Immerse yourself in your thoughts without getting lost on the Internet

Relaxation has never been as easy as it is today. In our hands, we have access to every imaginable form of entertainment. Whether you want to aimlessly browse social media, stream your favorite show, or do virtual “window shopping”, it’s extremely tempting to grab your smartphone. However, a recent study by the American Psychological Association shows that we may underestimate the pleasure of spending time alone with our thoughts and without distractions.

In this study, the researchers conducted a series of six experiments in which 259 participants first had to predict how much they thought they would enjoy being alone with their thoughts. Their predictions were then compared to how much the participants actually enjoyed thinking without distraction.

In one experiment, participants had to sit without distractions for 20 minutes. They were not allowed to look at their phones, walk or read. Participants predicted how enjoyable the activity would be before they started and then tested in the middle of the activity or after it.

Shutdown Benefits

Whether the participants sat in a modest conference room or in a darkened room with no visual stimulation, the study found that they enjoyed the brainstorming time much more than expected.

“Our research shows that people struggle to appreciate how interesting reflections can be. This may explain why people prefer to be distracted by gadgets and other distractions, instead of thinking and letting their imagination run wild in everyday life,” said study lead author Aya Hatano from Kyoto University in Japan.

Previous research shows that reflection can bring many benefits, such as problem solving, increased creativity, and even helping to find meaning in life. “By actively avoiding thoughtful activities, people can miss out on these important benefits,” adds study co-author Kou Murayama, Ph.D. from the University of Tübingen in Germany.

Thinking turned out to be more enjoyable than expected in the eyes of the participants in this study, but enjoyment levels averaged between three and four on a seven-point scale. According to Kou Murayama, future research should focus on what makes thinking enjoyable, because not all thinking is inherently beneficial.

Source: .com

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker.