Health: Electric Shocks Vs. Sitting Alone

In this fast-paced lifestyle, many crave extra time in their day. However, in 11 studies the journal Science discovered that participants did not enjoy spending 6 to 15 minutes in a room with nothing but their own thoughts. They enjoyed mundane external activities more, and even self-administered electric shocks to avoid being left alone to think. People prefer to do something as opposed to nothing, regardless of whether that something is harmful. 67% of male participants shocked themselves, as opposed to 25% of females. Researchers wondered if the results were attributed to thought cycles or the exhausting nature of thinking, but these theories were abandoned after questioning the participants. While is it still unclear why people have an aversion to thinking alone, it is clear that those who did not practice meditation or other techniques to steer their thoughts in pleasant directions had a stronger negative response to being alone with their own thoughts.

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