The Virtues of Boredom
When’s the last time you were bored? With our smartphones always at the ready to distract us, it may have been a while since most of us had experience with the feeling. Thorin Klosowski of LifeHacker why boredom and other apparently undesirable mental states are actually useful:
“Turning down the volume on life is extremely beneficial. We fight against boredom, distraction, and procrastination all the time, but that doesn’t mean you should get rid of them completely. It probably sounds a little counterintuitive to suggest to anyone that they start slacking off, but in reality it’s about as important to your brain’s health as sleeping is. Being bored, procrastinating, and embracing distraction all help your brain function. In turn, you understand decisions better. You learn easier. You even foster creativity and productivity better . . .
If millions of children’s books are any indication, then boredom is well known to lead to mischief of all types. However, in some ways, boredom is the necessary filter we all need when we have too much information in front of us. The New York Times explains it like so:
‘Some experts say that people tune things out for good reasons, and that over time boredom becomes a tool for sorting information—an increasingly sensitive spam filter. In various fields including neuroscience and education, research suggests that falling into a numbed trance allows the brain to recast the outside world in ways that can be productive and creative at least as often as they are disruptive.’” Read more here.