5 Bad Habits That Are Actually Good for You

By Beth Leslie on 24-11-2016
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Tell your lecturer, and call your mum: all those bad habits they used to criticise are really just proof that you operate on a higher plane of thinking. You always suspected you were something of a genius, and now science has proven you right.

So take an extra five minutes for snoozing and don’t feel guilty about watching Baby Panda Sneezing for the hundredth time. It’s making you into a better person!


1. Doodling

At first glance, the chronic doodler could be mistaken for the class swot. Head down, eyes narrowed in concentration, he or she thrusts their pen rapidly across the page. A closer look, however, reveals not detailed notes but an abstract masterpiece of swirls, flowers, arrows and stick figures.

Yet the link between the swot and doodler is closer than many irate teachers or bosses realise.

When we doodle, we force our mind to focus on the present, meaning we’re actually paying more attention, not less. We’re activating extra learning modalities in our brain, and that means we come up with much more creative ideas. Plus, it improves our memory. So we remember more of the information we’re hearing and come up with better ways to deal with it. Score one for the doodlers.   

2. Napping

If it’s good enough for Google, then it’s good enough for us.

Popping off for a quick kip doesn’t just boost your energy levels. It increases your memory, heightens your senses, enhances your creativity and improves your mood! In other words, it’s pretty much guaranteed to make you a better worker – as you can tell your boss the next time they catch you nodding off in a meeting.

Napping is so effective that it’s been adopted by politicians, scientists and painters across the ages, and implemented by NASA as part of its space training programme. And there aren’t many people out there suggesting astronauts are lazy…. 

  

3. Daydreaming

Daydreaming is pretty common – the current consensus among scientists is that we all spend about half our waking hours doing it. However, research has shown that such distraction is ‘inspiring’ and helps facilitate creative problem solving. Moreover, as long as the dreams we are dreaming are positive, mind-wandering makes us happier.

Besides, in the current economy daydreams may be the only way you can have that mansion with the inbuilt infinity pool and fleet of matching red sports cars. Who would deny that to graduates condemned to spend most of their paycheque on damp cupboards-cum-bedrooms? 

4. Watching Cat Videos on YouTube

Yes, you can has cheezburger. Researchers from Hiroshima University, whose Nobel Prize nomination must have got lost in the post, have discovered that looking at “cute” images increases our work performance. For some reason, spending a couple of minutes watching that panda tumble over makes us much better at a whole range of different tasks.

Think the good news for internet addicts ends there? Nuh-uh. Not only are cute animals the link to being a better worker, so is checking in on social media. Taking some time out to update your Facebook status or to Instagram your morning coffee doesn’t just reduce boredom; it makes you complete tasks to a higher standard and keeps your motivation levels up.

Like and share guys, like and share. 

5. Swearing

No, I’m not taking the piss. Swearing really can be good for you… even in the workplace! One Professor Baruch has been turning the air blue by insisting that swearing at work cuts down employee stress and fosters teambuilding. Of course, he could be talking out his arse, but research from Keele University has also found that swearing has positive benefits.

Apparently, a good bit of cussing can significantly reduce the sensation of pain by producing “stress-reduced analgesia”. The researchers recommend engaging in it for short term pain relief while you wait for medical care. Swearing, it appears, it pretty fecking great!

Beth Leslie writes graduate careers advice for Inspiring Interns, a graduate recruitment agency specialising in matching candidates to their dream internship. Check out their graduate jobs London listings for roles or, if you’re looking to hire an intern, have a look at their innovative Video CVs.

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