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Boredom is relaxation for the brain – healing practice



Boredom promotes creativity, problem solving and relaxation

“I am bored!” Many parents know this phrase all too well from their children. Not only children, but also adults “suffer” from it boredom. Boredom has many psychological benefits: Among other things, it is said to promote creativity and problem solving and to rest the brain.

Ashok Seshadri is psychiatrist at the prestigious Mayo Clinic in Minnesota (USA). In a current article from the institution, the specialist explains about boredom and explains, among other things, why people are bored and what effects boredom has on the brain.

Boredom is not a waste of time

In our meritocracy, boredom is often seen as something negative. Parents, for example, don’t like that bored children aren’t better occupied, and adults often find boredom an uncomfortable state because time is perceived as a waste.

Boredom is also not uncommon among adults, according to American surveys. More than 60 percent of respondents say they are bored at least once a week.

The media favor the escape from boredom

A feeling of boredom rarely arises during demanding and intensive activities such as work and school, but also during good conversations or hobbies. When brain-straining activities are over, we often seek out less demanding entertainment options like television.

However, electronic entertainment options have become so important in recent decades that they are sometimes used for several hours a day to stave off boredom.

According to psychiatrist Seshadri, this creates an inappropriate attraction to this type of occupation. Because the more efficient and easily accessible the possibilities of banishing boredom, the less people are able to cope with it.

What happens in the brain when we are bored?

During demanding and intensive activities, our brains run at full speed and focus on the task at hand. It consumes a lot of energy. The brain then returns to “normal mode”. It’s called “Network in default mode‘, which means hibernation network.

In this mode, which we often perceive as boredom, are many different brain regions are interconnected. Our thoughts often wander and we tend to daydream.

Boredom is essential for the brain, because many important processes occur in the “default mode network”. It will be the memories are gonethe reflected behavior and Remember what you learned.

In mind games we live imaginary scenarios often close to reality, according to the motto “I should have done or said that at the time”. According to psychiatrist Seshadri, humans generally spend a lot of time think about yourself and others such as remember Where dream of the future.

Encourage creativity through boredom

These “dreams” can creative solutions to problems reveal or to Manage stressful situations to contribute. As Seshadri reports, many people find the best solutions in the shower, for example. According to the psychiatrist, it is because the mind is free while the body is occupied with a simple task.

Also, people in the shower are not stigmatized by boredom, because most people don’t think that time should necessarily be used for other purposes. The same goes for a nature walk.

Psychiatrist advice: Embrace boredom

Seshadri advises against systematically fighting boredom with digital media. Instead, it should be accepted as a creative part of life. Instead of YouTube or TikTok, boredom should be relieved more often with walks or other hobbies like reading and cooking.

According to the psychiatrist, children should also be motivated to recognize the feeling of boredom. They should be encouraged to find creative solutions to annoying situations. To chase away boredom, parents should not offer solutions involving electronic devices.

“Don’t be afraid of boredom”, summarizes Seshadri. It’s a normal part of life and should be seen as a chance for the brain to rest. (vb)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the specialized medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been verified by health professionals.


Graduate editor (FH) Volker Blasek

Important Note:
This article contains general advice only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. It cannot substitute a visit to the doctor.

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