getting up late occasionally also helps in learning things better. Although, make sure you don’t make it a habit and end up late to school or work, because then, your teacher or boss won’t take it very kindly, and those aren’t going to be pleasant memories for you to keep anyway.
With Love, … Yours Latte
This may come as a surprise to many, but drinking coffee isn’t that harmful after all. Though, it does not mean that you go on gulping down mug after mug all day. Ideally, two cups a day would be good, or at the most three. Caffeine helps reduce the risk of kidney stones and gallstones. It also speeds up the rate of metabolism of an individual.
Research has also proven that two to three cups a day of your favorite beverage can counter depression symptoms and diabetes due to old age. So, go ahead and savor that hot mug of coffee that you always thought was doing you more harm than good.
No-show to the Shower
A warning first up – please do not read this and have a broad grin if you are one of those people who have strong body odor. And if you choose to skip your daily dip, at least do it on a day you aren’t going out much, or doing anything that is physically demanding. Of course, we need to shower regularly, since hygiene is of utmost importance. But on the flip side, missing a shower is not criminal. Firstly, think about the water that is saved, which will help the environment.
And on the health side, our daily shower and frequent washing robs our skin of precious natural oils that help to keep it hydrated and supple. Excessive washing also deprives the skin of retaining good bacteria that helps in keeping many diseases at bay. Now be smart about this, and do not go to that important meeting or date without showering, please!
In school, time and again we have been told to concentrate on our studies and not be fidgety. At home, we’ve been hounded by our parents for being fidgety, and not allowing the family to watch their favorite soap or have a peaceful dinner. At work, we get the occasional stare from a colleague who indicates that we are being too fidgety during an important meeting. Which all suggests, buddy, please don’t be fidgety, it’s irritating to others. But researchers have studied and found out that fidgeting can actually help an individual burn anywhere between 300 to 400 calories a day, and aids in preventing weight gain. Think of it as being equivalent to something like yoga.
Also, children with ADHD tend to concentrate better when they fidget; it is their way of focusing better. But please, don’t tap the table or shake your leg and be an annoyance to the people around you.
How many times have we been tapped on the back due to our daydreaming habit! And the fact is that, this is not something that only kids do. Daydreaming is directly related to being lazy and wasting precious time. But a study done at the University of British Columbia concluded that sometimes allowing your mind to wander about actually increases your potential to solve problems in a better way. This is because, while you daydream, the part of the brain that works toward problem-solving becomes more active.
But make no mistake, this does not mean that now, with every chance you get, you simply slump back on your chair and become a perpetual daydreamer! It will not please your teacher or boss.
Heard of ‘Angry’ Birds?
Now, aren’t we all taught from childhood not to be angry, upset, or lose our temper! Be calm, smile, take a deep breath, etc., are things we were and are always reminded about time and again. Of course, this is how we should be, but research points out to the fact that losing your temper once in a while isn’t a bad thing after all. This is just so that you don’t bottle up your emotions, to a point where it knocks you off. Venting out your emotions sometimes helps in releasing stress, and is also found to reduce the risk of a heart attack, which can be caused due to bottling up of emotions.
A little bit of swearing also helps in relieving minor pains immediately. Okay, this does not give you the license to turn into a hot-head though.
For the Love of Cud
Those who find chewing a gum irritating, or bad manners, are not going to like this. But yes, chewing gum, according to research, can help improve both short and long-term memory. Chomping on your favorite gum might also help you lose some weight. It can also stimulate the satiety center of the brain, which gives one a feeling of being full, thus making you eat less at times. Just make sure you go in for sugar-free ones, and please chew on it decently, at least while in public.
Oh, and make sure you don’t have your mouth full during a meeting, or at a formal occasion. Lastly, not to forget this, dispose off your gum in a bin safely. It is harmful to many animals, especially birds who choke to death when they try to feed on it.
All those watching their weight tend to stay away from chocolates. And there are those very few (seriously!) who do not like chocolates at all. But this snack isn’t so bad for you after all, though not in excess. The ideal thing would be to consume not more than eight bars of chocolate in a month’s time. What it does is, its antioxidants reduce the risk of having a stroke.
Chocolates also prevent blood clots, and can help in preventing the growth of cancerous cells, thus increasing your lifespan. And besides that heavenly taste and feeling, we all know quite well that munching on a chocolate bar gives us instant energy.
And One for the Slob!
Nobody likes messy people, or an untidy room – that’s a fact we will all agree to. But studies have revealed that it is beneficial to keep one’s surroundings ‘relatively clean’, and NOT absolutely pristine. A spic and span environment only goes on to destroy all the harmless germs along with the bad ones, thus clearing the way for serious strains to enter and cause more havoc.
Kenneth Rosenman, M.D., an internal medicine and environmental expert says, “The huge push to disinfect our homes isn’t healthy, a little messiness is OK.” Folks, this is some really good advice that we should take.
Two for the Grapevine
Please note that this is not an advertisement for you to become the biggest gossipmonger in town, though it is a known fact that everyone gossips to some extent, some more, some less. Have you never spoken about your neighbor’s visitors, or your colleague’s love interest, or a habit of your boss! Gossiping is definitely not a very good activity, besides being a waste of time.
But healthy gossip can be good for you and the people around as well. It helps bond with the people you are talking to, besides countering anxiety and being a stress-buster. Just make sure you don’t overindulge, and do keep it clean for God’s sake!
Mocktail Instead of Cocktail, I Don’t Think So!
Common belief is that cutting down or avoiding alcohol is good for health. Of course this is true. But what usually happens is that, some people avoid a cocktail and go in for a mocktail instead. Now, this is not a very wise choice after all. Mocktails are high in sugar content, very addictive, besides being pretty harmful for the body.
What you can do is have a mocktail that is made from fruit juice, instead of one that is made from syrup. Whatever you do, remember that anything in excess is bad for the health, and the same holds true whether you have your eye on that irresistible cocktail or mocktail.
Draining That Tankard and How!
Again, this does not give you the liberty to drink till you drop. Research has proven that, as a ‘heart-disease fighter’, beer is even better than red wine, as widely thought. Beer contains malted barley, which contains beneficial heart-protecting antioxidants. Beer is also high in vitamin B6, which helps reduce coronary risks. Lastly, beer also aids in strengthening the bones in our body.
The only thing here to look out for is, consume it moderately, instead of getting sloshed and being a nuisance to everyone around. Besides forgetting about the health-related benefits that you will be missing out on, physical harm is also a big possibility then.