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Understanding Boredom

https://99u.adobe.com/articles/64092/understanding-boredom

99u.adobe.com

Understanding Boredom
We are living in an age of constant connectivity. Much has been made of this, as it should be - on-demand access to a limitless digital world has changed the way we live, for better and for worse.

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Boredom

Boredom

It's the state of being weary and restless through lack of interest. Boredom is rooted in the urge for meaningful activity or engagement that finds no satisfying avenues of expression.

Boredom can be divided into situational boredom (a temporary state of disengagement that nearly everyone encounters), and existential boredom (an unrelieved sense of emptiness, isolation, and disinterest, a condition intertwined with depression).

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Boredom And Daydreaming

Boredom And Daydreaming

Where boredom is passive, daydreaming can be an active experience. Allowing ourselves to notice, and to be open to our surroundings, is a way of awakening our curiosity for the world outside ourselves. 

Also, boredom is an aversive emotion linked to disgust, whereas lots of people like to daydream.

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Daydreaming And Creativity

Daydreaming And Creativity

We should give ourselves the space to daydream. After all, insight comes unannounced and such small epiphanies can constitute clues to our particular predisposition and personalities.

There are strong links between daydreaming and problem-solving and creativity. Neuroscientists have found that during periods of idle daydreaming or sleep, the brain goes into problem-solving mode. 

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Boredom And Creativity

Boredom And Creativity

While not directly associated with creativity, boredom can indirectly lead to a more creative state.

An unpleasant state, boredom functions by motivating us to escape its clutches by seeking reengagement. And that may as well come in the form of daydreaming or some other creative endeavor.

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Harnessing Boredom

Harnessing Boredom

Boredom serves as a warning sign that something is not quite right, so don’t try to find a new activity immediately, because you may lose the opportunity to get some insight into your life and better it.

Engage with and interrogate the feeling to discover its root cause. Doing so can reveal the changes you need to make in order to successfully reengage.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Boredom: Our Old Friend

In most of the ancient literature and philosophy, boredom is considered a personal, social and moral weakness.

Philosophers talk about boredom as proof that life is essentially meaningless,...

The Neutral Signal With Many Outcomes

Boredom is a signal to your body that the current activity is not meaningful and we should be doing something else, or be somewhere else. Many recent studies have associated boredom with the urge to flaunt social distancing rules and quarantine regulations.

Boredom by itself is a neutral signal but can affect a person in varied ways depending on his life situation and the current environment.

Boredom Is Like Pain

Boredom by itself does not feel great, but just like pain, it is a body’s emotional call to action. It nudges us to look for an alternate set of behaviours and try to add more significance to our activities.

We normally try to balance paying attention and finding meaning, wanting to do something but not wanting to do anything in particular.

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Go With The ‘Flow’

Go With The ‘Flow’

Flow is the satisfying feeling of absorption we get when we’re wholly focused on an enjoyable, open-ended activity, of which we are in control but which stretches our abilities...

Better Employing Idle Time

  • Revisit past experiences, enjoy or reevaluate them.
  • Rethink future plans.
  • Be fully present in the moment.
  • Look around and notice new details to better familiarize yourself with your environment and increase your sense of belonging.
  • Challenge yourself to be still and see it as a form of adventurous living
  • Do things light on engagement to help the mind to disengage from purposeful thought and wander.

Embrace Idleness

While boredom signifies a lack of stimulus, pauses in engagement can be of great value. Being able to appreciate this means you won’t get bored and will be able to find things of interest to think or find contentment in simply being.

Instead of trying to monetize or avoid idle time, use it to develop inner resources, such as curiosity, playfulness, imagination, perseverance and agency. From that all sorts of fulfilling activities can emerge.

The Importance Of Boredom

It drives us to engage in activities that we find more meaningful than those at hand. Without it, we’d be perpetually excited by everything.

Research shows that people who are bored...

Focus And The Brain

When we’re consciously doing things we’re using the “executive attention network, ” the parts of the brain that control and inhibit our attention. The attention network makes it possible for us to relate directly to the world presently around us.

By contrast, when our minds wander, we activate the brain’s “default mode network, ” which is the brain “at rest”; not focused on an external, goal-oriented task. In this mode, we still tap about 95% of the energy we use when our brains are engaged in focused thinking. 

Types Of Daydreaming

  • Poor attention control: when people with poor attention control drift into daydreaming. These people are anxious, easily distracted, and have difficulty concentrating, even on their daydreams.
  • Guilty-dysphoric: when our thoughts drift to unproductive and negative places. We berate ourselves for perceived mistakes or flaws and feel emotions like guilt, anxiety, and anger.
  • Positive-constructive: when our thoughts veer toward the imaginative; it reflects our drive to explore ideas and feelings, plan, and problem-solve.