When Bad Habits Can Be Good

I’ve been known to have my share of bad habits, from lack of sleep to eating a plate of nachos when I’m too lazy to make an actual meal. But, can there be times when bad habits can actually have some benefits? I’ve done a fair bit of searching, only to find that the articles that typically deal with the “benefits” of bad habits refer to things such as cursing, consuming too much coffee and fidgeting. But what about some of the more common bad habits that no one claims any benefit to? Are there any? I believe so…

A short while back, I took a couple of hours to indulge in the holy trifecta of bad habits: a cigar, a beer and a comic book. Classically, all three of these things are viewed as unhealthy. There’s no argument here, that smoking is bad for you. I have the benefit of saying that I have the occasional cigar every few months and it isn’t a consistent habit. That’s how I rationalize it. The occasional glasses of wine or beer are a bit more frequent, and one needs to recognize the calories, carbohydrates and effects it can have on a Type-1’s blood sugar levels. Coming books certainly aren’t a bad habit, per say. But there are obviously better, more constructive uses of my money and time if I wanted to read something.

My trifecta. Don’t judge my choice of beer.

As I was sitting there enjoying my little treasure trove of bad habits, I got to thinking about what it is I ACTUALLY get out of indulging in these habits. And I came up with a few reasonably good points. This is a short list, and I in no way endorse or encourage the use and indulgence of the above seen items in the photo. This is simply my opinion and what I feel I get out of it.

Relaxation: If I have to explain the how’s and why’s that alcohol can relax a person, then you’re either a minor who shouldn’t be drinking anyway, or a someone who has simply never had a drink, which is good. Stick with that. But the “ceremony” of sitting back and sipping on an ice cold beer on a sunny afternoon has a distinctive calming effect. And being calm is good. The aroma and warmth of the cigar also has a calming effect;
Time Alone: No matter your familial situation and ESPECIALLY given the current state of the world, taking some time to spend on your own is important and has its benefits as well. Time alone allows you to collect your thoughts, contemplate the days that have passed and allows you to partake in reading or just enjoying the day, without interruption;
I Can Meditate While Doing It: This is more of a “me” benefit, but if monks can sit in a meditative state while incense is burning and coiling around them, my cigar should be no different. Considering life obligations and distractions, meditation no longer happens for me as often as I’d like. These little quiet moments are an opportunity to do just that. This isn’t traditional or typical, but one can get themselves to a point where they can effectively meditate while performing other actions, such as these;
Enjoyment: And this last one simply points to the more selfish side of me. I enjoy the occasional beer. I enjoy the occasional cigar. And I certainly wouldn’t be the Alpha Nerd that I am if I didn’t enjoy comic books. Granted, I essentially enjoy reading in general.

Are these bad habits? Yes. Could I live without them? Absolutely. And that’s the difference. When stating these “benefits,” I’m not referring to the unfortunate folks who have addiction or are slaves to their bad habits. That’s an entirely different ball game. And I can certainly admit that all of these things have a financial cost to them that could likely be allotted elsewhere. But as everyone has no doubt heard, at some point in their lives, you can’t take it with you. Happiness is important to proper health and longer life. ☯

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Shawn

I am a practitioner of the martial arts and student of the Buddhist faith. I have been a Type 1 Diabetic since I was 4 years old and have been fighting the uphill battle it includes ever since. I enjoy fitness and health and looking for new ways to improve both, as well as examining the many questions of life. Although I have no formal medical training, I have amassed a wealth of knowledge regarding health, Diabetes, martial arts as well as Buddhism and philosophy. My goal is to share this information with the world, and perhaps provide some sarcastic humour along the way. Welcome!

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