Spacy? Sleepy? Snarky? That's a good thing! Read on to learn why your annoying habits are actually healthy.
Spacing out: Sure, you may feel like a waste of space when your mind is blank, but according to new research published in The Cambridge Journal of Education, blanking out is your brain's way of processing information in productive and creative ways. In fact, you're not that disengaged--scientists say only five percent of your mind is elsewhere. In other words, if you find yourself suddenly staring at the wall, you may actually be planning your next meal, or wondering why your guy was so grumpy last night. So give yourself a break for the occasional drift--you're still there!
Daydreaming: Engrossed in a fantasy where you win the lottery and sleep with Clive Owen? We can relate! Experts say daydreaming is a form of self-entertainment, especially if your mind is simultaneously analyzing a problem. See, when your head is in the clouds, your ideas aren't influenced by the boundaries of reality, and you're more likely to make discoveries or see life in new and creative ways. So go ahead and let your mind wander!
Sleeping: Taking a 20-minute catnap makes you more alert and energized, lowers stress and improves memory and stamina, according to research conducted at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. And get this: Experts found--through MRIs of nappers--that brain activity stays high throughout the day with a nap; without one, it declines. And longer naps may even make you smarter--one German study found people problem solve in their sleep, even learning and retaining information better. Sweet dreams!
Gossiping: There's no doubt about it: Rehashing the latest celeb scandal or spilling a juicy tale is a great way to pass the time. But did you know all your chatter is actually strengthening your friendships? According to research conducted by the Social Issues Research Centre in England, gossiping helps us bond with others over shared morals and interests. What's more, gossiping boosts endorphin levels which lower heart rate and stress. But don't leave your guy out of the loop--the study also found that even though most men denied they gossip, 33 percent admitted to blabbing every single day.
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