Bad habits need to be broken, right?
After all, they’re “bad” because they’re unhealthy — and possibly annoying and rude as well. But they’re definitely not a good thing.
What if some of your bad habits, however, are actually better for you than you thought (in moderation, that is)?
Check out this list below. Then, go ahead and embrace your “bad” self — and leave the guilt trip behind.
If you’re like so many of us, you love the smell, the taste, and even the sound of the word “chocolate.” Some of us indulge in this bad habit as frequently as possible — and maybe that’s not so bad.
Brian Wallace, founder of Endorfin Foods, which makes and sells a variety of chocolates, believes chocolate can be good for you.
Wallace, also an alchemist, says chocolate with a high cacao content (meaning 60 percent or greater) and either low- or no-refined sugar can lead to a variety of health benefits. These include decreased rates of cardiovascular disease and stroke, decreased rates of stress hormone levels, and the ability to combat age-related cognitive decline.
A cup of joe does more than just jumpstart your morning.
“It is also a powerful source of antioxidants that can reduce your risk of liver and colon cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and Type 2 diabetes,” said Robert Pomahac, a chiropractor and founder of MaxHealth LA.
If you nap, you’re not slothful — you’re sleep triaging with efficiency.
“Your habit of taking a Sunday afternoon snooze may cause you to be seen as lazy, but catching up on missed sleep is really important,” Pomahac said. “Adults need seven to eight hours of sleep per night. Any less than that and you start to rack up a sleep debt.”
Nap? Yes. You’re not slothful — you’re sleep triaging with efficiency.
People who “tell it like it is” are often perceived to suffer from the bad habit of being blunt or insensitive.
Stacy Kaiser, a licensed psychotherapist and the editor-at-large of Live Happy, told LifeZette, “For some people, saying what is on their mind can be a bad habit because they can often times be too direct and hurt people’s feelings. They might be considered individuals who lack a filter.”
But, said Kaiser, “People who express themselves tend to have less anxiety and stress, along with greater levels of happiness.”
Other Bad Habits
Lest you think that all bad habits are good, Judy Rosenberg, a Los Angeles-based psychologist and CEO of the Psychological Healing Center, explained they’re not, although bad habits can be seen as defense mechanisms.
“For example, smoking, overeating, and using alcohol can temporarily defend against feelings of anxiety, depression and more. Swearing can get the anger out, which if left internally, can turn to depression. ”
However, unhealthy defense mechanisms never really resolve the problems, said Rosenberg, which can sometimes be old, unresolved childhood wounds.
“We need to express repressed emotions. What we don’t express, we repress, and then depress,” she said.
When Good Habits Turn Bad
Shannon Wilsey, venture capital and health tech consultant at San Francisco-based SparkPR, told LifeZette she has been an insomniac since the age of 10. Her lack of sleep allowed her to become a nationally ranked swimmer while maintaining straight A grades throughout high school.
After graduating from college, she worked 70-plus hours a week in the corporate world. But she finally burned out.
“I found you can only push yourself that hard for so long before sleep deprivation becomes too much,” Wilsey said.
Now, Wilsey tries to sleep seven to eight hours each night.
Think It Through
Lynette Louise is a therapist and the host of “Fix It In Five With Lynette Louise.” She told LifeZette that anything done without thinking and to excess is bad.
“Expressing anger is good, but habitually getting angry in order to express it isn’t, and that is what comprises a bad habit.”
She added, “Thus, coffee is good when it wakes you up and helps keep Alzheimer’s at bay, and it’s not good when it causes reflux and heart palpitations. It’s the habit formation that is the problem, not the action or the substance.”