July 1, 2022

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We've demonized boredom for centuries.  We just found out that it's the best thing that can happen to us

We’ve demonized boredom for centuries. We just found out that it’s the best thing that can happen to us

How boring, isn’t it? And I’m not talking about a particular moment, no; I’m talking about everything in general. Some even call itAn epidemic of boredom“: The phenomenon of excessive contact, which consists of ourselves Jumping from stimulus to stimulus With the idea of ​​killing (and ending) any dead time until we end up as bored as we were. Or more. But what if I told you it’s okay to be bored?


What are we talking about when we talk about boredom? The first is the first. Perhaps the world’s foremost expert on boredom is John Eastwood, a professor at York University in Canada, who has been studying the topic for more than a decade. yours is Classic Definition Boredom: “the repulsive experience of wanting, but not being able, to engage in a satisfying activity.” In plain words: it is something that happens when, although we want to, we are not able to focus our attention on a specific thing and, by the way, we attribute this problem to the environment.

Quicksand. The latter is important. Above all, because the natural tendency (when we are bored) is to look for external stimuli and distractions. We are thirsty for entertainment and we seek to chase it down. But this ends up being a problem: In fact, what the Eastwood team discovered is that this solution is wrong. “Like a quicksand trap, doing so only strengthens the grip of boredom by alienating us even more.” About our desires and passions.

And as far as we know, bored people are not only more outwardly focused like I just said, but also They find it more difficult to recognize their feelings. In this way, the more we focus on finding the things that attract our attention, that distract us, and that entertain us; The more we distance ourselves from our desires. We end up getting lost (and bored) with overstimulating.

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This is a problem because boredom has many negative things Until relatively recently, boredom was a subject of little thought. However, in recent years, we have learned a lot and are beginning to understand why boredom is called such a bad name. This is it, we found out Relationship to depression and angerwith sick gamewith bad drivingwith the Low levels of self-actualization character and even Aggression and impulsiveness). Because yes, boredom is more than an obvious trigger for aggression.

What is the benefit of feeling bored? With all this in mind, it is worth asking the question, What is the point of being bored? in general , It seems that This particularly disturbing character of boredom “makes people want to take part in activities that they find more important than those at hand.” This means that “the unpleasant feeling of boredom” reminds people that “there are more important things.” […]More worthwhile things to do.

The problem is how do we use this boredom. If you’ve followed me here and beat your boredom, you’ll realize that this is some kind of tail-biting white supremacist. Boredom reminds us that we have more important things to do, but the search for these things plunges us further into boredom: this journey did not require divination.

However, this is because the cultural perspective makes the other option invisible. Eastwood’s team, who has worked extensively on clinical issues (that is, working with “bored sick” people) realized that the problem was actually this outside research. His suggestion is to understand boredom chance for “Discover the possibility and content of one’s desires.”

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picture | Priscilla Duprez