August 10th, 2022

3 “bad habits” that are actually good for you

In today’s world, the temptation to indulge in bad habits is everywhere. From an abundance of junk food to the ability to order anything we need right to our doorsteps, it is impossible to live purely all the time.

And yet a puritanical approach to clean living seems to be everywhere too, with the prevalence of influencers and other online experts telling us what to eat, drink, watch, read, and buy every single day. But it could be that some bad habits are not as sinful as they seem – in fact, you could be feeling guilty for no reason at all.

So, read on to find out three bad habits that can actually be good for you, and why you might consider indulging in them in future.

1. Gossiping

We often like to think of gossip as a low-stakes bit of fun and games, but in actual fact, gossip has a deep and impactful place in our culture.

Political leaders throughout history have been toppled at the hands of vicious rumours; when it comes to the tabloids, it could be said that gossip helps turn the wheels of a multi-billion dollar media machine.

Although we all love to chat with friends about all things salacious, gossiping is widely considered a bad habit. After all, gossiping about other friends and family, and perhaps spilling secrets that aren’t yours to tell, can often end in tears.

Yet research by gossip expert Kathryn Waddington, published by iNews, claims gossip can serve a valuable purpose in life and work.

Firstly, Waddington claims there are clear social benefits that can come from gossiping: forming social bonds, connecting with others, and sharing information can all help us feel included in a wider social circle.

Beyond the immediate benefits, gossip can also serve a powerful purpose when it comes to affecting social change. Waddington uses the example of the #MeToo movement, which began when women affected by sexual harassment began “gossiping” with one another about their shared experiences with particular individuals.

So, while not all gossip is constructive, the research is clear: keep gossiping, it could change the world!

2. Drinking red wine

Drinking alcohol of any kind is mostly seen as a bad habit, despite its popularity. According to Alcohol Change, 49% of UK adults drink at least once a week.

While engaging in unhealthy drinking habits can be detrimental, drinking red wine can have some benefits that are not often discussed.

Red wine has often been described as “heart healthy” by medical professionals, as its antioxidants have been found to help prevent coronary heart disease, among other illnesses.

Of course, the health benefits of red wine are not universal, and may in fact be outweighed by the negative impact alcohol can have on your body if drunk in excess. In addition, the positive effects of red wine will depend on the quality of the wine you are drinking, as well as the amount.

It is important to remember that wine should be consumed in moderation. However, it could be heartening to know that your occasional glass of red wine might not be a “guilty pleasure”, but rather a valued part of a balanced diet.

3. Sleeping in bed with your pets

If you have pets you love dearly, the decision to let them sleep in your bed is a very personal one. Some people find the idea of it disgusting or distasteful, while others can’t live without their furry companion to snuggle with under the duvet.

Indeed, if you let your pets sleep in bed with you, you may have been met with judgement from friends and family who consider this an undisciplined or unhygienic habit.

However, according to scientific studies, you or your children sleeping in bed with your pets could have undeniable benefits.

A report published by Sleep Foundation claims that one of the most tangible mental health benefits of having a pet is that of physical touch. Touching your pet can promote bonding and make owners feel accepted and loved – and if you lie in bed with your pet every night, this could increase that level of bonding.

What’s more, the report claims that while sleeping with an overactive animal could make you restless too, on the whole, the disturbance to an owner’s sleep is minimal. This means you could enjoy the comfort of sleeping next to your pet without losing many minutes of rest yourself.

So, while it is important to review how each bad habit makes you feel, you might sleep more soundly in the knowledge that these three habits are not as sinful as they seem.

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