According to scientists, the little phases of lull we experience in our life can make us more creative and restore our productivity. (Source: Getty/Thinkstock)
Boredom is underrated, says science. We have always been conditioned to believe that life is only lived when there is enough excitement. That there must always be something to keep us on our toes at all times. Not too much of it, because that would leave us stressed out and overwhelmed. Which is why when we experience spells of boredom, we are not sure what to do. But science says that in order to have an interesting life, we must learn to embrace boredom. And the better we get at it, the more interesting we become.
According to scientists, the little phases of lull we experience in our life can make us more creative and restore our productivity. So, it is not important to be on our toes all the time. In fact, being appreciative of boredom can make us less boring people ourselves. After all, Albert Camus has rightly said: “The truth is that everyone is bored, and devotes himself to cultivating habits.”
What research says
People have started to talk about boredom because we live in times when amusement is just a click away. Technology plays such an important role in our lives that we are never really, actually bored. We are always tuned into something or the other. So, our minds do not get to wander aimlessly and, therefore, we do not get to develop and sharpen our creativity.
According to studies conducted by the Australian National University, it was found that subjects that were bored — and were forced to sort a bowl of beans by colour, before being asked to solve a problem — came up with some really creative ideas.
The forms of boredom
There are broadly two kinds of boredom — voluntary and imposed. The former entails you sitting idly at home or in a park, looking at the birds and daydreaming. The latter entails you being stuck in a traffic jam for hours on end. It is not in your control, and it is unlikely that something positive will come out of this experience.
Experts say that in order to master ennui, you must push yourself to explore the feeling as honestly as possible. While the tendency is to generally avoid it, you must find a way to engage. So the next time you are at a restaurant and waiting for a friend to turn up, instead of scrolling through your social media feed to pass time, do something else instead — or nothing at all — so as to enjoy the monotony.