6 "Good" Habits That May Actually Be Hurting You


Even good habits take work. Whether you're consciously trying to incorporate something new into your routine, or mindlessly continuing an action or strategy you decided was right for you decades ago, these things require time and energy.

So you better make sure they're actually working for you.

Even habits generally deemed "good" may have consequences — be they secret health risks, opportunity costs of your effort, or self-defeating time-sucks. So check out the list, and take a moment to consider whether even your "best" habits are worth keeping.

1. Squatting To Avoid The Toilet Seat

Pride yourself a bum that never touches the seat? Well all that squatting may be lead to pain later on. According to a study from an organization representing over 45,000 physiotherapists, women who squat over the toilet instead of sit are more likely to develop painful urinary tract infections, as the body position doesn't encourage complete emptying of the bladder.

2. Using the "Inbox Zero" Method

Having an email organization system is important for prioritizing and making sure things don't slip the cracks. And if inbox zero works for you, great. But some proponents of this particular method — which involves clearing out one's inbox frequently and thoroughly — seem to be particularly prone to… obsession. At some point, the checking and sorting of messages stops become a means to an end (that is: organization) and starts becoming the end itself. That's when it may be time to reevaluate.

3. Washing Your Face Twice a Day

According to some dermatologists, washing your face twice a day can harm dry, aging skin. If you notice dryness and suspect over-washing is the culprit, try limiting yourself to only wash a day, and substituting rinsing with water and moisturizing in the morning.

4. Studying by the Book

Study hard kids! Spend long nights in the library! All that good stuff. But be wary of any study habits (at least, for college-level students and beyond) that emphasize "finishing" instead of "learning." In other words, do the reading that's productive for you, don't finish everything in order to check a reading assignment off your list. Parallels hold true in the working world, too: put your effort into assignments that produce for you or the company — don't waste time on research you know won't add value.

5. Early Morning Exercise

Between kids and jobs and non-fitness activities (aka, "lives"), some people only have time to exercise in the morning. Some people feel it jumpstarts their day. Fine — if you're sure it's working, by all means, continue. But be aware that if you're trying to lose weight and skipping sleep in order to fit the workout in, your efforts may be for naught, as not getting enough sleep can actually slow down your metabolism, making it hard to shed those pounds.

6. Talking Everything Out

Open communication is vital to maintaining a relationship. But that doesn't mean that you need to hash out every little thing, nor that you have to hash out everything as soon as it pops into your mind. Researchers suggest that setting times to talk is much more productive, and by doing so, you may be more inclined to just let the unimportant things go by the time your talk is scheduled.

Any other "good" habits that may not work for everybody?

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