You may think that stressful situations push you to do something mindless and unhealthy, such as binge eating on sweets. But according to a study featured on the Huffington Post, your negative reactions aren’t a result of stress; they’re actually from the habits you already have.

Researchers from the University of Southern California followed students for one semester and observed them during stressful and less stressful times. They found that mindless behaviour caused by tension worked both ways: People who have good and healthy habits stick with the foods that they're used to even more under pressure. Unfortunately, the same goes for those who had unhealthy dietary habits.

"Habits persist even when we're tired and don't have the energy to exert self-control," notes researcher Wendy Wood.

That's why it's important to form healthy habits at the onset. Train yourself to eat right and exercise often. This way, when the going gets tough, you know that you'll turn to things that are good for you, consciously or unconsciously.

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(Photo by TheFoodJunk via Flickr Creative Commons)

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