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Understanding Boredom

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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Understanding Boredom

Understanding Boredom

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

99u.adobe.com

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Key Ideas

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).

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.

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. 

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.

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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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. 

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Boredom is one of the most important factors in creativity. Boredom is a productive state as long as you don't let it get to you.

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Our mind when we're bored

When we're bored, two key things are happening in our minds: One is a 'desire bind' where someone wants to do something but not anything that's on offer. The other is when your mind is itching to be engaged.

Don't fill the void

Our first instinct when we experience some boredom is to fill it with Netflix lists, Instagram feeds, and TikTok videos. Riding out this boredom is vital though.

Boredom is not in itself creative. It's what it leads to that is significant. In the gap of boredom, you're motivated to look for something else, and there's a real chance you'll discover something new.

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