Why Does Slicing Through Wrapping Paper Make Us Feel Good?
Although many of us DREAD the process of wrapping presents, there are always those magic moments when your scissors slice and glide through the first long cut of wrapping paper. As strange as it sounds, there's something about that that makes us feel good? So what the heck is going on there?
According to psychology professor Steve Joordens, there are a couple of theories as to why this may be true.
There's a bit of a dopamine hit we get from a task well done. Similar to those moments when you're sitting at your desk and throw a paper ball at the waste basket and in it goes--immediately, you are Michael Jordan. Even just the act of the first gliding cut through the paper can make you feel like you know what you're doing and there's the smallest chance you'll wrap this present with some modicum of success. Humans get that delightful hit of dopamine when we accomplish even the smallest goals.
Another theory Joordens shares? You've heard about ASMR, right? If not, look it up, it's fascinating. There's something about the sound you hear when slicing through the wrapping paper--some say it's almost sensual. (Oh my.) Apparently, it "causes a sort of low-grade euphoria." This is an example of ASMR, "or 'Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response." Oh the things we learn.
So, there you go. Next time you feel a little crazy for finding that random moment when those scissors glide-cut through that bright green, snowman covered paper, just enjoy the moment. Especially because, then you have to keep attempting to finish wrapping Aunt Gladys's strangely shaped gift you decided to buy her. Maybe you should've just gone with the scarf, silly.
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