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...
  • Texas girl kidnapped 12 years ago at age 4 found alive in Mexico
    Texas girl kidnapped 12 years ago at age 4 found alive in Mexico

    An Austin, Texas, girl abducted 12 years ago has been found in Mexico, law enforcement officials say.

  • Notorious Florida speed trap ended as city closes police department

    By Barbara Liston ORLANDO Fla. (Reuters) - A 50-year-old nationally recognized speed trap in north central Florida came to an end as of midnight Wednesday after the city of Waldo voted to disband its police department. The Waldo city council turned over law enforcement duties Wednesday morning to the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office, according to sheriff spokeswoman Becky Butscher. ...

  • ISIS on the trail: New Mexico Senate candidate stands by web video showing James Foley’s killer
    ISIS on the trail: New Mexico Senate candidate stands by web video showing James Foley’s killer

    Republican Allen Weh makes military experience and foreign policy central issues in campaign

  • Saudi overhaul reshapes Islam's holiest city Mecca
    Saudi overhaul reshapes Islam's holiest city Mecca

    MECCA, Saudi Arabia (AP) — As a child, Osama al-Bar would walk from his home past Islam's holiest site, the Kaaba, to the market of spice and fabric merchants where his father owned a store. At that time, Mecca was so small, pilgrims could sit at the cube-shaped Kaaba and look out at the serene desert mountains where the Prophet Muhammad once walked.

  • Differences over Iran, settlements mar Netanyahu-Obama talks
    Differences over Iran, settlements mar Netanyahu-Obama talks

    Washington (AFP) - US anger at new Israeli settlements and Israel's skepticism over American nuclear diplomacy with Iran stirred new discord Wednesday between President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as they met for White House talks.

  • Final Glance: Computer companies

    Shares of some top computer companies were down at the close of trading: Apple Inc s fell $1.57 or 1.6 percent, to $99.18. Hewlett Packard Co. fell $.92 or 2.6 percent, to $34.55. International Business ...

  • Tweet about Ferguson grand jury sparks probe
    Tweet about Ferguson grand jury sparks probe

    ST. LOUIS (AP) — Prosecutors are investigating a Twitter post claiming that grand jurors hearing evidence in the police shooting of an unarmed black 18-year-old near St. Louis haven't seen enough evidence to justify prosecuting the officer.

  • China tells US to back off over Hong Kong
    China tells US to back off over Hong Kong

    Washington (AFP) - The US and China openly clashed over the pro-democracy protests sweeping Hong Kong, with Beijing warning Washington to back off and saying it would not tolerate "illegal acts."

Follow Yahoo! News