5 Bad Habits That May Not Be So Bad

Flying off the handle is rarely productive, and drinking too much is a no-no. But there are ways to turn some bad habits into actions that improve your life and health.

From behavioral therapists reporting in Woman’s Day, here are five ‘bad’ habits that may not be so bad if you can turn them into positive life adjustments:

• All that morning coffee – Caffeine is a stimulant, and if it makes you hyper, you may be ingesting too much. But caffeine also helps activate brain chemicals that elevate mood, like dopamine and serotonin. It is also a source of antioxidants and other compounds that may help protect against cancer. So if you don’t feel any ill effects, give yourself permission to drink that second cup.

• Mild bouts of depression – Nobody needs to be Pollyanna all the time. But if you let yourself regularly wallow in despair, it’s time to figure out why. Once you identify the cause— too much debt, no time for yourself, or whatever— make an effort to take the steps that will not only chase away your sadness, but make positive changes in your life.

• A beer after work – Beer is rich in antioxidants and provides a dose of energy-revving iron – and some pale ales contain as much or more silicon than oat bran, a good source of bone-protecting minerals. Like a glass of red wine with dinner, one is, at worst, a harmless indulgence. But beer is high in calories, so figure it into your diet and stop after one.

• Skipping your workouts – You need to work out hard only three or four days a week to reap the benefits of exercise, most experts agree. If daily gym workouts bore you, allow yourself to supplement visits with lunchtime walks, weight-bearing home exercise or a swim a couple of days a week.

• Procrastinating by reading jokes in your email – Blood vessels expand up to 50 percent when you laugh—and a hearty laugh releases nitric oxide which can help reduce blood pressure. Laughter also boosts levels of pain-relieving, feel-good endorphins—so don’t feel guilty about taking a little work time to laugh at the jokes in your mailbox. You may be doing your employer a favor with a cheap way to stay healthy!

 

 

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