Study shows doing simple things a different way can give you a rush

You don't have to skydive or climb a mountain to get a rush, researchers say. You can always try eating popcorn with chopsticks.

Scientists at Ohio State University recently conducted a study that found doing mundane things in an interesting way can make them more enjoyable.

The researchers took nearly 70 people and assigned them to a task that they were told was about "mindful eating." They were separated into two groups, with one group instructed to eat 10 kernels of popcorn with their hands, and the other group to use chopsticks.

Afterward, the chopstick group noted eating the popcorn was more enjoyable, and the snack more flavorful than the other group reported.

It only worked one time, however -- when the chopstick group repeated the exercise, the novelty had worn off.  “This suggests chopsticks boost enjoyment because they provide an unusual first-time experience, not because they are a better way to eat popcorn,” says Robert Smith, the study’s co-author, in a university press release.

Interestingly, Smith notes, this experience enhancement could be applied to other aspects of your life -- for example, giving an old couch new life by moving it to another room.

"It may be easier to make it feel new than you might think," he explains in a statement. "It is also a lot less wasteful to find new ways to enjoy the things we have, rather than buying new things."The study was recently published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.



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