A recent study discovers that people would rather give themselves mild electric shocks than sit and think quietly for 15 minutes — say what?

So you say all you want to do is to take a few minutes to sit down and think without anyone or anything bugging you? Maybe that’s true – in theory.

A US study published in the journal Science shows that most volunteers who were asked to spend no more than 15 minutes alone in a room doing nothing but sitting and thinking found the task onerous. In fact, some of the volunteers, men in particular, in one of the 11 experiments led by University of Virginia researchers, preferred to administer mild electrical shocks to themselves rather than sit and do nothing.

“Many people find it difficult to use their own minds to entertain themselves, at least when asked to do it on the spot,” says University of Virginia psychology professor Timothy Wilson, who led the study. “In this modern age, with all the gadgets we have, people seem to fill up every moment with some external activity.”