Swearing triggers a well known stress-induced analgesia From swearing, chewing gum to gossiping – these irritating traits actually have a fair few advantages in life. Swearing
Shouting an expletive when you stub your toe can actually help alleviate the pain, according to a study from Keele University.
Participants who swore when putting their hand in a bucket of ice-cold water could endure the pain nearly 50 per cent longer than those who didn’t.
“Swearing triggers a well knownstress-induced analgesia,” explains lead researcher Dr Richard Stephens.
Other studies suggest cursing can increase performance, strength and power linked with exercise. Research by the University of East Anglia also found swearing at work could help employees cope with stress and maintain solidarity. Fidgeting
NEAT stands for Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis and refers to the calories you burn by simply moving throughout the day – aka when not officially exercising.
Every movement counts with NEAT, no matter how small. So not sitting still, shifting position, keeping your legs and feet moving when sitting at your desk or pacing while on the phone are good for you. Daydreaming
This is often viewed as a sign of apathy and inattentiveness. But brain scans have revealed the “executive network” in our brain – the part that deals with problem solving – is highly active when our mind wanders.
Experts believe that when an individual uses conscious thought they can become too rigid and limited in their thinking. Chewing gum
Chewing gum can trap and remove harmful bacteria (Image: Getty) Chomping gum is called out by many teachers. But scientists have found chewing before a task can increase blood oxygen levels in the brain structures involved in learning and memory.
It’s also extremely effective at trapping and removing harmful bacteria in the mouth as stimulating saliva production helps rinse it away. Just make sure you choose sugar-free varieties to protect your teeth. Being a chocoholic
Chocolate with a high cocoa content has many benefits, including improving memory and protecting the heart.
One study found a daily portion of dark chocolate puts a smile on your face, suggesting it even reduces the risk of depression.
“However, if your penchant is for white chocolate or poor quality milk chocolate that is mainly fat and sugar, you need to train your taste buds,” warns Dr Sally Norton, NHS consultant and weight loss expert (drsallynorton.com). One study found a portion of dark chocolate could reduce the risk of depression (Image: Getty) “Choose dark chocolate with higher levels of cocoa solids to get maximum benefits. A bar containing 70 per cent cocoa solids has twice the antioxidants per serving as a bar with 35 per cent cocoa solids.” Messiness
An untidy work desk suggests serious disorganisation but US researchers claim it can actually boost creativity.
In experiments, when volunteers were designated a tidy or messy room and asked to think up uses for ping-pong balls, those in the messy room were 28 per cent more creative and five times more likely to produce “highly creative” ideas. Gossiping
Although most of us love a good gossip, it can be perceived as being malicious and untrustworthy.
However, studies have shown it is important in helping create empathic bonds between people, promoting cooperation. Having a laugh with your peers also releases feel-good hormones that help relieve stress and anxiety, say scientists. Drinking every day
Enjoying alcohol in moderation is better for a long life than not drinking it at all (Image: Getty) A review of 74 studies concluded that moderate drinkers had a lower risk of cognitive decline than those who abstainedcompletely.
And scientists at Maastricht University Medical Centre in the Netherlands say enjoying alcohol in moderation may be better for a long life than not drinking at all.
They found men and women who enjoyed a daily drink were up to 40per cent more likely to make it to their 90th birthday than those who were teetotal or rarely touched booze.
However, these findings were confined to those who
stuck to one drink a day because binge drinkers still died earlier. Never making your bed
The average mattress could be home to 1.5 million allergen-producing dust mites, say Kingston University researchers.
Leaving the duvet covers thrown back (and opening the window) means there will be less moisture on the sheets and mattress, so the mites will dehydrate and die. Skipping a shower
Daily washing can strip your skin of the natural, protective oils that keep it hydrated and supple, and the good bacteria that can help to prevent disease, warn some dermatologists.
Short, lukewarm showers are kinder to your skin than hot ones, while skipping a couple throughout the week, maybe when you’re not going out to work or exercising, actually helps the skin maintain its barrier function. Drinking coffee Relying on caffeine to get started in the morning is often given a bad rep.But chemicals contained in coffee have actually been shown to fight Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, type 2 diabetes and liver cancer, as well as improve your memory.“Just remember to steer clear later in the afternoon, as it can take several hours for caffeine to clear our systems, and you don’t want it to affect your sleep,” adds Dr Norton. Nail biting Children who bite their nails or suck their thumbs are about one third less likely to develop certain allergies.Researchers say the findings may be another example of the “hygiene hypothesis” – the idea that being overly clean and avoiding exposure to the microbes in the environment might increase a child’s risk of allergies.“Early exposure to dirt is not a bad thing,” said Canadian researcher Malcolm Sears, of the Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health at McMaster University School of Medicine.“When they suck their thumbs or bite their nails they’re exposing themselves to additional microbes or dirt, which is stimulating the immune system.”