We all get bored from time to time. We may feel unstimulated at work or we’re tired of checking our Facebook updates or emails for the millionth time in the past hour. There are situational factors which may cause boredom such as a long commute in traffic, waiting to board a bus or plane, or being seated at a dinner party next to a bore and you find yourself bobble heading and praying you don’t fall asleep in your soup.
Our society does not exactly encourage boredom. If we are caught “doing nothing” we may feel guilty that we are not being productive or we worry that others perceive us as being lazy. I am here to suggest we all need to relax a bit when it comes to normal bouts with boredom.
In fact, there has been scientific evidence that has surfaced recently to suggest that boredom can be good for us! Here are three benefits to being bored:
1. We get our creative juices recharged.
Have you ever started doodling or went for a walk and all of a sudden your brain sparked an exciting new idea? Studies have shown that people who feel bored or who are doing mindless tasks eventually are led into thinking about something meaningful and purposeful.
2. We may pursue new goals.
Research suggests that getting bored motivates us to want to get out of that state enough that we will make new goals for our lives. Being bored may be a reminder that we don’t like where we are currently.
3. We may excel in our careers.
Scientific studies have shown that people who were bored at work are more likely to become innovative and advance in their careers. A post at the DailyOm said it well: “A bored mind can be the canvas upon which innovation is painted and the womb in which novelty is nourished.”
Here are a few takeaways and things you can do right now to embrace and accept the state of boredom when it inevitably comes to pay a visit:
Give yourself permission to daydream. Go take that walk. Purchase one of those adult coloring books that are so popular these days and get some fun coloring pencils, crayons, or pens.
Write in a journal. Explore how you are feeling about your present career and life circumstances by writing it down. If you notice that you have been feeling bored and antsy more than usual, that may be a sign that you are ready for a change. Write about what you do want for your life. Maybe there is a new chapter right around the corner ready for you to begin…
Don’t be afraid to turn your electronics off. Our brains need downtime.
Be in the moment. When you find yourself traveling or in a situation (like a doctor’s waiting room), resist the urge to pick up your phone or even a magazine. Just be. Breathe.
Spend time outside. Our planet and the trees, grass, plants, and water all have an energy that grounds us and it is so good for us to connect with the natural world!
The next time you find yourself feeling bored, think of it as a mini-vacation from the business of modern life. Embrace it and know it will pass. When it does, you may look forward to increased creativity, exciting plans for your life, and being a rock star at the office.
Debra struggled with anxiety and insomnia for many years. About five years ago, she started a blog, The Warm Milk Journal, as a way to reach out to others who may be having the same struggles. The Warm Milk Journal has become a popular resource for people in need of a good night sleep and recently won Success Magazine's BlogStar award. Debra holds degrees in communications, law, and education. When she is not blogging she is a social media specialist for a large automotive group company in the Jacksonville, Florida area. When not working, you may find Debra walking on the beach or sweating it out at a nearby Bikram studio.
Main Photo Credit: racorn/shutterstock.com; Second Photo Credit: Goodluz/shutterstock.com; Third Photo Credit: Stokkete/shutterstock.com