10 Indulgences That Are Actually Good For You

Healthy Indulgences

Every now and then, it's ok to give in to the feel-good enjoyment of life.
Every now and then, it's ok to give in to the feel-good enjoyment of life. | Source


In the name of health and wellness, we’ve done some mean things to our body. We starve, deprive, deny, suspend, threaten and force it into compliance with health mantra and expectations, in the hope that our body would be the showcase of all things good and beautiful. The ideal you would take shape and the world would finally be happy. Let’s listen in:

“I really shouldn’t eat that slice of chocolate cake.”

“No kidding...is that your third cup of boba tea?”

“Why are you eating that crap? No wonder you look like crap.”

On and on—it maybe the critical voice in your head, your well-meaning mother, the intrusive friend or the controlling spouse. Are you tired of these voices running/ruining your life? Well, it’s time to let go and indulge in some of the feel-good pleasures. Go ahead, forget that fit you are just going to throw and go with the flow…of your heart’s desires.


1. Chocolates

You’ve been warned—having a love affair with chocolates can spell disaster. If you’re not careful, you’ll end up with a bulging waistline and then there’s no hiding the affair. But before you pout and buy into that, the Cleveland clinic has some good news to share: chocolates, especially darker, less-processed chocolates are good for you. It has high levels of flavanols, a type of flavonoid found in cocoa and chocolate that may have a positive impact on vascular health. That big terminology includes lowering blood pressure, improving blood flow to the brain and heart, making blood platelets less sticky and lowering cholesterol.

What about the fats? Yes, there is fat content in chocolates but if you study the components, it loses its stink. There are three types of fats found in chocolates—oleic acid (the heart healthy monounsaturated fats that actually lower bad cholesterol), stearic acid, a saturated fat that has neutral effect on cholesterol and palmitic acid which does raise cholesterol level but it is only one-third the fat content.

So, go ahead and enjoy the chocolate fling. And if you don’t go overboard, chocolates may just be the thing to lift mood and spirit.

More Reasons to Enjoy Chocolates

Enjoy now, regret later when it comes to eating chocolates? Here's more reasons to enjoy it guilt-free.
Enjoy now, regret later when it comes to eating chocolates? Here's more reasons to enjoy it guilt-free. | Source


2. Candies

Love to pop some candies in your mouth? Gum drop, peppermint—you love them all? We’ve been told how bad candies are—from rotting the teeth to spiking the glucose level and it’s all true and proven. But recent research shows that candy eaters tend to be slimmer. Why come? According to researchers, it may be due to the fact that candy-lovers tend to exercise more to offset the sugar effect. The study researcher, Carol O’ Neal, of Louisiana State University Agricultural Center goes on to state that foods (candy included) are not associated with diseases or weight problem when consumed in moderation.

So, if you feel like sucking on a lollipop while watching the football game, go for it.

Source


3. Coffee

Are you hopelessly drawn to caffeine? You need your cup to wake up? You need a spike of it to go through the day? Coffee is often cast in the negative light from insomnia to palpitations. But a growing body of research is also pointing in the other direction—the one java drinkers would like to champion—that coffee drinkers are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, certain cancers, heart rhythm problems and strokes.

Enjoy your java—Mayo clinic advises that drinking 2 to 4 cups of coffee may be acceptable unless you have certain medical conditions that warrant otherwise. Drinking more coffee than that may lead to some unpleasant side effects (like the ones coffee-haters love to mention).

Neck Massage: Do it while you view it.

4. Massages

Your muscles are in knots over hunching over the keyboard, your kids are ruining your life (yet again) and your spouse is a pain in the neck—you want to get in the car and run away. Well, not yet…the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine suggests you opt for a neck massage instead. It eases pain—and I’m guessing the physical act of massaging your neck may also melt away your stress and anxiety.

The same goes for body massage. Blend essential oil with carrier oils and pamper your body.

5. Sing

“He who sings frightens away his ills, “so says Cervantes and now, health professionals are discovering the therapeutic effects of this no-cost activity—your voice—the only instrument needed. In fact, group singing has been one of the prescribed activities for Alzheimer’s patients in the United Kingdom since 2002 after sufficient studies indicate how singing can lift both mind and soul. The breathing required for a hearty sing can actually increase circulation to the internal organs, release endorphins and improve the immune system, according to a study in the Journal of Dementia Care.

