If you’re trying to quit smoking or have problems with junk food cravings, you might want to go ahead and install the classic time-waster Tetris on your smart phone or tablet. According to a recent study, playing the game for three minutes may help you to quash those cravings.
One of the study’s authors, Professors Jackie Andrade, explained:
“Episodes of craving normally only last a few minutes, during which time an individual is visualising what they want and the reward it will bring. Often those feelings result in the person giving in and consuming the very thing they are trying to resist. But by playing Tetris, just in short bursts, you are preventing your brain creating those enticing images and without them the craving fades.”
In the study 119 people — whose natural cravings were measured beforehand– played the computer game Tetris or they were put into a control condition.
The control condition involved waiting for Tetris to load, which it never did.
What they found was that after three minutes of playing Tetris, people’s cravings had reduced by 24% in comparison to the control condition.