With stimulation coming from left, right and centre in today’s fast paced world, pleasure and satisfaction is not hard to come by. But could an excess of pleasurable activities change the course of our future? New research suggests it could.
Whether you’re a die-hard foodie, hard-core gamer, or social media addict, recent research in psychology and neuroscience suggests that these hobbies aren’t as harmless as we might have thought. Scientists have found strong similarities between the brains of those addicted to drugs and those addicted to pleasurable behaviors.
UK scientists are concerned that we’re all turning into “pleasure junkies”, allowing our desire for the next dopamine hit to influence our decisions toward short-term, pleasure maximizing goals instead of long term plans. It turns out simply checking social media gives us the right amount of consistent positive reinforcement that is the key ingredient for addiction.
Luckily, scientists have shown that rehab for this particular addiction isn’t too hard to come by. There have been suggestions by researchers that simply indulging in creative activities can combat your brains’ desire for immediate pleasure. So turn off your gadgets and get in touch with your artsy side. Your future self will thank you.
Sarah Condie is a freelance writer based in Melbourne.
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