10 Unexpected Habits That Are Actually Good for Your Health
Being a couch potato for an extra hour, playing video games, chewing a bubble gum, or being messy is, according to strict parents, unhealthy and irresponsible. Well, that’s what they say. Apparently, these “destructive” activities have positive effects on our mood, brain, and mental health. The most important thing to remember is that everything is good in moderation. Give these a try, you won’t have to wait long for some interesting results.
The Bright Side team always tries to look at the world from another perspective, that’s why we decided to bust some well-known myths for you. Let’s get started!
1. Chewing gum: reduces stress levels and boosts memory
Studies show that people who chewed gum during tests performed 24% better on short-term memory tests and 36% better on long-term memory tests. Another study proved that chewing gum also decreases the feeling of stress, because it reduces levels of the hormone cortisol, which plays a part in the development of stress reactions.
2. Playing video games: enhances your ability to learn and make decisions
Fast-paced action video games with peripheral images and events that pop up help people to take in sensory data and turn it into correct decision making and improved reactions, as proven by the study. Moreover, fast real-time strategy video games enhance our brain’s ability and our ability to learn. Though, this trick only works with fast action games, and not with slow time-passers like Sims.
3. Swearing: reduces stress and increases pain tolerance
Most people will probably agree that swearing is just a bad habit that you need to get rid of. However, various studies have shown that swearing can reduce stress and help to remove frustration. Moreover, it can increase pain tolerance according to a study done by Keele University’s School of Psychology. It’s an emotional release, but if you overuse it, swearing will lose its emotional attachment and turn into a bad and unnecessary habit.
4. Being messy: helps to boost creativity
Remember how your mom always told you that being messy is a sign of bad manners, disorganization, and no discipline? Well, actually, our messy habits show the creativity that we have hiding inside. There was an experiment done by Kathleen Vohs and her colleagues at the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management.
2 groups of people were put in neat and messy rooms and were told to come up with as many uses for ping pong balls as they could and to write them down. Results showed that the participants in the messy room produced more creative ideas.
5. Sleeping in: reduces heart attacks and strokes
People who wake up early like to accuse those who like to sleep a bit longer of being lazy and unmotivated. But, this is not true. Early rising might be bad for your health. According to this study, people who wake up too early can develop a risk for high blood pressure and are likely to experience a hardening of the arteries, heart attack, stroke, and hypertension. So, feel free to follow your body’s lead and get some more sleep!
6. Gossiping: helps friendships and relieves stress
Though gossiping is considered to be malevolent or untrustworthy, it also has a positive influence on us. Psychological research shows that gossiping improves our bonds with other people and helps our friendships with them grow. Also, gossiping reduces levels of stress and anxiety. Groups who gossip cooperate, deter selfishness, and exchange social information better.
7. Burping: helps to relieve stomach pain
A burp might sound disgusting, but it’s a normal part of our digestion process. It helps to remove unwanted gas that has collected inside the stomach and helps us maintain good gastric health. You have to belch so the gas doesn’t stay inside your stomach and sets you free from heartburn. As some people say: “It’s better out than in.”
8. Skipping a shower: softens the skin and keeps good bacteria
We’re not trying to tell you that missing showers repeatedly will do you any good, but once in a while it can have a positive influence on your health. Showering every day, especially with hot water, can dry your skin out and make wrinkles appear.
If you shower every other day, you will allow your skin to restore its natural oils, becoming soft and more radiant. Also, every day showers with soap kill the good bacteria produced by your body as a natural antibiotic. Less frequent showers will help these bacteria to stay on our skin longer, keeping us healthy.
9. Using social media: provides us with emotional support and makes us feel connected to society
Social media is shown as a big time consumer and productivity reducer. And this is definitely true if you use social media too frequently. At the same time, it has positive impacts on your life and psychological health. Social media helps us to feel less isolated and more connected to society, makes it easy to find emotional support from our peers, and inspires us to achieve different goals by sharing ours with the world.
10. Taking cold showers: improves blood circulation and weight loss
Are you one of those people who thinks that showering under cold water will make you instantly sick. Turns out you might be wrong. Cold water actually improves the blood circulation, causing the lowering of uric acid levels and increasing the levels of glutathione, an antioxidant that keeps all other antioxidants performing at their optimal levels. It also lowers blood pressure, clears blocked arteries, and improves our immune system. Additionally, cold showers can promote weight loss and activate fat burning activities.
Do you have any of these habits? Which facts surprised you the most? We want to know everything in the comments section!