Boredom and Mental health: How to overcome boredom?


Boredom and Mental health: How to overcome boredom?

Boredom and Mental health: How to overcome Boredom?

“Boredom is the root of all evil-the despairing refusal to be oneself” quoted Soren Kierkegaard, Danish Philosopher. Boredom is something we all experience at some or the other points in our lives. But, if it persists, boredom can be fatal. It is one of the major reasons why umpteen people suffered from mental disorders during the pandemic.

In this article, ‘Boredom and Mental health: How to overcome boredom?’ we shall examine why boredom occurs, how it impacts the brain, and how to overcome it. Let's dive in.

Why is boredom bad?

In a study conducted on 138 subjects, it was found that boredom proneness is positively linked to causing depression, anxiety, and substance use. It was also demonstrated that boredom can cause violent, impulsive, criminal behavior. Research suggests that boredom proneness is a common trait in perpetrators who committed various sorts of criminal activities including compulsive gambling and sexual harassment. Therefore, it would be prudent to say that boredom is a social evil, a malady rooted in the minds of people.

Why do we get bored?

According to the attentional theory of boredom proneness, boredom results from a lack of mindfulnessBoredom often occurs when we feel we do not have any control over our daily activities. It happens when you don't have anything to look forward to in your life. Boredom is the lack of interesting activity with which an individual can occupy their time with. People can get bored when they are unhappy, lack purpose, clarity, and meaning. It can also be termed as a byproduct of directionlessness. Sometimes, it can also be caused when you do something you don’t wish to do. In simple terms, unhappiness can exacerbate boredom. Some people get bored because they are alone. However, that’s not the thing with many introverts:)

There’s yet another reason why people get bored. We, humans, are creatures of habit. Being engrossed in our daily schedules and being busy gives us a sense of self-worth, purpose, and joy. But sticking to the same tiring routine day in and day out, we crave change. “If ignored, a person tends to go to their 'default' setting, which usually means surfing through social media or tv and/or overeating; thus heading in a downward spiral, doing less and less in their life.” Said Janie Jurkovich, Author.

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How to overcome boredom?

The good news is that we have the power to turn this around! We do this by setting a new 'default setting' for what to do when we don’t have anything specific to do. To really turn your boredom into an asset, spend some time thinking about what you want to do so you never fall into 'default' again.


Write a list of activities you could do. It doesn’t have to be a huge goal like solving world hunger. It could be reading books, gardening, running, doing crossword puzzles, or volunteering. It should be something with some sort of value to your body, brain, or another human being. The next time you catch yourself falling into your old 'default' setting, pick an item on your list and start doing that activity. By focusing on what you want to do, you can avoid falling back into the boredom slump. “Remind yourself why you are doing what you are doing. Even meaningful tasks, routines, or jobs can get boring if you lose sight of why you are doing them in the first place" stated Jen McConaghie Founder,


According to Anna Grunduls, adult coloring is highly recommended for anyone who's bored. It's a perfect activity because you can pick your coloring projects based on your energy levels and really boost your creativity in the process. It doesn't require any extensive prep either - just pick up the pencils whenever you feel like it and set them aside when you're ready.


Doing puzzles also is quite good when it comes to being productive. For, it flexes your brain and makes you think out of the box. Moreover, puzzles are fun. Sudoku, for one, can take you into another world of interesting numbers.


If your daily routine enervates you, try to alter it or add something else to it according to your convenience. A simple change can create a huge difference. While staying in your zone is comforting, it can turn monotonous over time. Evolve every day. Push yourself out of your comfort zone and exceed beyond your limits.

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According to Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Nancy Irwin, Boredom will not persist when you redefine it as peace of mind, absence of chaos, acceptance of living in the now. It is healthier to accept it; face it; resolve it yourself vs. expecting something out there to sustain you.

Boredom can take you down spiraling you into overthinking, anxiety, depression, and other mental disorders. It is primal to make peace with yourself. As rightly stated by Wayne Dyer, "you can't be lonely if you like the person you are alone with".

Boredom can be good too

Boredom itself is neither good nor bad. It's what we choose to do with it that matters. Surprisingly, boredom can lead to ingenuity and creativity, so be willing to consider new options the next time you're feeling bored. The age-old Eastern text, The Tao Te Ching — “The Book of The Way” — teaches us that stillness is the birthplace of everything, that in stillness true knowingness and peace is possible, that from stillness aligned action can arise and in silence, we can hear the truth. “What is boredom if not stillness and silence? And the lack of available desires or the inability to have your desires met? But if you allow this boredom, rather than pushing against it — like the boredom brought on by the constraints of a pandemic — and if you embrace it, even for a moment, you actually transform it, you find the anchor of the universe within. This boredom will pass because everything in life passes but if you’re able to change the way you perceive it and experience it, you get to reap its gifts. When you change your perception, you change your life. Boredom, i.e., stillness and silence, becomes a gift — an opportunity to reconnect to yourself and to the Universe” stated Jessie Kanzer, Tao Scholar.

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According to Anne Armstrong, Founder of My Gnome on the Roam,  Unstructured time gives kids the chance to explore their inner and outer worlds, which is where creative thinking begins. This is how they learn to engage with themselves and the world, to imagine and invent and create. If a child is never bored, he might miss the chance to hear the whisper of his own hearts, which might lead them to build a fort in the back yard, make a monster from clay, write a short story or song, organize the neighborhood kids into making a movie, or simply study the bugs on the sidewalk (as Einstein did for hours). These magic moments are what make childhood so powerful — but only when children are allowed to experience boredom.

Everything is incumbent on one's perception of things. When equilibrium in life is lost, everything is lost.

I hope my article, ‘Boredom and Mental health: How to overcome boredom?’ is of assistance. Subscribe to my newsletter to get all updates delivered straight into your inbox.

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