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Posted by2 months ago

eli5: Why do we always get strong urge to be lazy if its better for the brain to be active

I mean its so much better for the brain to be active working doing useful things stimulating your brain or working out, we all have a reward system and everytime we finish a task we feel a sense of accomplishment but everytime you should be doing something that you know will feel good in the end you just get this urge of doing nothing today and just relaxing, shouldnt our brain be chasing this sense of accomplishment? Where does this feeling come from

95% Upvoted
level 1

The environment we find ourselves in today is very different from the conditions that humankind has faced for the vast majority of our time on planet Earth. For most of our existence (and for most species alive today) a steady diet was not guaranteed, and malnutrition/starvation was a very real danger. If our far-distant ancestors found themselves in a safe place with plenty to eat & drink, one of the wisest things they could choose to do was nothing, which conserved valuable calories and exposed them to no new dangers.

level 2

You can see it with domesticated and captive animals. We all just want to be comfortable and conserve energy. If our needs are well taken care of... We're gonna just hang around.

level 2

Also, evolutionarily speaking, organisms are designed to survive not thrive. What’s best for the “body” isn’t always necessary to survival. I don’t believe Intellectual stimulus is in Mother Nature’s grand scheme. We are the exception.

level 2

"I'm sorry I can't come out, I'm conserving energy and not exposing myself to new dangers today". xD

level 2

I always wondered if depression was related to this. Like a beneficial behaviour that is just expressed too far.

level 2

It's crazy to think malnutriotion and starvation ARE STILL dangers today. Just not in the 1st world. I live in a town where farmers survive on a few dollars a day for some damn hard work.

level 2

Which is why I’m sitting, reading this Reddit post.

level 2

A good way to see this in action is to see how you feel at home, vs. how you feel out in the woods, or at the beach, or really any other place with a lot of natural, visual and auditory stimuli. I could walk around a forest on a nice spring or summer day for hours and hours without getting bored I could sit at the beach watching the waves, and birds, endlessly. I could hike in the mountains all day long without once thinking about anything except where I currently am.

We're not built to lock ourselves up inside od 4 walls, no matter how much TV/Internet/etc we have at our disposal.

level 2

Mama always said we was lazy cuz god gave us everything in eden and there ain't nothin to do.

source: mama says

level 2

There is a TV show called "Alone" which demonstrates this quite well. If someone manages to achieve a steady state of food, shelter, and safety - the best chance for them to win is to do nothing so long as their mind can tolerate the loneliness.

level 2

To add to this, we have years of design around us that specifically exploit our neurochemistry to benefit capitalism. Chairs improved for ultimate comfort, videogames and TV for maximum consumption/addiction, foods for maximum immediate reward, alcohol and drugs to distract us from feelings that make us unhappy. A lot of the extreme stimuli we're presented with are engineered to be VERY difficult for us to disengage from, especially when compared to the milder stimuli of nature which are pleasant but not as compelling. If there was money to be gained by companies from getting individuals in a healthy state physically and mentally and staying there, maybe that's what products around us would be optimized to do, but people spend more when they're sad, dissatisfied or craving.

level 2

We're also being overstimulated to all hell, and face weird and incessant stressors like capitalistic grind that doesn't directly provide for our basic needs, so its expending energy without the reward we're seeking.

level 2

Yeah but it only took a few hours a day. There was far more leisure time for hunters and gatherers. They talk about this in Sapiens it was only the need for farmers to grow large amounts of food to feed the growing population which caused us to start working crazy hours.

level 2

Its like how lizards do nothing all day because it's free. Are bodies are made to store and conserve food and water

level 2

Yeah even just being camping in the forest i never feel tired or lazy. Definitely seems to be something about it just being outside.


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Created Jul 28, 2011






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