Stop Being Afraid of Boredom

As society advances, we have devised more and more ways of keeping ourselves distracted and busy. Instead of talking over a cup of coffee, we have Netflix dates. Instead of daydreaming out the window, we text a friend or peruse social media. Instead of listening to the sounds around us on long walks or train rides, we block out the world (and our inner voices) with headphones. In the war against boredom, it would seem that we are winning. But, is ensuring that our lives are boredom-free really what we want?

While being bored is, well, boring, it’s a pretty essential part of life. Boredom is paramount for your creative development and evolution, both for kids and adults. In moderation, boredom can actually encourage mental growth by pushing the boundaries of your cognitive comfort zone. But we seem to be so adverse to it. Many of us are especially guilty of using technology as a crutch to avoid confronting our inner thoughts and succumbing to that dreaded state of boredom.

As discussed in Science, 11 studies showed that an impressive percentage of men and women would rather undergo an electric shock and be allowed to leave a room than be left alone in a room with their thoughts without external stimuli for fifteen minutes. Yes, one quarter of women and two thirds of men studied found being left alone with their thoughts more unpleasant than the sensation of electricity jolting through their limbs. Many of us are that afraid of boredom.

But we shouldn’t be so afraid of our minds. In fact, confronting them more often helps us evolve both mentally and creatively, working to reduce stress and expand our mental boundaries. A moment of boredom often serves as the impetus for most great thoughts and pursuits.

When you think about it, boredom is a relatively silly complaint. There is rarely a situation in life where you have literally nothing to do. Boredom is usually the result of having nothing appealing to do. This is an important distinction. It shows that you, not your circumstances, are responsible for your boredom. You can either embrace it or squander an opportunity for growth. Lounging around can only make you feel good for a limited time. Paving a new path to creativity in your life, however, can bring you inspiration, happiness and joy for much, much longer.

The next time you are bored, embrace it as time to get out of your comfort zone and push you boundaries. Psychologists at Texas A&M argue that “boredom motivates pursuit of new goals when the previous goal is no longer beneficial.” Instead of trying to stave off boredom with external stimulation, grasp it by the horns and watch yourself begin to grow and flourish in your personal pursuits.

Feeling ‘bored’ and looking for something to do? Here are a few starter suggestions:

-Disconnect from the internet, grab a piece of paper and doodle until the entire page is covered.

-Invent or devise a way for your morning routine to be easier. This could be anything from streamlining the placement of your slippers and glass of water to hacking a timer onto your coffee maker.

-Read a book. Bake a treat. Cook someone an intricate dinner.

-Go biking, roller blading, rock climbing, kayaking, hiking or even just for a simple walk around the block. Sign up for a class in welding, knitting or creative writing.

-Unleash your thoughts by writing three pages in a journal. It doesn’t have to be on par with Joyce or Hemingway; just let your consciousness stream out.

-Pick up that dusty guitar in your living room that functions as decoration and learn a song.

-Lie on a hammock and just let your mind wander. It’s good to explore the crevices of your mind, no matter how dark or dusty they may seem.

Allow yourself to play within a state of boredom and you’ll soon learn that there is no such thing. There is always something to do, to ponder, to learn. Embracing moments of boredom will ensure that you are an ever-evolving, dynamic, interesting person. While it is okay to be lazy and watch some Netflix on a Monday evening, challenge yourself to continue growing and evolving by feeding your mind. What will you do the next time you feel bored?

Related:

Being Exhausted Is Not Normal
The Link Between Music & Your Mind Is Incredible
Will Sugar Labeling Save Our Waistlines?

212 comments

Aaron F
Aaron F3 days ago

Easy for you to say. Try being on disability!

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Carl R
Carl R12 days ago

Thanks!!!

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Margie F
Margie F15 days ago

I am never bored

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Richard B
Richard B16 days ago

thank you

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Marija M
Marija M19 days ago

I am not bored at all.

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iloshechka A
iloshechka A19 days ago

thanks

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Lisa M
Lisa M23 days ago

I have never been bored a single day in my life.

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Lisa M
Lisa M23 days ago

I have never been bored a single day in my life.

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Carl R
Carl R23 days ago

Thanks!!!!

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Mona M
Mona M23 days ago

Thank you. I have never experienced in my whole unboring life that boredom could be a key for creativity, but I have always noticed that it was an attitude that makes people unconscious, unaware and ungrateful.

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