Why does Boredom Exist and is Good?

6 mins read

What does it mean to be bored? Many people think it means “having nothing to do”. Or nothing exciting. Most people believe that it means insufficient stimulation, hoping and waiting for something to change it. But boredom is when your brain has the luxury of disconnecting from distractions. So much of what we do is an attempt to remove boredom from our lives through distraction.

Famous The philosopher and mathematician Bertrand Russell argues that boredom is not a bad thing, but the more you try to compensate for it, the more you crave excitement, and eventually you will end up with boredom again. In this case, in order to lead a happy life, we need to make children accept the existence of a certain level of boredom. There is no end to the search for excitement and pleasure. Therefore, it is necessary to think about how to make boredom productive. Productive boredom is a state that brings out a sense of curiosity and encourages the person to investigate, think and act.

Why does Boredom Exist and is Good? 1
We live in a time when creativity is black market. The poverty of creativity is mostly caused by working hours, schools that are molded into certain patterns, and excessive busyness. Thanks to the speed of life and technology, the desire to reach everything immediately and impatience do not allow us to experience the feeling of boredom. We immediately look for something to do in order not to feel this feeling. This is why most of the things that man has invented throughout history have been in some way to relieve boredom.

What Causes Boredom?

Our brain works 24/7 whether we want it to or not. This does not change even while we sleep. It never takes a break or vacation. Every skill you have is thanks to your communicating brain cells. The cells in your brain are constantly working, feeding and producing waste. That’s why sleep is the first and foremost way to rest me. This removes waste from the cells and creates a favorable environment for them to function.

But neuroscientists say there are limits. Sleep is important, of course, but it’s not the only way to cleanse your brain after a full day. If you don’t have time to sleep, do nothing and stare at the ceiling. This may sound like nonsense, given that you have hundreds of things to do. But according to neuroscientists, boredom will actually boost your creativity, task engagement and work productivity.

Boredom creates a void inside us as all distractions disappear. This space between the outside world and your thoughts is the first step in freeing your brain to be creative. In fact, that’s where your thoughts are truly uncontaminated by external influences. As a result, instead of the frustration of “doing nothing”, you have the chance to find a possibly infinite number of new ideas and inspirations there.

So much of what we do is an attempt to eliminate boredom from our lives through distraction. We aimlessly scroll through social media, looking for something to give us a little dopamine rush. We put headphones in our ears and watch videos to pass the time in order to silence the boredom inside us. Boredom occurs when people are unable to find something to do, when they are dissatisfied with their circumstances, when they are apathetic and inattentive. From another point of view, people who are constantly looking for new experiences and excitement get bored in unexciting environments.

Let’s Enjoy Boredom

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For example, we are very familiar with the expression, ‘He’s idle, he’s wandering around’. Generally nobody wants to be called this and perceives it as a criticism. But in fact the opposite is true. During idleness, all the opportunities for creativity are in place. These are a quiet mind and body. When these two come together, unexpected results emerge.

Russell says in his book “In Praise of Idleness” that “without idleness people would not have survived barbarism”. Neuroscientist Andrew Smart, in his book “Autopilot”, has also emphasized how the brain’s creative thinking and high-level problem-solving circuits are active in a state of idleness, a state of doing nothing. Indeed, when people are idle, they have time to think and unleash their creative ideas.

From now on, instead of complaining that we are bored, let’s enjoy it by thinking that boredom can open doors to human life. Perhaps this is how we can discover something that has never been discovered at a time when we least expect it.

Ali Esen

Istanbul University, Department of Mathematics. Interested in science and technology.

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