What the mysterious boredom divide teaches us
Psychologists now know there are at least five types of boredom.
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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...
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.
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 express...
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.
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.
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...
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.