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7 ‘bad’ habits that may actually be a good thing… from fidgeting to biting your nails

IT turns out that some of our bad habits may mean we’re better off in the long-run.

Some “bad” habits actually have their perks – in moderation.

Messiness breeds creativity, apparently
Getty – Contributor

While being messy and a total slob isn’t nice for anyone, an untidy desk can hint at creativity, after all.

Here are some of the negative behaviours that can actually be good for you…

Biting your nails

It seems biting your nails can help to boost your immune system.

Researchers followed 1,000 kids starting when they were five years old and asked them at ages five, seven, eight, and 11, whether they bit their nails or sucked their thumb – with around a third of the kids displaying one or both habits.

Biting your nails when you’re a child may actually give your immune system a boost
Getty – Contributor

When the kids were 13 and 32 years old, the researchers performed allergy tests and it was found that those who bit their nails or sucked their thumb when they were younger were less likely to have developed allergies.

But, at the same time, one of the study authors advised parents not to encourage nail-biting or thumb-sucking in their kids – as it can damage the skin around the nail, making you more susceptible to infections.

Thumb sucking can also cause teeth to misalign.

Running late

No one likes someone who is always tardy with time.

But, it seems that those who are always late are some of the most optimistic and positive people.

Diana DeLonzor, author of Never Be Late Again, told the The New York Times:

“Many late people tend to be both optimistic and unrealistic, she said, and this affects their perception of time.

“They really believe they can go for a run, pick up their clothes at the dry cleaners, buy groceries and drop off the kids at school in an hour.”

Complaining

Nagging and complaining is the bugbear of many.

But, recent research cited in The Atlantic found that those who “mindfully” complain, meaning they have a specific result in mind, are happier than those who just vent their frustrations with no aim to fixing the situation.

Gossiping

Gossiping can make us feel better about ourselves in certain situations
Getty

Who doesn’t love a chat?

And while grouping up to bash someone else is never nice, research suggests that gossiping to someone else can make you feel better in general.

One study found that when participants observed cheating during a trust game, their heart rates increased.

But, when the researchers gave the players the option to send others in the game notes with anything they wanted on, things soon changed.

Around half chose to write notes revealing who was cheating and they felt better instantly.

This is what experts call “pro-social gossip” and the note senders revealed that they felt better – plus their heart rates decreased.

Keeping a messy desk

You don’t want to be that one worker whose desk is the “disgusting” one amongst a pack of pristine work banks.

That being said, there is something to be said for a messy desk.

As well likely being more creative, recent research also suggests that messier folk are more goal-oriented – thus your mess could make you more productive.

Fidgeting

Fidgeting can be seriously distracting, especially in the work environment or in pressured situations such as a meeting.

But, tapping your leg or wiggling around while you’re seated at your desk could actually help you stay healthy, apparently.

One study found that women who fidgeted more at work had a lower mortality risk than women who sat still.

Daydreaming

Daydream can really hinder getting important tasks done.

But, it turns out that spending a few minutes deliberately letting yourself “zone out” can aid productivity and make you more creative.


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