“ I’m bored – who would take me out? “
How many times have you seen that on a whatsapp status before this pandemic?
You hate being bored, don’t you?
We all do. Especially now that we are Staying Home and Staying safe from the pandemic outside.
Everyone is looking for things to keep busy and avoid boredom.
In this post I would show you that boredom is not so bad and the silver lining.
Heck, I would even encourage you to be bored and embrace boredom once you see how valuable boredom can be for you.
What Is Boredom?
The feeling of being bored or uninterested in what you’re doing is boredom…The word boredom comes from something called a “boring tool”, a kind of drill that works slowly and repetitively; around 1768, bore, meaning “be tiresome,” became a popular slang term, and boredom followed.
In layman’s terms – boredom is when you do not have anything of interest to do so you try to fill it up with something you enjoy.
Growing up, we all hated being bored.
So much that we considered “put your head on your desk and keep quiet” as a terrible punishment when a teacher said those words.
As adults, we’ve always tried to have a lot going on in our lives – and with our smartphones and social media, we have the power to do anything but be bored.
Studies show you miss out on a lot by not allowing yourself to be bored.
In his book, The conquest of happiness, esteemed philosopher Bertrand Russell 90 years ago had this to say about boredom.
“A life too full of excitement is an exhausting life, in which continually stronger stimuli are needed to give the thrill that has come to be thought an essential part of pleasure.
“A person accustomed to too much excitement is like a person with a morbid craving for pepper, who comes last to be unable even to taste a quantity of pepper which would cause anyone else to choke. There is an element of boredom which is inseparable from the avoidance of too much excitement, and too much excitement not only undermines the health, but dulls the palate for every kind of pleasure, substituting titillations for profound organic satisfactions, cleverness for wisdom, and jagged surprises for beauty.
“I do not want to push to extremes the objection to excitement. A certain amount of it is wholesome, but, like almost everything else, the matter is quantitative. Too little may produce morbid cravings, too much will produce exhaustion. A certain power of enduring boredom is therefore essential to a happy life, and is one of the things that ought to be taught to the young.”
Basically, Any activity you engage in to fight boredom, would continually have to be increased – alcohol. Drugs, excess social media, etc.
This is what Dopamine does to you.
You find yourself craving more of what triggers this, your brain gets “addicted” to this high and constantly wants more.
This is why we find it easy to binge watch a whole series on netflix even when we said we would watch just one episode.
Boredom is not the problem – what we do to avoid being bored is the problem.
If you learn of some of the major benefits of being bored you are sure to enjoy being bored more often than not.
7 Reasons To Embrace Boredom.
UK psychologist Sandi Mann carried out a study on if Being Bored Makes Us More Creative?
The researcher and his team gave respondents various boring tasks to complete and then asked them to use their creative thinking on the interesting uses of a plastic cup.
Respondents who had the most boring task – reading a phonebook came up with more interesting ideas and uses of a plastic cup than fellow participants.
Mann concludes that being bored can increase creative thinking a lot.
As it allows your mind to wander leading to more associative and creative ways of thinking and solving problems.
2. You Know When Something Is Wrong:
Philosophy professor Andreas Elpidorou in her research – The bright side of boredom explains that boredom “acts as a regulatory state that keeps one in line with one’s projects.”
“In the absence of boredom, one would remain trapped in unfulfilling situations, and miss out on many emotionally, cognitively, and socially rewarding experiences.
Boredom is both a warning that we are not doing what we want to be doing and a ‘push’ that motivates us to switch goals and projects,”
Being bored allows you to know if you are on the right part on your journey as you have time to think about you.
Being too busy can have a negative effect as you do not have the time to know if something is amiss or not.
This leads to the next point…
3. You Set Goals While Daydreaming:
In a process known as “autobiographical planning,” people most frequently plan and anticipate their future goals while daydreaming.
If you are bored and instead of looking for your phone or any other distractions, allow your mind to wander and not think about what is going on around you.
You are more likely to think about the future and “daydream” about how to create that future.
Research has shown that daydreaming has a positive effect on your ability to perform tasks.
Daydreaming stimulates a region of the brain used for “thought controlling” mechanisms and “thought freeing” activity.
This increases your mind-wandering behavior.
Researchers found that daydreaming doesn’t harm one’s ability to succeed at an appointed task, but rather helps it.
Youtube Embed Code – Why Boredom Is Good For You
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4. Boredom Leads To Breakthroughs:
Do you remember concentrating so hard to remember a formula, an idea, heck even spelling a difficult word where the answer is just not forthcoming?
Then later when you leave the tasks and you are not thinkin about it, the answer comes to you – clear as day!
Being bored allows your brain to take charge and get into a deep learning state.
In this state the inner workings of your brain take charge and information you could not access when you are focused and using just the frontal regions of your brain is easily accessed as the brain works then.
This is why when you can’t find a solution for a task you have been working on, allowing yourself to be bored by taking a walk or doing any mundane task where you do not require focused thinking, can help your brain figure it out.
To learn more on this I recommend taking this course – Learning how to Learn. ( It’s FREE)
5. Boredom Can Make You A Better Human Being:
This research from ireland says that boredom can make you a better person.
This research found that when bored, we lack perceived meaning in our activities and circumstances.
This triggers us to search elsewhere to re-establish our self-meaning.
Boredom made people more likely to engage in charitable behaviors like donating to charity, blood donations and other altruistic activities to help re-establish feelings of self-meaning.
In essence, boredom helps you see ways you can give back to society.
6. Boredom Gives You Clarity:
You need to be bored. – that is the gist so far.
You can achieve this in two ways
Your definition of boring will alter significantly once you try this.
Things you previously saw as desirable and entertaining will now start to see as trivial and boring.
The positive requirement is that you can start identifying activities, hobbies,every other thing that needs your attention, and will fill our mind with interest and curiosity, not merely with entertainment.
Then you can fill up your time with those subjects and activities.
When you do that, you actively pursue topics and activities that intrigues you.
The urge to binge-watch and rewatch all seasons of “Game of Thrones” for the 10th time becomes a lot less attractive – i.e a waste of time.
As these distractions loosen their hold on you, you start to clarify the things that are of interest to you and your personal growth, not merely the things that are available to fill up our time.
Being bored and daydreaming can provide a brief escape from day-to-day life.
Mann says it’s also beneficial to simply step away from your screens, work and other stressors long enough to feel bored.
Studies have shown that modern tools including work emails, social media and dating apps can cause a strain on mental health.
so taking a break can be a valuable opportunity to recharge.
Right now, is the best time to train yourself to learn and embrace being bored as you know the benefits you have been missing out on.
When the world resumes and the restrictions are lifted, it would be alot easier on you.
Take at least 15minutes to be bored everyday.
The world would be just fine.
Some ways to tap into boredom includes
– Any activity that requires little or no concentration — like walking a familiar route, or even just sitting with your eyes closed — and simply letting your mind wander, without any music or stimulation to guide it.
Remember to practice proper hygiene, Stay Home and Stay safe.