Body

Is being bored actually good for your health?

In the age of modern media, we’re rarely idle. Even when we’re on the bus or lying in bed, we’re always on our phones or tablets, watching TV or being bombarded by sensory information.

Could boredom actually be good for us?
As a result, the concept of being bored is one many of us are no longer familiar with. The age old feeling of being bored is something that is quite simple dying out.
And whilst this may have previously been seen as a good thing, new research has suggested that boredom might actually be good for our health.
Author Sandi Mann explored this topic in detail in The Upside of Downtime, where she looked at the benefits of letting the mind rest and reflect.
According to Sandi, being bored can help us be more creative, better problem solvers and reflect on our actions – even making us better people.
In a piece for the UK’s Express Online, Sandi summarises the gifts boredom gives us, some of which are included here.
Being bored can actually help us problem solve
It helps us solve problems
According to research conducted in 1981, when we’re bored we can slip into a trance like state that allows our subconscious to wander. Our subconscious mind is better at solving problems because it is less constrained than our conscious one – therefore we might make connections there that we previously had not.
We can get creative
Without stimulation readily waiting, boredom allows us to be creative and make connections, imagine and so forth. These imaginations are less likely if your senses are already being stimulated and have no reason to occur.
It allows time for reflection
There’s a reason why when we’re feeling down, we’re advised to keep busy. That’s because the mind is too occupied to dwell on what has just happened – that break up we’ve been through or mistakes we’ve made. But self-reflection is a really important part of the healing process, and those that have more time away from stimulation are more likely to do so.
It makes us less selfish
According to a study in 2011, boredom can actually make you less selfish. That’s because boredom often results in a need for meaningfulness in life – and so we reach out to family and friends, help someone out or even volunteer. When we’re busy and lead a crazily social life, there’s less time for thinking about people who might need us.