Is Boredom Good For You?



Boredom is an unpleasant feeling that we usually try to avoid at all costs. No one likes to be bored.

For some students, boredom can peak right about now - during their summer vacation. No school means a decline in extracurricular activities and less social time with friends at school.

[Related: 5 Kid Friendly Sites for Bored Children]

In the past, boredom had not received a lot of attention from the scientific community. But recent studies have found that it could be directly connected to your health.

So is being bored good or bad for you? We’ll answer that question in this Just Explain It, and provide some tips on how to beat boredom.

First, what exactly is boredom?

According to Dr. John Eastwood, a clinical psychologist at York University in Ontario, Canada, boredom sets in when our ability to pay attention fails. I know, it sounds pretty obvious. But it may be the result of a combination of factors.

1.    The situation itself may not be stimulating.
2.    A predisposition to boredom.
3.    An underlying mental condition.

Now, we all experience boredom at some point. Most of us have varying thresholds though.

Men and boys are more likely to complain of boredom than women and girls, as are people who fit the profile of “sensation-seekers.” And studies also show that boredom peaks during our teenage years. That’s due in part to a combination of maturity level, and as minors they have less control over daily decisions.

Studies have found that easily bored people could be at greater risk for depression, gambling addictions, eating disorders and unhealthy habits like drinking and smoking.

Researchers at University College London, in London, England, have found that easily bored people are twice as likely to die from heart disease or a stroke than people who are not.

On the flip side, philosophers and writers frequently discuss the connection between boredom and creativity. Author F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote, “Boredom is not an end-product, is comparatively rather an early stage in life and art. You’ve got to go by or past or through boredom, as through a filter, before the clear product emerges.”

It’s been said that inventor Frederick Creed, out of boredom, created the high-speed automatic telegraph in the late 1800s. The communications breakthrough transmitted an astonishing 200 words per minute.

While there may be a silver lining, at its worst, boredom can be harmful to your health. So when boredom has you in its grip, your response could be a life-saver.

Studies show engaging your brain is your best defense.

Here are some tips.

Do something different…like a new hobby.

Set goals…they help you stay focused.

Exercise often…it enhances your thought process.

So tell us – what bores you? And what do you do to get out of boredom’s rut? Let us know what you think. Give us your feedback in the comments below or on Twitter using #JustExplainItNews.

Loading...
  • DAY CARE OPERATOR NEEDS A TIMEOUT FOR HER MOUTH

    DEAR ABBY: My neighbor has a registered day care business, and every day I hear her screaming at young children and infants. They are all 4-year-olds and younger. We live in a rural area outside a small town. She uses profanity and says mean things to them. It makes me want to cry when I think of how scared those kids must be. Who do I contact with this information? I could record her with my phone if evidence was needed to shut down her business. This woman has a really bad anger management problem. She also knows I can hear her because we have spoken about how our voices travel. ...

  • Ukraine rebels say they are poised to recapture Donetsk airport

    By Robin Emmott and Gabriela Baczynska BRUSSELS/DONETSK Ukraine (Reuters) - EU officials proposed sanctions on Tuesday to starve Russian firms of cash as punishment for Moscow's role in Ukraine, where rebels said they were storming Donetsk airport, potentially their biggest prize since turning the war's tide last week. Western countries accuse Moscow of sending armored columns of troops into Ukraine, where the momentum in a five-month war shifted last week decisively in favor of pro-Russian rebels, who are now advancing on a new front towards a major port. Russia denies its troops are involved in fighting on the ground, in the face of what Western countries and Ukraine say is overwhelming evidence. In Washington, Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby estimated there were thousands of Russian forces inside Ukraine.

  • 911 calls show efforts to save firearms instructor
    911 calls show efforts to save firearms instructor

    People at a northern Arizona gun range where a 9-year-old girl accidentally shot an instructor with an Uzi desperately tried to keep him alive as they urged 911 dispatchers to send a medical helicopter.

  • Apple says its systems not to blame for celebrity photo breach
    Apple says its systems not to blame for celebrity photo breach

    By Edwin Chan and Christina Farr SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The week before a crucial launch of its new iPhone, Apple Inc said intimate photos of celebrities including Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence were leaked online through the apparent hacking of individual iCloud accounts. Apple rushed to restore confidence in its systems' security, saying the celebrity photo scandal that also ensnared swimsuit model Kate Upton, actress Kirsten Dunst and possibly dozens more was the result of targeted attacks on accounts storing personal data and not a direct breach of Apple systems. "We have discovered that certain celebrity accounts were compromised by a very targeted attack on user names, passwords and security questions, a practice that has become all too common on the Internet," Apple said in a statement. "None of the cases we have investigated has resulted from any breach in any of Apple's systems including iCloud or Find My iPhone." The celebrity hacking that came to light over the long Labor Day weekend nevertheless ranks among the highest-profile public fiascos for Apple in recent years.

  • Arming Ukraine could lead to nuclear war: Lech Walesa
    Arming Ukraine could lead to nuclear war: Lech Walesa

    Krynica (Poland) (AFP) - European military assistance to Ukraine could lead to a nuclear conflict between Russia and NATO, according to Poland's iconic cold warrior and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Lech Walesa.

  • What we know about Steven Sotloff, the second American purportedly beheaded by ISIL
    What we know about Steven Sotloff, the second American purportedly beheaded by ISIL

    Steven Sotloff, the other American journalist who was seen in a video that showed the beheading of James Foley by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, has been executed, a new video released by the militant group purports to show.

  • Walmart and Target could be biggest winners in dollar store battle
    Walmart and Target could be biggest winners in dollar store battle

    Who will win in the battle over Family Dollar?

  • Final Glance: Medical Devices companies

    Shares of some top medical devices companies were mixed at the close of trading: Allergan rose $2.77 or 1.7 percent, to $166.45. Baxter International Inc. fell $.69 or .9 percent, to $74.29. Boston Scientific ...

Follow Yahoo! News