That’s the message from Dr. John Eastwood, a psychologist who says it’s normal to have moments of boredom. But he says many problems kick in when we constantly feel bored, and unable to find satisfaction in any activity. It turns out, the urge to relieve our boredom can lead some people to destructive behaviors.
For example, lots of new studies link boredom to increased drug and alcohol use, overeating, or higher levels of stress and depression. The thinking is that when we’re bored, we may feel like the world isn’t moving fast enough for us - so, we’ll seek out bigger and better thrills. And for some people, that may include turning to dangerous activities - like using drugs.
Dr. Eastwood says one reason why boredom seems to be on the rise today is because we've become so accustomed to being constantly stimulated – by texts, the Internet, and entertainment. In other words, instead of relieving our boredom with activities that we feel passionate about, we’re more likely to grab the TV remote, or start playing with our smartphone. As Dr. Eastwood puts it: “Boredom is like quicksand: The more we thrash around, the quicker we'll sink.”
So, what’s the key to fixing our boredom? Our expert says, avoid the constant bombardment of stimulation, and find activities that you can devote your full attention to. Because psychologists tell us that being fully engrossed in something you enjoy, that brings meaning to your life, is the ultimate in happiness.