Rip off the band-aid. Bite the bullet. When faced with impending pain or stress — say, for instance, pulling out a loose tooth as a child, getting a vaccination, or even doing your taxes — do you force yourself to get it over with as quickly as possible or do you postpone until the last minute? In a recent study published in PLOS Computational Biology, researchers looked at how people reacted when knowing they're going to experience physical pain. As it turns out, the majority opted for "getting it over with" philosophy, facing the pain as quickly as possible.
But, what does this mean for us? Does getting it over with actually make the unpleasantry easier or lessen the impending pain? Well, according to the findings of the study, the answer is: yes. For the small percentage of us who delay an unavoidable pain, we are actually making it worse in the end. Our bodies process the anticipation and dread for what's coming similar to how we feel physical pain. Plus, in the end, our dread often causes a more adverse reaction to the pain when we ultimately go through with it. In short, what the study tells us is to skip the pain of anticipation, and just get the physical (or mental) pain over with. (The Atlantic)