Boredom Is A Blessing| MENAFN.COM

Monday, 20 March 2023 12:12 GMT

Boredom Is A Blessing

(MENAFN- Kashmir Observer)

Psychological benefits of boredom

By Wasim Kakroo

IN this fast paced world, speed has become everything. If you are not doing things very fast, that seems boring to people around you. If some electronic gadget does not work quickly, that is boring. If your printer prints slowly, that is boring. If your internet connection is slow, that is boring. Capitalism has turned boredom into a sin and hence it has been very successful in selling things to us that were not that much important, had it not been important to kill boredom. As an example, think of internet speed. Initially in early 2000s, the internet connection used to be very slow, and scientists went into search for finding ways to increase the speed of internet and they gave us 2G, 3G, 4G and now 5G speed. A time will come when we won't be comfortable anymore even with 5G speed, because it is fed into our minds that speed is good and boredom is not only bad but sinful.

What is boredom?

Fundamentally, boredom is, as Tolstoy defined it,“a desire for desires.”

Online Merriam-Webster defines boredom as“the state of being weary and restless through lack of interest.”

Boredom is an emotion. It is feeling weary because one is unoccupied or lacks interest in one's current activity.

When a person gets bored, it's usually because their present circumstance or activity isn't engaging them or giving much significance to their time and it is becoming emotionally and psychologically distressful for them to be in that activity. This urges them to perhaps change their focus to something more rewarding at least at the emotional and psychological level.

It's important to distinguish between the state and the trait boredom: State boredom relates to feeling bored in a particular circumstance, whereas trait boredom describes one's susceptibility to boredom. Self-control, anxiety, depression, and substance abuse are all associated with traits boredom.

How is boredom beneficial to mental health?

Humans have discovered ways to get rid of boredom through play and entertainment. To prevent boredom, adults read, engage in hobbies, or tell stories. Before the invention of TV and mobile devices, kids used to overcome boredom by playing outside or with a friend or sibling.

Nowadays, people spend a lot of time on various electronic devices. However, this easily available media might have gone too far in grabbing people's attention. Many people spend countless hours on devices in order to get a temporary relief from boredom.

It is simple to lose track of time and hence kill boredom while browsing TikTok, watching YouTube videos, or any reel videos. Without the person realizing it, an hour or two can pass quickly. People don't always feel rejuvenated after spending that much time doing mindless browsing. Most people, rather, report feeling more worn out.

Spending so much time on gadgets might help us to kill boredom, but it also results in a different issue. The capacity of the brain to deal with boredom decreases as the number of people who experience it rises. The more people use such tactics to kill boredom, the more problematic it becomes for them to handle boredom when such devices are not available around.

Boredom helps in restoring the brain:

Brain uses a lot of energy when it is concentrated on some intense activity. It goes back to its default setting when you end the activity. This is how the brains restores itself. One could consider the default state to be a resting state (and people may call it a state of boredom). At this period, a number of related brain areas are active. These areas appear to function as a networked unit. The default mode network is what is used in this situation.

Numerous crucial processes are taking place in the brain when humans are in this restorative state. It helps you organize your memory and think back on your experiences. The mind creates hypothetical situations and applies what it has learnt to potential future applications. People often reflect about both themselves and other people in their free time.

Boredom can help be creative:

It's possible to be creative when you're taking rest and not doing particularly anything highly stimulating, which might help you come up with inventive answers to issues that are upsetting you. For instance, many claim to come up with brilliant solutions to issues they are considering while in the shower. This is due to the fact that while their body is occupied with and captive to a meaningless work (as per societal standards), their mind is free to wander.

The individual is unable to leave the shower or use a phone to entertain themselves. In such a situation, the ability to think through problems almost readily and frequently generates solutions to issues that have been on the back of one's mind.

Another example is going for a walk in the woods. It's a secure and tranquil setting in that moment. Within the first five minutes, the individual progressively becomes accustomed to the surroundings, which lowers anxiety. During the remaining portion of the stroll, the mind begins to drift. In such as state, the brain is engaged in original thought and the discovery of intriguing solutions at this time.

Boredom can help to improve patience and reduce impulsivity:

Since this fast paced world has made us fear boredom and inactivity and we are provided all the means of killing boredom, it has led to the reduction in patience and hence increases in impulsivity. Learning how to handle boredom can hence lead to better patience levels and natural reduction of impulsivity.

How to help kids to accept and handle boredom?

It is not the duty of parents to keep their kids amused all the time. Children are naturally imaginative and curious. They develop their creative faculties and acquire coping mechanisms as they age by being bored.

If they object that they are bored, acknowledge their feelings and ask them to suggest a solution. If they have trouble, suggest alternatives that don't involve electronic devices and technology.

For those who are scared, anxious, or depressed, boredom might be more uncomfortable or distressing. If so, they should get expert assistance from a professional clinical psychologist so that they can process their emotions and learn effective coping mechanisms.

Don't worry about getting bored. It is a typical aspect of life. Don't discount it or detest it. Instead, try to think of it as a chance to refresh your mind and come up with solutions to issues.

The author is a licensed clinical psychologist (alumni of Govt. Medical College Srinagar) and works as a consultant clinical psychologist at Centre for Mental Health Services (CMHS) at Rambagh Srinagar. He can be reached at 8825067196

PULL QUOTE: It's important to distinguish between the state and the trait boredom: State boredom relates to feeling bored in a particular circumstance, whereas trait boredom describes one's susceptibility to boredom. Self-control, anxiety, depression, and substance abuse are all associated with traits of boredom

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