Could Being Busy Help You Make Healthier Choices?

A new study suggests there are positive benefits to having a busy lifestyle.

A team of researchers have conducted a series of studies designed to put participants in a busy mindset. To do so, scientists exposed a group of participants to subtle messages suggesting that they were actually busy people and also had a control group that was not exposed to busy lifestyle-inducing activities. The participants were asked questions about the decisions they make on a daily basis, such as food and working out. The choices gave insight to the researchers about their self-control and how that related to how busy they felt. The results of the research found that people who felt that they were busy tended to make better, more healthful choices than those who were not given such prompting messages prior to the testing.
The authors explain that being busy can create higher self-esteem and to maintain it the participants were driven to make more healthful choices than those who were not quite so busy. Professor Amitava Chattopadhyay reports to Medical News Today, “Every day we make many decisions that involve choosing between our immediate and future well-being. When we perceive ourselves to be busy, it boosts our self- esteem, tipping the balance in favor of the more virtuous choice." Self-esteem, in general, has an enormous impact on the human psyche, as well as overall general health. Low self-esteem can cause anxiety and stress, negatively impact relationships, school, or job performance, and lead to increased chances of drug or alcohol abuse. Higher self-esteem can help us make more healthful lifestyle choices, so we shouldn’t fear having a busy lifestyle. However, do be mindful of the combination of being busy and having time constraints because that can result in impulsive decisions that may be unhealthy.
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