Even though we’ve all heard that it takes 21 days for a habit to stick, this statement hasn’t actually been proven in practice. According to recent studies, you’ll need at least 66 days for a new way of behavior to become automatic. However, not all of our inappropriate habits are really as awful as we’re used to considering them.
Bright Side made a list of some of the most common “gross” habits we all have that are actually good for our health.
8. Peeing in the shower
It may be inappropriate to speak about peeing in the shower out loud, but researchers found out that almost 75% of people have done it at least once in their lifetime.
Actually, there’s nothing to be ashamed of — uric acid and ammonia in your pee can help you prevent fungal infections on your toes. Also, if you choose to urinate while taking a shower, you could save money on your water bill and on your toilet paper.
Spitting can look disgusting, especially if it’s done in public places. However, when you’re exercising, it could help you breathe more easily.
Normally, we breathe through our nose — this warms up the air and makes it more humid, allowing the body to absorb oxygen more efficiently. But when we exercise, we tend to breathe through our mouth and this causes it to produce more saliva that interferes with our breathing patterns. Hence, it’s perfectly normal to get rid of the excessive mucus produced after running by spitting it out.
6. Chewing gum
Although gum doesn’t have any nutritional benefits, it’s been scientifically proven that chewing it provides a better study and test-taking aid than caffeine. Chewing gum can help you focus, sharpen your memory, reduce stress, and balance your hormones by raising the cortisol level.
Even if you aren’t aware of it happening, your body releases gas about 14 times a day and about 3-5 times during your sleep. As a rule, your digestive tract starts producing carbon dioxide and methane about 6 hours after eating and farting helps your body get rid of them. If you’re trying to hold the gas in, it may trigger abdominal pain or bloating.
A good burp after you’ve had a huge meal is actually good for your stomach since it helps relieve it of air. Suppressing a belch and keeping gas inside your stomach may cause a splash of gastric acid into the gullet that, in turn, may trigger chest pain.
But if you’re burping too much throughout the day, you should probably see a doctor as it may be a symptom of acid reflux disease.
3. Biting your nails
When you bite your nails, you consume some of the bacteria that is on them and underneath them. This leads to your immune system to start producing white blood cells that help fight these bacteria. Your body also registers the bacteria in its memory bank, so if a certain bacteria is encountered a second time, you’ll already have the lymphocytes that are able to beat it.
Moreover, some studies show that kids who suck their thumbs or nibble their nails are less likely to suffer from allergies.
2. Picking your nose and eating your boogers
According to some studies, this awful habit may actually help boost your immune system as the snot you eat contains salivary mucins that can fight cavity-causing bacteria. When you eat your snot, you trigger your immune system to release the body’s white blood cells in order to defend itself against this type of bacteria.
1. Skipping showers
If you take a shower every day, you wash away some essential oils from your skin and hair that are necessary to keep them hydrated and protected. Even hot water without soap can destroy lots of useful bacteria that your skin needs to stay radiant and elastic. So it’s perfectly natural and even healthy for you to skip showers once or twice a week.
Do you have any “gross” habits? What do you think of the habits in this article? Share your opinions with us in the comments!
Illustrated by Daniil Shubin and Alena Tsarkova for BrightSide.me