That’s plenty of incentives to sing your heart out. Join a choir, sing in the shower, belt out your favorites on the karaoke, croon along with the classics…just lift out your voice and sing.

Want to sing for joy?..take a lesson or two from the happy lark.

Happy as a lark didn't get its impression from nothing.
Happy as a lark didn't get its impression from nothing. | Source

6. Laughter

We know the benefit of a good laugh. It eases tension, diffuses stress and adds joy to your life. The physical act of laughter stretches the muscles of your face and body, raises pulse and blood pressure and sends oxygen to your lungs. In fact, 10 to 15 minutes of laughter may burn up to 50 calories, according to Maciej Buchowski, a researcher from Vanderbuilt. And if you’re concerned about your heart health, there’s more to laugh about—cardiologists at the University of Maryland Medical Center found that laughter (with an active sense of humor) may protect against heart attacks.

So laugh a little, laugh a lot, laugh at yourself, laugh with others, enjoy laughter—it’s totally beneficial.

Need a laugh now? Watch this video.

Crying makes a lighter heart.

Let tears wash away your heartaches.
Let tears wash away your heartaches. | Source

7. Cry (if you must)

Crying is often linked to negative emotions and viewed by stoic stalwarts of manhood as a sign of weakness. But if circumstances or situations warrant a good cry, why not? Go for it—a good cry, as much a good laugh, can ease pent-up emotions, stress (or distress), frustrations and even anger. Of course, there’s the cry of joy or reflux crying(crying to get rid of foreign body in the eyes) but emotional crying can be soul cleansing and the crier often feels better after an indulgent bout of letting it all out (even if the problem remains). However, there’s another compelling medical reason for crying: emotional tears help to shed stress hormones and other toxins that accumulate during stress. Further, crying also triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkiller and “feel-good” hormones. A winning situation—let the naysayers say so.

8. Sleep

Are you too busy for sleep? Or do you feel that sleeping is a waste of time—there are things to do and places to go? Cut yourself some slack—enjoy some shuteye and allow your body to repair, restore and rejuvenate itself. Research also shows that sleeping may boost brainpower and reduce risks of heart disease. If you’re watching your weight, not sleeping enough may also slow down metabolic rate according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Enough said, lights out!

Pamper yourself.

Get a manicure, a pedicure (Liam Neeson reportedly loves it) if you must. Be warned--it can be addictively relaxing.
Get a manicure, a pedicure (Liam Neeson reportedly loves it) if you must. Be warned--it can be addictively relaxing. | Source

9. Escape

Short of running away from the din and chaos of life into the distant twilight of make-believe, map out an escape path. It may be the quiet spot in the kitchen, where you can put your legs up and enjoy your cup of java/tea or a glass of wine. Or it may be the nature trail near your house where you can reconnect with nature and self. Some find escape in a spa treatment, a shopping spree or a game of golf or tennis. Or you may prefer a night out with your friends to unwind or a heart-to-heart chat with a close friend to unload. Then, there is always blogging or writing to ventilate your soul.

What’s yours? Take time off and indulge a little.

Relax, unwind and you'll be fine.

For some, mowing the lawn maybe their go-to-thing to unwind. Hope you're married to one.
For some, mowing the lawn maybe their go-to-thing to unwind. Hope you're married to one. | Source

10. Indulge Others

Much can be said about the emotional rewards of reaching out to help someone—hence, the birth of “commit random acts of kindness,” or the truth behind “It’s more blessed to give than to receive.” Sometimes, we are so weighed down with our own personal problems, it’s hard to look beyond. But if you do reach out and touch someone with a kind act, you may just feel a little dusting of joy that may offset what you’re dealing with.

Yes, you can go out and save the world...one tiny act at a time....and in so doing, save yourself from being just self-serving.

Copyright 2011. All RIghts Reserved.



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Comments 26 comments

Cousin Fudd profile image

Cousin Fudd 4 years ago from From the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina

Some really cool ideas, thanks for sharing and now I want a massage.


diydiva profile image

diydiva 4 years ago from California

I love all of these ideas! I'll be sure to work them into my days in moderation!


