Feeling bored is a common experience. Maybe you’re reading this because you’re bored at this very moment.
When do you find yourself bored? I’ve found that for me, boredom is more likely to occur when concentration is negatively affected, usually by fatigue or an environment full of distractions and interruptions. If I can’t focus, then I develop of feeling of ennui and succumb to daydreaming, mindless Internet surfing, or Facebook checking. I think of boredom as the opposite of flow, a state of concentration in which a person is so absorbed in an activity that time seems to fly by.
How do scientists explain boredom? Why do some people seem to experience boredom more often than others? What can be done to prevent boredom?
Here are a couple of articles that help to answer these questions:
Boredom has more to do with you than the situation
This discussion of boredom is based on research by psychologist John Eastwood and colleagues. Eastwood suggest that we “might experience a lot of boredom in modern times because we are experiencing intense entertainment. We’re used to being passively entertained and that constant stimulation puts us at risk for [more] boredom in the future.”
Bored? That might be a good thing, new book suggests
This is an interview with Professor Peter Toohey, author of the book Boredom: A Lively History. Toohey suggests that boredom might be good for spurring creativity.
Do you find that you’re often bored? If you’re interested in seeing just how big of a problem boredom is for you, take a look at the Boredom Proneness Scale.