If you’re feeling particularly tempted to enjoy a cigarette or dig into junkfood, researches advise you play Tetris to avoid cravings, as it will serve the purpose of taking your mind off your habits. In fact, playing the long-standing videogame has shown results in reducing the craving for food, smoking and sex.
Researchers at the Plymouth University have gathered up a number of 31 participants, all between the ages of 18 and 27. The concept was simple. Along the one week of testing, they were asked to play Tetris on their iPad or phone, and respond to randomly timed texts inquiring about the state of their craving.
Some of the participants were asked to play the game for at least 3 minutes before reporting back with their answers. The results have shown that Tetris was able to effectively decrease the strength of cravings from 70% to 50% by simply playing the visually-stimulating game.
Out of the participants, 30% reported craving for food, 21% for cigarettes and 16% experienced craving for sex or other activities, such as playing other videogames.
Lead author of the study, professor Jackie Andrade, has concluded that temptations or cravings have been lowered due to the fact that Tetris uses the same imaginative functions of the brain that is used to vividly picture their desires. Meaning that participants could not visually see their cravings while involved in a game of Tetris.
The simple game has the capability of virtually demanding all the cognitive abilities of the brain to a point where the tendency to wander off with one’s thoughts was next to impossible. It was more than the ‘out of sight, out of mind’. It was the completely ‘out of mind’ result.
Visualization is the key component in cravings. If we imagine what we want, it inevitably only makes us desire it more, be it smoking, eating or sex. The study has shown that a very simple tool can be used to distract the attention of those indulging in vices and bad habits. At least for the first two.
According to professor Andrade, this is the first time a tool outside of a laboratory has shown itself quite impacting on treating addiction that is entirely safe and with absolutely no side-effects that, for example, nicotine patches might have.
Tetris can be used as an addition to actual treatment in combating addiction for harmful vices, such as smoking or overeating in general, especially unhealthy junk food that our bodies sometimes crave. It’s simple to download, free and easy to use.
Image source: foodnavigator.com