TheListLady profile image

TheListLady 4 years ago from New York City

Oh yes, I can do all of these and some I already do. And oh what a great time I am having. And I do love indulging friends - we all have a good time.

Thanks for such a feel-good list this - on this bright, sunny windy morning. Yay!


Arlene V. Poma 4 years ago

Yes, as usual in the angin style: well-written and with a beautiful layout. I could do these steps except going all the way with the massage idea. No one touches my feet!!! Voted up, useful, interesting and AWEWSOME. Oh, bookmarked, too.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

Cousin Fudd, thanks for commenting. Massage--get your better half to help you out:)


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

diydiva, yes, you made a key point-moderation. Everything done in mederation is good. Thanks for commenting.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

Listlady, thanks for commenting. Indulging in friends--yay, I love that one too.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom

Hello anginwu, very well written hub, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, great ideas and love the pictures.

I can quite easily work my way through this list!

Thank you for sharing, best wishes MM


Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 4 years ago from London, UK

That's what I'm talking about. Lol. I really enjoyed this. Just reading it makes one feel good.

No 9. Escape is wonderful, but I'm still waiting for my private Jet, so it can take me whenever, where ever...

Lovely Cartoon. :)


Debby Bruck profile image

Debby Bruck 4 years ago

Anglnwu ~ Just loved this hubpages. I agree with most except the one about eating candy. I think its a no-no to eat corn syrup, sugar, processed non-foods of this nature. Substitute some fresh organic fruits. My favorite was the laughter video with German Shepard, bubbles and bouncing baby. Enjoyed! Debby


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

Arlene, hehe--no one touches my feet too. But you can massage yourself--that way no giggles. Thanks for commenting and for your positive feedback. Appreciate that very much.


Arlene V. Poma 4 years ago

Oh, but I do admire the women who have pretty pedicures and show them off when wearing sandals in the summer. If anyone touched my feeties, I will surely kick. No, no, no!


tom hellert profile image

tom hellert 4 years ago from home

Angie,

awesome hu the baby laughing was great.. great advice well penned

TH


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

Movie Master, glad you enjoyed the read. Always good to hear from you.

Lady E, yes, still waiting for you to invite me on your private jet--that would be really quite an escapade. Well, when you do get that jet, spread the word. Thanks for commenting.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

Debbry Bruck, I agree that corn syrup is not good for you. What I'm trying to say is that sometimes, an indulgence is ok, when done in moderation. I appreciate your comments.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

My dear Arlene, you're feisty as well as all the good things I've already told you. Actually, that's the only thing I'll endure 'cos I do love a pretty pedicure in the summer but I dont' like people massaging me--too ticklish. Thanks for checking back and you have a nice weekend.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

Tom, I like the bubble video too. Also, check out the neck massage--totally relaxing. Thanks for dropping by to comment.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States

This hub has wonderful advice. I just need to remember to follow it. I'm glad they now say coffee is okay. Voted up and awesome.


umakeit profile image

umakeit 4 years ago

Great article. Good to know all these info. I like chocolate and I am a coffee addict too.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

Thanks, Pamela. I'm with you--what would I do without coffee?

umakeit--me too--I've a great many vices--chocoholic and coffee addict--don't tell anyone. Thanks for dropping by to comment.


kikalina profile image

kikalina 4 years ago from Europe

Im going to raid the chocolate in the fridge. Been putting it off because I'm trying to lose the baby weight. But I guess that can wait!


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

kikalina, may I join you in the chocolate raid? Baby weight can wait--they will come off when once you've to run after the baby. Thanks for commenting.


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago

No. 1, 6, 8 and 9 are my favorite indulgences. Thanks for helping me justify all these and feel free to indulge myself even more! This hub rocks! :)


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

Haha, no. 6 is my chief vice--I love sleep more than anything else, even though I won't tell you how many more vices I've. Thanks for dropping by to comment, Om.


KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

KoffeeKlatch Gals 4 years ago from Sunny Florida

This is my kind of list. It's wonderful to see some of my favorite things are good for me.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

Koffeeklatch gals, this is my kind of list too--I only pick ones I like. Thanks for dropping by to comment.

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