Often feel bored lately? What is the meaning of boredom for you personally? Is it as bad as you think, or could it be useful?
What is boredom, anyway?
We like to think it’s that we have nothing interesting to do. And in some situations – trapped in a delayed train, stuck with a few more hours before the end of an office day without any work left to do — this can be true.
Research at York University, Canada identified two types of personality that have a tendency toward boredom. The first is the sort who continually seek new experiences. The second is the type who feels the world is dangerous and stick to their comfort zone, even when it’s too comfortable and bores them.
If you are an adolescent, you might feel bored because your teenage brain is still developing. Your frontal cortex, which aids with self regulation and self-control, is not quite fully formed. You can’t see a way to move yourself out of uncomfortable situations.
You will end up in situations where you feel like you are constantly pushing against yourself. Because you are. In an effort to be like others or please family, you are going against your own values, and it’s exhausting. And yes, boring.
Sometimes a feeling of boredom is a clear sign that we are treading water instead of being proactive. The meaning of boredom here is that it is time to look at options, choose a clear direction, make it a SMART goal, and make it happen.
4. You are avoiding something.
Not wanting to make a decision? Avoiding a difficult situation or conversation?
When you say you are bored, is it that you can’t think of anything to do? Or is it actually that all the things you usually like seem strangely far away, like something other people do? And takes energy you don’t feel you have anymore?
Boredom is because we perceive we lack external stimuli that interests us. Depression comes from within. We can’t find the incentive to be interested in anything, and feel numb and disconnected.
[Not sure if you are depressed or just stressed? Take our free Depression Quiz.]
So if you are often bored, get frustrated, and struggle with focus, you might want to try our free quiz, “Do You Have Adult ADHD?”.
When boredom is a good thing
Are you the type who never slows down? Who fills any spare time with endless little errands and tasks? And do you claim it’s because you ‘don’t like to be bored’?
In this case, boredom can be a good thing.It is a space to be with yourself and face up to the thoughts and emotions that all your ‘busy’ has been about hiding from.
Often these thoughts and feelings are not the giant monsters we are worried they are, and processing them can be a surprising relief.Mindfulness can be a great practise here. It helps you accept your thoughts and feelings as they come, without judgement.