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Eating Out Of Boredom?

How about this for an experimental study? Researchers devised the following study: To test whether eating out of boredom was an increased drive for rewarding stimulation (positive reinforcement) vs. a drive to escape the boredom (negative reinforcement), study volunteers were split into two groups. One group had access to M&Ms while watching a monotonous, repetitive clip of a boring tennis match and the other group had an electrical shock device while watching the same, repetitive, boring clip.

There is no surprise in seeing the results that the group that had access to the M&Ms sure enough, consumed lots of M&Ms. However, to great surprise, a significant amount of self-shocking occurred in the group that only had access to the shocking device.

The study concluded that eating when bored is not driven by an increased desire for satisfying incentive stimulation, but mainly by the drive to escape monotony.

So, let’s get out of the study laboratory and to all of our lives isolated, in large part, in our houses. Similar to the Bill Murray movie, “Groundhog Day”, most of us find ourselves waking up to the same sort of things day every day. There is only so many board (bored) games that can be played, movies/shows we can watch on Netflix, walks we can take in the neighborhood, etc etc. Being “bored” is an understatement.

Reaching for high-caloric foods/snacks will be driven by this boredom but the very last thing we want to do is gain weight and place ourselves more and more into the “high risk” category. There are other “positive” stimuli we can attempt in the quest to escape the monotony.

Here is one for all of you: Please send us your suggestions of “Breaking Boredom” that can be used instead of eating. I would like to compile a large list and send this to everyone. Okay folks, send those in today…helping others is a great way of breaking boredom!!!

And for today’s jokes, courtesy of Steve Martin:

First the doctor told me the good news: I was going to have a disease named after me.
I’ve got to keep breathing. It’ll be my worst business mistake if I don’t.
A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.
I believe in equality. Equality for everybody. No matter how stupid they are or how superior I am to them.

4 Responses

  1. Ideas for how to spend free time: commit to a 30-day yoga challenge, commit to the 40-day Inner Light Consciousness guided meditation by Howard Batie, on a sunny day with fluffy white clouds- lay on your back watching clouds and imagine what they look like (an animal? A castle? A face?), invite your spouse/partner for mid-day hanky panky “afternoon delight”, sew face masks, go to http://www.bridgebase.com and play bridge online with other people or with a computer, read a book, do a jigsaw puzzle, play a musical instrument, go to Pandora’s “Disco Inferno” radio station and dance, find a fancy champagne flute and fill it with your best vintage of sparkling mineral water. And sip by candle light, pet your dog/cat, call your parents or your children or your best friend and tell them you love them, take time to notice and appreciate the sunrise and sunset, order a paint-by-number from Amazon and have at it!, draw in an adult coloring book with colored pencils, plant a garden, pick flowers from your garden and make a bouquet, take a bubble bath.

  2. Cleaning drawers and closets a la Marie Kondo (well, something must “spark joy”)

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