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Boredom is a state or emotion that we tend to avoid by considering it negative. As soon as we feel boredom, we pick up the mobile phone or turn on the computer. Nevertheless, boredom has its benefits. Of course, you must distinguish between moments of boredom and a life without stimuli. So it is not the same to get bored from time to time or at certain times of the day to have a life in which we spend a lot of time lying on the sofa without any motivation. So made this distinction, Let's start with boredom!
- 1 We avoid boredom at all costs
- 2 A flight in all directions
- 3 Boredom and creativity
We avoid boredom at all costs
When we leave work or our study center, what comes to mind is the next activity we can do. In case we have not come up with anything, we begin to get nervous. "What can I do? Where can I go? No, I can't stand up without doing anything". A feeling of fear and anguish invades us. We run away from doing nothing. We avoid spending our time with ourselves. In addition, we are bombarded so many stimuli continuously that we feel bad if we do nothing.
On the other hand, when we are doing nothing, we usually get the feeling of wasting time. We need to produce, we need to know that our time is being fruitful and for this it is important to see or feel the result. But are you sure that getting bored is not a way to create? How can we create when we are lying on the grass watching the clouds? Who is capable of sitting thirty minutes in an armchair in silence without taking out the mobile phone, without turning on the TV and doing nothing but sitting? Do we really run away from ourselves?
A flight in all directions
However, even though it seems that we are doing well, the harmful thing is to fill our moments of boredom whatever. Without realizing it, we are bombing our mind with constant stimulation and, in this way, we do not let it rest. That is, we do not know how to disconnect. Boredom helps us to disconnect from day to day. A disconnection as necessary as healthy. But do we know how to do it? As we asked a few lines above, why does it cost us so much to be doing nothing? Do we run from us?
A great majority of us, although without knowing it, escape from our thoughts. We are afraid to be with our emotions, thoughts and feelings. When we get bored we begin to invade endless sensations that make us feel uncomfortable and to avoid this state of hostility towards ourselves, we get distracted. A distraction that prevents us from listening to our interior, our concerns. The best way to face these moments of boredom when we don't want to be with ourselves is to face them. Learn to listen to us, to love us and to tolerate ourselves. For example, Through meditation, we can learn to observe our mind and analyze it.
Boredom and creativity
Boredom moments have their functions. One of them is to foster our creativity. Through doing nothing, our mind begins to work. If we always keep our attention occupied, it will be very difficult for us to enter a state of creativity. Imagination gains strength, for example, when we sit on the couch to look at the ceiling, why? Because if we work and in free time we take the mobile; when we get home we watch TV and later we are with the computer, we don't leave any space for the mind to be calm and new ideas sprout.
When we keep our minds calm in the moments of boredom different brain areas begin to activate, such as the parietal, temporal and prefrontal cortex. These areas play an important role in the imagination and in the planning of the future. If we don't have those free times, we can't organize a trip or think about how our next project will be.
Magazine Academy of Management Discoveries, published a study in which the importance of boredom was demonstrated. In this investigation they carried out an experiment. First, they put a group of people to do a most boring task: classify beans according to their color, one by one. After completing the task they were asked to invent excuses for being late. On the other hand, a group of creative people were also asked to invent excuses for being late, with the difference that this second group had not carried out the boring task of classifying beans. The results indicated that the group that got bored made better excuses than the creative group.
Running away from boredom is not the same as occupying our day with different activities. It is important to perform different tasks, but it is also important to devote ourselves to doing a little time so that our mind can disconnect, rest and create. Why, Although it seems a bit wasted, it is the opposite, an investment to have a fresh, awake and creative mind.
Mann, Sandi. (2017). The art of knowing how to get bored. Madrid: Platanorma Editorial