Okay, humor me here because this may sound silly, but it really works. Try my resolution to “Chew on a plastic stirrer.“
I’ve found that I snack less and concentrate better when I chew on a plastic stirrer — the kind that you get to stir your to-go coffee.
I picked up this habit from my husband, who loves to chew on things. His favorite chew-toy is a plastic pen top, and gnawed pen tops and little bits of plastic litter our apartment.
But he also chews on plastic stirrers, and at some point, I decided to give this practice a try. I’ve been astonished at how helpful this small habit is.
I keep these stirrers in my office and backpack, and whenever I sit down at my computer, I pop one between my teeth. An occupational hazard with writing is to write while eating, smoking, or drinking–usually things that aren’t very healthy — but having the stirrer in my mouth diminishes that urge.
Also, chewing on a stirrer helps me to concentrate. I feel more focused when I chewing away. I’m not sure why that is. Perhaps it’s the placebo effect — but the placebo effect is quite effective, so I’ll take it.
I’m a devoted hair-twister, so I definitely have an aptitude for nervous habits. Chewing on a plastic stirrer probably the adult equivalent of popping in a pacifier, but it’s effective.
How about you? Do you ever chew on plastic stirrers, straws, pencils, ice or other things? Or do you have other habits that are similarly helpful?
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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 2 Jul 2013
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.
Rubin, G. (2013). Want to Concentrate More While Snacking Less?. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 7, 2015, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/07/04/want-to-concentrate-more-while-snacking-less/