It’s Good To Be Bored

 

“Many people suffer from the fear of finding oneself alone, and so they don’t find themselves at all.”-Rollo May

I read an article in Quartz “I kicked my smartphone addiction by retraining my brain to be bored,“by Jordan Rosenfeld. In it he lists several reasons he and psychologists have found why boredom is good for our brains and creativity:

  • unscheduled downtime feeds the creative process
  • we come up with creative ideas when our minds are allowed to wander
  • it inspires lateral thinking or coming up with creative solutions
  • it can help us get in touch with our emotions when we are not distracting ourselves

Rosenfeld goes on to say “I’ve certainly noticed that when I stay away from my phone and the Internet during the day, I don’t feel as tired in the evening. That over-stimulated feeling of mental clutter goes away—and I’m itching to enter the worlds of my fictional characters again.” Mental clutter, that is a good term for it. Our brains can get so clogged up with it that we don’t have space for our creative ideas.

Engaging creatively requires hitting the reset button, which means carving space in your day for lying around, meditating, or staring off into nothing.”-Derek Beres

The above quote is from another post “Being Busy is Killing Our Ability to Think Creatively.” We are so distracted checking our smartphones, Facebook pages, Twitter, and Blogs that our brains are fizzled away to mush. Maybe it is a great plan for mind control that we be distracted with all this constant trivia. In Beres post, he quotes another author, Cal Newport, who says we are “in danger of rewiring [our] neural patterns for distraction.” That is a scary idea and I am not sure if it is based on brain science, but I am determined to rescue my brain from all the trivial and distracting input. How about you?


One Liner Wednesday is hosted by Linda G Hill. Featured image ‘Meadow’ by atlantis0815 on Pixabay.com

15 thoughts on “It’s Good To Be Bored

  1. Dan

    I feel like it’s true and and yet impossible to escape. This is the paradox of our modern society. We use these things not just for distraction, but for our daily engagement and are required to keep up with bills and progress in vital aspects of our lives.

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    1. Deborah Drucker Post author

      It is very hard to cut back on all the media we are inundated with. I know with myself I need time to process stuff and if I am constantly looking at “stimulus” my brain can not devote itself to thinking creatively. What many of the authors on this topic say is that we need to consciously carve out time. I think I am using a lot of the information as a distraction because I am wanting something interesting to read and I am avoiding doing something else…like working on the story I am writing. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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  2. Erika Beebe

    In my younger years I had a natural dislike for phones. I felt like when the ringer struck, it would pull me out of something more immediate and consuming. I have since changed my tune a bit and don’t mind technology as long as it is used in a positive way 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. Deborah Drucker Post author

      There are good things about technology of course, as long as it does not take us away from living our lives on a deeper level. I do not like loud rings because it is jarring and I find the phone can be intrusive. We used to have pagers or beepers and those had the same effect. I like to be able to respond when it is a good time for me. But nowadays I would probably check the phone sooner because it could be my adult kids texting me and that is how they usually prefer to communicate. 🙂

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    1. Deborah Drucker Post author

      I could relate to those scenes in movies when the phone or pager is flushed down the toilet. I think we have to put them away from time to time to give us time to think about what ever we feel like thinking about.

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  3. Maggie Wilson

    I’ve heard similar cautions regarding the benefits of boredom as related to children’s emotional health – kids are over-scheduled with sports, music, play-dates, besides school and the draw of electronics. Kids are more than ever dealing with anxiety and other emotional health issues. The solution? Down time. It’s good to be bored.

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. Deborah Drucker Post author

      It is not good to be so busy and the electronics are very attractive to kids. All of our attention spans, including kids, have shrunken down because of the way information is presented in shorter bits. It is good to be bored to develop our imaginations, self reliance, and have time to relax. 🙂

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  4. Dan Antion

    I think – no evidence to back this up – that our brains are more comfy in the environment they understand best. I spend a lot of time alone, as a child. I had adults around, but I playtime was me and my imagination. I still need a lot of that kind of time.

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. Deborah Drucker Post author

      It is scary to think that all this stimulation can effect how our brains work and not in a good way. I have been thinking this is true intuitively and would be interested in the brain science about it. There are many of us who need periods of solitude. I need the time by myself for my well-being, mental health. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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  5. S

    I like dandelions and I like Rollo May. I appreciate the reminder to try and use less technology. It is good just to be outside feel the sun go for a swim and a walk. Thanks again for the reminder.

    Liked by 1 person

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  6. JoAnna

    I haven’t felt “bored” in years. But I do love my alone time, especially when I leave my phone in the other room or don’t take it outside with me. I think I’d like to do that more often.

    Liked by 1 person

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