Boredom is a word always spoken with contempt and a lethargic undertone, and why not? Given it is a word that describes a state where a person feels trapped with nothing to do, or simply bored. Definitely an icky situation. So to put it in practical terms, boredom means an ‘unmet arousal’. You’re bursting with vitality and energy to do something that satisfies you or quenches your need for achievement but you just cannot get the right inspiration, stimuli or a medium to channel that energy, leaving you despondent and frustrated. Humans particularly have way smaller thresholds of bearing boredom than the poor animals. Boredom as a sensation is so strong that you can almost physically feel it; the symptoms cloud the reason behind them. No wonder the entertainment industry has been estimated to cross $2 trillion by 2020.
Paradoxically, the internet and all other technological advancements have presented us with a million entertainment options on our fingertips but the more we consume, the more we want. instead of being satiated with the array of stimuli we have to keep our minds occupied, the more discontent and desensitized we have become and our boredom is like a pitless chasm, never to be fulfilled.
Being enslaved to technology and having a mind that LURVVVV stimulation I can vouch for boredom; that it is NOT the enemy, constant pandering is. Boredom has some significant advantages for humans and the sooner we make peace with the fact that it is an inevitable part of life, the better it would be.
For starters, if you’re finding yourself being bored repeatedly in a certain environment or activity, it is a strong indicator that maybe you should be spending your time doing something more useful, more result oriented or more satisfying for your mind. So confronted by boredom can be the most useful tool for problem identification and brain storming and making better use of time. Let those creative juices flow… no wonder many scientists, artists, poets and philosophers did their best works and ideas while being imprisoned.
Another great though hidden use of boredom is that it gives you time to reflect and ponder over life. Finding yourself out of stuff to do gives your brain to access some unvisited areas of your life, maybe you have been ignoring them or just have not found the time to give them the deliberation they deserve. Sometimes we are ignoring confronting important matters, tasks that we are procrastinating, talks that we have to have but technology with its alluring tentacles just wouldn’t let us get out of our comfort zone and deal with those issues. Having some free brain time can redirect our attention to important issues and steer us in the right course of action.
So how do we deal with being bored then? If we look at it, a positive approach to handling boredom is thinking of it as ‘me time. Instead of desperately seeking for ways to fill in this gap, we should rather look forward to taking out time for ourselves and plan activities that we really enjoy doing, savouring every moment of it. Not only would that blow off our steam, it would also be actually a pleasant experience and restful for our minds- something we hardly have now with our minds being a cluster of notions which we hardly find peace in. Call it meditation, day-dreaming or me time, alloting some time to yourself everyday to plan future goals, doing fun acitvities like painting, listening to old songs, writing blogs or poetry, gardening etc- this time is actually the nourishment to our soul and brain.