Boredom: Friend or Foe?
Most of us see boredom as an enemy, and it even shows in our common speech: “Bored to Death,” “Bored Stiff,” “Bored Out of my Mind”.
Obviously, it’s not because there’s nothing to do. Especially these days, with technology and all.
So really, when we say we’re bored, what we’re really saying is that nothing interests us. Nothing lights us up. Draws us in. Excites us.
We’re underwhelmed, and that’s why we feel restless, disinterested, and tired.
When we’re not doing anything, we’re more aware of our wandering mind—thoughts about what happened and how things are.
And for many, that’s an uncomfortable experience because we might not be completely happy with the way things are—with the way we are.
So, we look for distractions instead.
Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Tik Tok—you know them.
From app to app, screen to screen. Time ends up passing like we’re in a dream.
Anything to take the attention away from the present moment, from present feelings.
What does this constant intake of stimuli do for us though?
It’s not like it changes our circumstances, and they definitely don’t make us feel any better.
So, what if we just stopped… and let ourselves be bored?
It turns out, studies show that ‘being bored’ is actually really good for us. Good for the brain. And good for productivity.
Boredom promotes creativity, encourages us to make positive changes, and gives us time to think about the bigger picture of life.
Being uncomfortable with the feeling of boredom itself is a clear indicator that we’re not living life the way we want to be.
So, if we let it, boredom can act as a powerful motivating factor to push us to break some patterns and switch things around.
When we’re constantly looking for an escape, we’ll rarely contemplate the bigger picture of our life.
We probably will never set long-term goals for ourselves, let alone create plans on how to achieve them.
So, it might seem small and unimportant, but the next time you find yourself feeling bored, why not just let yourself be bored?
Why not let yourself see what the moment has for you?
Or even better, why not carve out some time in your week for boredom?
Even if life is pretty good, you think of it as a test to face any emotions that come up. Or even an experiment to see what nothingness has for you.
Who knows, you might just uncover that one thing that could take you to the next level—if that’s where you want to go.
I mean… well… you don’t want to keep playing at the same levels, do you?