Can Bad Habits Be Good For You?

Whether you bite your nails before a big test, chew your gum obnoxiously or can’t keep your room clean to save your life, everyone has certain habits that they can’t seem to stop. However, according to research, some habits that are often considered bad can actually be beneficial to your well-being.

For example, there is a common task that most teens struggle with on a daily basis: showering.  Whether it completely slips their mind, or they don’t shower by choice, high school students constantly battle B.O.  Some might be happy to know that showering every day can actually be harmful to your skin.  Researchers say that washing your skin every day can strip it of helpful bacteria that protects you from disease, as well as natural oils that keep your skin hydrated.  So the next time you don’t shower after gym, don’t worry; you are not offending your neighbor, but rather replenishing your essential oils!

Additionally, we all know that one person who never stops tapping their foot, or who has an obsession with repeatedly clicking their pen.  It turns out that obnoxious fidgeting can actually improve your body’s health.  According to research, the constant movement can serve as a “mini-workout,” by burning up to 400 calories a day.

 Furthermore, fidgeting is beneficial to those suffering from ADD and ADHD as the sustained movement helps them to concentrate.  So the next time someone tells you to stop tapping your pencil, just say, “Sorry, just getting in my daily workout!”

Also, at one time or another, we have all been guilty of “zoning-out,” or daydreaming.  While some may argue that imagining we are on a sunny island without a care in the world prevents us from focusing in school, studies conducted at the University of British Columbia suggest that day-dreaming can actually help the brain solve complex problems in new ways.  This is because the daydreams activate different parts of the brain that control problem-solving strategies.  So the next time your teacher has to tap you on the shoulder to get you to focus, you can tell them that while it looks like you weren’t paying attention, you were also figuring out how to solve complicated problems!

One last habit, which could be considered the most bothersome, is chewing gum loudly.  However, research shows that chewing gum can improve long and short term memory.  It can also help you lose weight.  Chewing gum activates the brain’s satiety center, which makes the body feel fuller, and you will therefore eat less during meals.  So the next time your friend tells you to chew with your mouth closed, just tell them that you are enhancing your memory and losing weight in the process!

At some point or another, our habits may get in the way of our everyday life, even if we don’t intend them to do so.  Whether the sound of chewing gum turns people away, or clicking your pen makes your classmates go insane, people need to see the glass half-full, as your body actually thanks you for doing these things.  And remember, if we all do these “bad” habits together, no one will be left to be offended!

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