Embracing Boredom

Are you okay with boredom? 

In the era of smart phones and social media, we have constant engagement, as if we are in a constant battle with boredom.  We can easily swipe and scroll our boredom away.  When was the last time you felt comfortable doing absolutely nothing?

Dr. Sandi Mann is a senior lecturer in psychology at the University of Central Lancashire. She wants you to do something radical: give boredom a chance.  

Like most emotions, boredom has its purpose - if we never become bored, we would be constantly preoccupied with every minor detail. Mann's research has shown there's a direct relationship between boredom and creativity (Mann & Cadman, 2014). "Boredom gets the creative juices flowing. And when we try to get rid of all our boredom, we're perhaps eliminating our creativity as well" (Mann, 2014).

When we allow ourselves space to be bored, our minds begin to daydream and that's when the creativity and eureka moments occur. This could help with that creative juice you have been looking for as you plan your next marketing campaign, sales pitch, or event! Taking a few minutes to day dream at work, on your commute or at home can make a positive difference! 

So how do you make time to be bored? Dr. Mann says there's no shortage of occasions when you can carve out that space: during your commute, in the bath, when you're going for a walk, a swim or hanging out at the park. They're all great opportunities to stare into space "and let the daydreaming commence."

The point is not to eliminate boredom or to be bored all the time but rather aim for a healthy dose. We have all heard the story of how Sir Isaac Newton discovered gravity - reportedly he was sitting under an apple tree day dreaming when an apple fell on him. What idea will you come up with when you embrace boredom? 

 

References

Mann, S., & Cadman, R. (2014). Does Being Bored Make Us More Creative?. Creativity Research Journal, 26(2), 165-173. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10400419.2014.901073

Hyes, M. (Presenter) & Mann, S(Guest). (2015, November 22). Why you should embrace boredom [Radio broadcast]. Tapestry. CBC Radio National. http://www.cbc.ca/radio/tapestry/the-upside-of-down-emotions-1.3324570/why-you-should-embrace-boredom-1.3326665