Boredom is an emotion that befalls us all; often times on a regular basis. Whether its moments of non-activity to a lifetime of mundane, monotony can take on many different forms. The brain is compiled of a special hormone called dopamine.
This controls pleasure and our overall sense of satisfaction. Individuals who are chronically bored reportedly have a decreased level of dopamine. In order for them to reach optimal stimulation, they require more dopamine production than the average person.
Because of this chemical deficiency, some individuals cannot tolerate chronic inactivity. Whereas others may seem to naturally find entertainment in the mundane. Scientists have also reported that when individuals are bored, they experience heightened brain activity.
When the brain is not being physically stimulated by an entertaining source, it prompts individuals to entertain themselves so to speak. This means an increase in autobiographical memory, and daydreaming.
Being Bored is Beneficial
The famed philosopher Kierkegaard once quoted, “The gods were bored; therefore, they created human beings.” While being bored may seem unpleasant, it is actually a great opportunity for innovative thinking. A recent study gathered individuals and asked them to focus on a “dull screensaver.”
Afterward, they were then asked to participate in an associative thought word test. The results of the analysis showed that those participants had a surplus of creative and imaginative answers. This proved the notion that when engaging in mundane activities, the brain is actually coming up with new and fresh ideas.
This is why magical, or genius ideas are developed when people are sleeping or taking a shower. The mind has the chance to really focus without distraction. This opportunity for free thought is a vital step in the creative process.
In addition to sparking creativity, engaging in presumably boring activities can help to expose your mind to new ventures. For example, one may not immediately jump at the opportunity to play golf. However, after facing the fear of potential boredom and getting out on the course, you may find that golf is quite stimulating.
It challenges your mind to focus and remain patient; great qualities that are beneficial to everyday life. Therefore, reading new books, watching documentaries, or even visiting museums may seem boring in nature. However, they pose awesome opportunities for soaking in more knowledge.
When Boredom is Unhealthy
Although certain moments of boredom are to be expected, chronic boredom can create unhealthy habits. For instance, a lack of stimulation can impede growth. Take a sunflower for example. If it’s planted in the ground without the stimulation of water or the sun, it won’t grow to its full potential.
Perhaps it may even remain stagnant. That is how we can potentially become when we don’t seek new adventures or try new things. This spontaneity is essential for maintaining a healthy relationship, especially when it is long-term.
In addition, many attribute excessive boredom to trouble. If a person isn’t stimulated or posed various opportunities, it can create an opportunity for mischief. In order to combat that, you have to surround yourself with positive activities. If you are susceptible to boredom, remain busy with work, goals, or personal projects that can help you to stay focused.
How to Combat Boredom
During those times of painfully mundane situations, it is vital to have a personal boredom survival kit. Fortunately, we live in a technologically advanced society. Our smartphones are full of educational and entertaining apps to keep us stimulated.
In addition, personal sketch or coloring books are great portable options to utilize when bored. When all else fails, you can even brush up on your communication skills and spark up a conversation with a person nearby. You never know what opportunities you can create out of boredom.
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