Is Boredom Good For You?

I think it is safe to assume that most of us don't strive to be bored. Boredom: that feeling of restlessness mixed with laziness. It can be a very uncomfortable and frustrating feeling, so naturally we all try hard to avoid it! In this day and age, with our seemingly never ending streams of distractions, it has never been so easy to avoid being bored. That is great, right!? Maybe not so much.

What happens when you don't let yourself get bored?

Exhaustion: We are constantly watching, listening, or doing something. It seems there is never a time in the day for simply sitting back and reflecting. This can be extremely hard on our mental state and results in exhaustion.

No Reflection: I mention above that we don't let ourselves reflect on anything because we are constantly being "entertained". A reason boredom can be so uncomfortable is that there is no distraction from our thoughts and feelings. The occasional reflection, though, is important for growth. If we never stop and analyze our feelings and emotions, we can't learn and grow from them.

Lack of Creativity: Who comes up with a great idea while watching a TV show or running around chasing after a busy schedule? Yeah, not many. Creativity reveals itself the best during those quiet moments when we let our minds wander. Essentially, it is when we are "bored" that we come up with our best ideas.

Missed opportunities: If it hadn't been for slow, lazy summers stuck on family trips together, I probably would not be as close to my brother as I am. Even now, we bond the best when we have no one else to hang out with and no distractions. Lose access to internet on a family trip and see how fast you and your siblings are enjoying each other's company.

Of course, being bored 24/7 is not desirable nor productive. However, boredom shouldn't be avoided like the plague either. It is a great opportunity to reflect, day dream, or reach out to loved ones that we can sometimes take for granted. In our busy lives that are constantly demanding our attention, boredom can be a much needed vacation. Next time you feel that uncomfortable feeling of boredom creeping in, embrace it! Let it take you somewhere that will allow for growth, creativity, and awareness.

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