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Boredom – a definition

Boredom, in itself, is actually a lot less boring than we might think. It’s also worth reading this article because if you or your friends or family suffer easily from boredom you might find some useful tips on beating it. And beat it you should or else it might affect your long term health and happiness.

Boredom is the way you feel when you’re not doing much or when you’re not interested in any of the opportunities around you.

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Why is Boredom a problem?

People are afraid of boredom. It can demotivate them, leave them uninspired and pull them down into depression. Without stimulation a person can feel swamped with nothingness. Feel that life is meaningless; a pointless exercise. Willpower is lost. Boredom diminishes the quality of life and is very bad for morale. It’s thought to be one of the main reasons why all the smart kids flunk at school. Insufficient stimulus causes them to give up. Science investigations suggest that health problems can be lain at the door of boredom as it can weaken the immune defense system, and is also bad for your mental state of health. It may be the first step towards depression. Physically boredom can cause drowsiness, irritability and everything seems to be an effort.

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Who is more likely to get bored?

People without hobbies or interests. People who aren’t able to entertain themselves. (This is a learned skill.) A pessimist is more likely to feel bored than an optimist, as the optimist is less demanding and more likely to find things with which to occupy his/her mind.

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What causes boredom?

  • The need to concentrate on a single subject for a long period of time.
  • Waiting for things (trains, buses, planes, late people, delayed appointments and being stuck in queues).
  • A total lack of interest in the things that surround you.
  • Being in the company of ‘boring’ people. People whose interests aren’t in anyway similar to yours and/or are poor communicators.

By changing the way you do routine things you allow a new person to grow inside of you. – Paulo Coehlo

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6 good cures for boredom


1. Check and see if you are bored.You might not be aware that what you are suffering from is boredom. If you are feeling a little depressed, sleepy, a little grumpy the you are very possibly bored. But instead of immediately rushing out and doing something that will in itself become boring in time sit with your boredom. Understand it. Know it. Learn it and when you resume your activities you will have a greater consciousness of your patterns of behaviour and be more sympathetic to them. Which is a much better place to be.

2. Like attracts like. If you are prone to boredom, don’t surround yourself with people who are, to you, boring. Mix with people who are part of your solution, not your problem.

3. Participate as well as observe. Many many people when they are bored will open a book, watch a game, eat something. The trick is, while it’s fine to read, great to watch your favourite sport, okay to eat, you need to put the shoe on the other foot too. Read – but also write – just as you read, write with passion. Watch – but just as you watch also play with energy and commitment. Consume – but also manufacture; bake that towering three tier cake, create that perfect menu. Get the brain juices flowing.

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4. Be spontaneous – irrational. As a parent I am all too aware of the constant round of activity parents seem to put into place for their children. And the children learn to be rationalized into activity. School finishes at x, then there’s football practice, tea, guitar, and finally maths tuition and then bed – because that’s how it fits, how it works best … and the same all over again tomorrow. There is no room to train the brain to act spontaneously, to educate to learn itself out of boredom. Time is rationlised into neat compartments – and that very rationalization becomes mindlessly boring in itself.

5. Catch up. Make the effort to contact old friends and catch up with them. Be sure to try and find out about THEM and their lives. It’s not about your past 12 weeks, 12 months, 12 years. Get the mind focused on them rather than yourself and you’ll be lifted out of boredom so fast you’ll be dizzy. Conversation – not gossip – but conversation, a sharing of ideas is a sacred connection between all people. Celebrate it.

6. Analysis cause paralysis – stop thinking about it and DO it. The more time you think and plan and analyse it is less time spent doing it. While certain plans need to put in place. You can just push away form your desk and start your trek to the north pole without consequence. But if the consequences aren’t hugely important to you recognise this and do it. Things have a way of working out.

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You drown not by falling into a river, but by staying submerged in it. Paulo Coelho

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Psychology of Boredom

Boredom has been defined by C. D. Fisher in terms of its central psychological processes: “an unpleasant, transient affective state in which the individual feels a pervasive lack of interest in and difficulty concentrating on the current activity.” Or in other words, when you just can’t be bothered. With anything. And given half a chance you’d be happy just to sleep.

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Philosophy of Boredom

Boredom is a what happens when you believe that your surroundings are dull, tedious and don’t offer stimulation. This can be because you have too much time on your hands and a lack of interests and hobbies. Heidegger puts this concept across nicely: “Profound boredom, drifting here and there in the abysses of our existence like a muffling fog, removes all things and men and oneself along with it into a remarkable indifference. This boredom reveals being as a whole.” Arthur Schopenhauer used the existence of boredom in an attempt to prove the vanity of human existence, stating, “…for if life, in the desire for which our essence and existence consists, possessed in itself a positive value and real content, there would be no such thing as boredom: mere existence would fulfill and satisfy us.

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More facts about boredom

The first record of the word boredom is in the novel Bleak House by Charles Dickens, written in 1852. Previous to that the expression to be a bore had been used in the sense of “to be tiresome or dull” since 1768.

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Battling boredom

When boredom has become so entrenched and you need to escape to activity, find fun things to do visit the website find-fun.co.uk with over 1000 activities and growing

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Source by Jen

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