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. But if our skills are greater than those needed to accomplish the activity boredom is the result.
Paradoxically, trying to avoid boredom can result in a kind of dissatisfaction, experienced as boredom.
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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.
Daydreaming can be “quite a respite” and provide a brief escape from day-to-day life. But it’s also beneficial to simply step away from distractions, obligations, and stressors long enough to feel bored and let your mind recharge.
Rather than being frustrated with boredom or using it as an excuse, find out why you feel discontent.
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 think more creatively than those who aren’t.