All of our lives, we have been told what we should and shouldn't do: Don't load up on junk food, don't spend too much time sitting on the couch, don't procrastinate on your work until the last minute. We try and try again to kick these unhealthy habits, but sometimes after a long day at work or in class, the gym sounds like hell, while the couch sounds like heaven. But what if some of the things we were taught never to do actually end up helping us? With new studies coming out constantly and people's lives changing to adapt to modern society, some habits we previously thought were bad for us are actually, surprisingly quite good. Certain "naughty" things we do can end up making us live longer, feel healthier, and be happier.
But don't go running to eat cake for breakfast just yet. Not all bad habits are healthy, and we all know how the saying goes — all things in moderation. To help you decide which bad habits to add to your New Year's resolution and which are OK to continue, I consulted a couple doctors to help shed light on seven "bad" habits that are actually good for you.
1. Eating fat
"Fat does not make you fat!" says health expert Dr. Rob Pomahac. That's right— avocado lovers, rejoice. "[Eating good fats] can improve your insulin sensitivity, support your metabolism and reduce inflammation," says Pomahac. Healthy fats you should incorporate into your diet include nuts, avocado, olive oil, salmon, eggs, and even cheese.
2. Your morning cup of joe
No need to feel guilty about loading up on coffee to get through the day. As long as you're not combining it with heavy cream and excess sugar, drinking coffee can actually help lower your risk of diabetes, protect you from Alzheimer's Disease, and aid in protecting your liver. Sounds like someone needs to get me a latte, stat!
3. Enjoying a "cheat meal"
Having a healthy relationship with food is not only good for your mental health, but also for your body, so feel free to indulge in foods that make you happy here and there. "Life is about enjoyment, so don’t feel guilty about it," says Pomahac. Studies have even found that those who feel guilty about eating indulgent foods end up eating more, while those who "celebrate" indulgences have an easier time sticking to and meeting their health goals. Sounds like a win/win to me.
4. Being overly sensitive
"Being oversensitive can be a bad habit because it tends to make a person overreact," says psychotherapist Stacy Kaiser. "However, sensitive people make great cheerleaders for others and are often the best shoulders to cry on when you need support." Studies have found that sensitive people process more detailed information in their brain when it comes to picking up on social cues, so consider your sensitivity a form of higher-quality observance.
5. Having frequent wine nights
"Drinking alcohol in excess leads to health problems, but a glass of red wine or beer a day has been shown to increase cardiovascular health," says Pomahac. Research has also found that moderate alcohol consumption actually leads to longer life expectancy, so go ahead and cheers to that (as long as you're sticking to one to two drinks!).
6. Not showering
So you skipped a shower this morning? No big deal. In fact, you may have helped yourself out by protecting your skin's natural oils and saving the good type of bacteria that fights off sickness, allergies, and eczema. Showering too often can over dry your skin and kill off necessary bacteria, so if you're not stinky, who cares if you weren't able to scrub off.
7. Sleeping in
Though you may feel guilty about missing part of your day, getting some extra sleep does more than just feel good once you press the snooze button. Squeezing in that extra hour or two of rest can help boost your immunity, improve your mood, help with your focus, and even help you live longer. I would say that's definitely worth missing breakfast for.