Researchers from Plymouth University and Queensland University have discovered a rather unorthodox cure to your cravings. According to the studies, the block-stacking video game Tetris can help in abating food and drug cravings about one-fifth. What makes this study even more compelling is the fact that it was not conducted in a controlled environment like a lab bur rather in everyday environments.
According to the study, 3 minutes playing the game was enough to distract people from their cravings. While initially the studies were targeted primarily on discovering the effects on food cravings, however analysts later found out that it also helps reduce other ravings like smoking, alcohol, coffee, sex, and sleeping disorders.
Under the research program, 31 undergraduate students between ages 18 to 27 were provided with iPods with the game Tetris. They were text-ed seven times per day to report on all kind of cravings. Half of them were asked to play the game for 3 minutes whenever they had a craving. They were also asked to report their cravings in the entire day.
The most common craving were for food and non-alcoholic drinks making up two-third of those studied. Twenty one percent were for substances such as drugs, cigarettes, coffee, wine, beer etc. while 16 percent were for activities like sleeping, socializing and sex.
“Playing Tetris decreased craving strengths for drugs, food, and activities from 70 percent to 56 percent.” said Professor Jackie Andrade, from the School of Psychology and the Cognition Institute at Plymouth University. She added:
“This is the first demonstration that cognitive interference can be used outside the lab to reduce cravings for substances and activities other than eating. We think the Tetris effect happens because craving involves imagining the experience of consuming a particular substance or indulging in a particular activity. Playing a visually interesting game like Tetris occupies the mental processes that support that imagery; it is hard to imagine something vividly and play Tetris at the same time.”
We cannot tell you about how effective this cure really is but it is interesting nonetheless.The research was published in the journal Addictive Behaviors.
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