Many easy pleasures of modern society (social networks, gambling, the Internet, searching for tasty food, etc.) can develop a behavioral dependence. According to the new study by the London University, art and creative activities, such as painting or dancing, can potentially help cope with the obsessive desire of society for enjoyment and lead us to a better and healthier lifestyle. This is especially important for students who are trying to organize their lives correctly.
Searches for Momentary Pleasure Are the First Step to Addiction
According to the recent research, creative activities can stimulate broad neural networks and counteract harmful effects of activities that push us to momentary pleasure.
Results of the research increasingly show that excessiveness of actions aimed at search for pleasures can adversely affect our health, as this provokes a change in nerve mechanisms which is responsible for choices we make in our lives. Studies show that drug and behavioral addictions rely on the same neural networks. As a result, actions "only for the sake of pleasure" make us "addicts".
So, we again came to the conclusion that modern pleasures lead to undesirable consequences. A choice becomes biased, and actions are aimed at achieving short-term goals that maximize enjoyment. The search for pleasure "here and now" is a common feature of a dependent brain. Our decision-making departs from the prospect maximizing goals that are controlled by various systems in a brain.
In a healthy brain, two main systems interact with respect to reward and decision-making. The A-system is engaged in maximizing immediate reward, while the I-system is associated with consideration of a result and becoming happy in the future. The A-system wants to enjoy immediately, while the I-system connects any incentives with previous experiences and values, contributing to the optimal choice, taking into account all factors. This may include a down-regulation of the A-system to delay immediate satisfaction in order to provide long-term compensation.
Modern society is a society in search for pleasure. We want to get pleasant impressions quickly and easily. We are used to very tasty food and drinks, we have unlimited access to all things we want. The deal is that with this model of behavior based on the choice that maximizes pleasure, we can turn ourselves into thoughtless addicts of pleasure waiting for the next doze. However, such behavior, as undesirable food, is devoid of value, and does not bring spiritual satisfaction.
Creative Activities Will Help Resist Our Obsession with Momentary Pleasure
It has been suggested that creative activities and contact with the world of art can help "rewrite" harmful effects of dysfunctional beliefs and cravings that we experience when we do some useless things for too long. Creative activities focus our minds on one consistent state, which activates both A- and I-systems.
Thus, creative activities can strengthen links between A and I systems, which pass through the nerve structure of the islet part of the brain. Strong ties help maintain healthy systems in an organism, optimizing our choices, ensuring prosperity in the long term. It is important to note that in this case, A- and I-systems are useful both in everyday life and job activities.
As a result, we perceive activities such as painting or dancing not only as pleasant and useful (through the system A), but also as significant, because they rely on our personal life experiences as well as on our sense of ourselves (I-system). Thus, "creative experience" is not only pleasure, but also spiritual satisfaction.
Despite the need for further research, one is convinced that by involving ourselves in creative activities, we can potentially resist some of the negative consequences associated with the temptation of pervasive momentary pleasures that are currently observed in society. The best advice is to plan periods without activities that can cause addiction. Since it is difficult for our brain to resist the temptation of the moment, it is better to plan ahead. Art and creative business will help us better use possibilities of our brain to live a truly meaningful life.