Make boredom work for you.
“Boredom is the dream bird that hatches the egg of experience.” Walter Benjamin
Experiencing the long school holidays? Hard to keep everyone entertained? Are you hearing “I’m bored” a little too often?
Research suggests that boredom proneness maybe linked to the developing brain – peaking from 9 to 14 years old and declining from 17 to 22 years old.
A ‘bored brain’ is seen as a disengaged brain – meaning it has a less active anterior insular cortex – an area in the brain that helps us to notice meaningful things in our environment.
Although more obvious in children, we all experience boredom at some time. Adults usually ignore it and move on, but prolonged boredom should not be ignored. Research has linked prolonged boredom to anxiety, depression, substance abuse and even problem gambling. But if recognised and acted upon, boredom can be used it as a catalyst for change and a time for reflection.
Simple tips to beat boredom:
- Try to avoid reaching for your smart phone
- Go for a walk or do some exercise
- Make a to do list
- Learn a new activity such as playing an instrument, cooking or yoga
- Take up meditation
- Be mindful of the fact that doing nothing can light the spark to do something creative and beneficial.