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Health & Medicine

8 Habits That Are Not Nearly as Bad as You Think

— August 10, 2020

Just remember: “It’s better out than in.” – Your Doctor (probably)

In order to make things easier to understand, people prefer to assign labels to things. Most commonly, they label them as good and bad and once they adopt this mindset, it’s hard for them to change their mind. Nevertheless, nothing in life is so black and white. Every bad habit has some positive effects and aspects. They may not make up for the damage that they make to your life or health, but dismissing them in their entirety is outright hypocritical and narrow-minded. With that in mind and without further ado, here are top eight habits that are not nearly as bad as you think.

  1. Living in a mess

One of the habits that are often described as bad is living in a mess. However, the mess encourages creativity. It improves your memory and forces you to try and memorize where various items are instead of schematically knowing where to find them. Some people function perfectly in the mess of their own making and if they persevere with this long enough, they might adopt this as a proper skill. Of course, being well-organized is still a better alternative but even being messy has its benefits.

  1. Sedentary lifestyle

People who lead a sedentary lifestyle are directly putting their life in danger. However, you need to keep in mind that there are a lot of people who simply can’t find the balance between sedentary and active lifestyle. Training six or seven days per week can be incredibly dangerous. There’s even a saying that there’s nothing healthier than recreational sport and nothing unhealthier than professional sport. On average, there are about 2,000 injured athletes for every 10,000. In other words, when choosing between two extremes, being sedentary is better than overworking your body.

  1. Smoking

Smoking is a bad habit that can lead to lung and tongue cancer. It also causes problems in pregnancy, hurts your lungs, makes your teeth yellow and causes bad breath. That aside, smoking is also known to lower the risk of Parkinson’s disease, lowers the risk of obesity and helps the heart drug clopidogrel work better. Other than this, we should also mention that smoking helps you alleviate some stress, which makes it into a social enhancer. Since stress can impair both your interpersonal relationship and your ability to focus at work, this is definitely a huge matter.

  1. Drinking alcohol

While drinking excessive amounts of alcohol is a serious issue, when it comes to moderate amounts, there are numerous benefits of this effort. For shy people and introverts, alcohol can be a sort of social lubricant and drinking occasionally can help one overcome their shyness and make new friends. Also, alcohol tends to be quite beneficial for one’s immune system (when consumed in moderate amounts) and reduces the likelihood of heart disease. In the Balkan region, slivovitz brandy is used to heal sore throat both by drinking it and soaking wraps in it. This is due to alcohol’s anti-inflammatory properties.

  1. Daydreaming

Daydreamers are often described as people who are easily distracted, never live in the moment and those who are (generally speaking) less productive than others. Their dreams of grandeur often distract them from actions that would actually bring them results in the real world, however, this habit also has its benefits. You see, daydreaming allows you to come up with new ideas, which is why all great artists were daydreamers. The habit of daydreaming also helps you with problem-solving, seeing as how it helps you with roleplaying.

  1. Swearing

    “Color Me F*cking Calm: Swear Words to Color and Display” coloring book; image by Alex Levine, via Flickr, CC0 - Public Domain.
    “Color Me F*cking Calm: Swear Words to Color and Display” coloring book; image by Alex Levine, via Flickr, CC0 – Public Domain.

Swearing is one of the habits that’s often frowned upon in many social circles, however, it does have its benefits. First of all, it’s a great way of relieving work stress, especially when practiced in safe conditions (amongst your closest circle of friends and family). Swearing is also able to help you relieve pain. One research has studied two groups and measured their ability to hold a hand in a bucket of ice-cold water. The group that swore was generally able to hold their hand for about 50 percent longer than their non-swearing counterparts. In industries where the pain is inevitable (manual labor, professional sports, etc.) this could turn out to be game-changing.

  1. Burping and farting

Speaking of habits that are considered to be bad manners, it’s important to mention that burping and farting get to the very top of the list. Physiologically speaking, however, it’s important to mention that both burping and farting relieve you of gasses and prevent you from bloating and stomach pain. It really doesn’t take research to verify this, seeing as how it’s something that every human being knows empirically. The saying goes “It’s better out than in.” While this is contrary to all societal norms, ask any physician and the answer will always be the same.

  1. Playing video games

One of the things that a lot of people list as a bad habit is playing video games. Some see it as a form of addiction, while others label it as nothing short of time waste. Nevertheless, playing video games also comes with a long list of perks. First, it helps alleviate stress and relieve pain. Second, some video games can be used as simulations or learning materials. Historically accurate video games can help make students more interested in the period that they’re studying through higher immersion. Games with a lot of puzzles are known to enhance one’s cognitive abilities, while strategies help people multitask. 

In conclusion

At the end of the day, it all comes down to your attitude and your ability to demonstrate some restraint and discipline. Think about it, if you can enjoy a single cigarette late at night (after you get home from work), the downsides are nearly non-existent, while the stress alleviation effect is there. The same goes for alcohol. Video games can be a great coping mechanism, as long as you don’t allow them to dominate your life or sidetrack you from important goals. You need to be master of your own habits unless you want them to dominate you instead.

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