No need for the patch, researchers say; just fire up a game off Tetris and you’re well on your way to resisting urges to eat, drink, and smoke.
This past week Tech Spot highlighted the findings of a team of researchers from Plymouth University’s Cognition Institute who discovered that even just 3 minutes of playing Tetris can be an effective way of resisting cravings.
The study was based on an experiment in which one group of people played Tetris and one group of people were set in front of a screen showing the game loading but never actually playing.
When asked how their cravings compared to what they felt before the started the experiment, nearly one in four of those who played Tetris said their cravings were lower.
Professor Jackie Andrade, one of the professors who conducted the study, was quoted as saying that part of the secret behind overcoming urges is “feeling in control.”
Feeling in control is an important part of staying motivated, and playing Tetris can potentially help the individual to stay in control when cravings strike.
An article in U.K.-based The Guardian elaborated on the science behind self-control.
According to the scientists involved in the study, cravings normally last only a few minutes. By distracting the brain with a game (Tetris, in this example) for just a few minutes, cravings can be overcome.
The paper quoted Andrade in regards to her observation that cravings are quick moments in which people visualize “what they want and the reward it will bring.”
By playing Tetris, just in short bursts, you are preventing your brain (from) creating those enticing images and without them the craving fades.
Because short bursts of distraction may be the key to overcoming cravings, any game (not just Tetris) which keeps the user’s attention could be effective.