Why Being Bored Is A Good Thing!

Did you know boredom is actually good for your brain? I recently came across a study that explained nearly half of us turn to technology the second we feel bored. It's true, if you really think about it. Ever notice how we hop on our smartphone in line at the grocery store or even sitting in traffic? We've all done it - and for many of us, it's become second nature.

Dr. Christopher Lynn, who's an anthropology professor at the University of Alabama, says playing with your smartphone – or another electronic gadget – has become what he calls the latest “pivot.” That’s a mindless activity that quickly transfers you from being bored to satisfied. He says other “pivots” are things like smoking a cigarette or doodling on a piece of paper. And experts warn that electronic pivots, like Tweeting and Instagramming, spell trouble for your brain. Because stubbing out every instance of boredom with your smartphone becomes a crutch. We begin to rely on the constant mental stimulation – and when we don’t have it, we become anxious. We start thinking, “Oh no, I should be doing something!” But research proves there are benefits of boredom:

  • University of Michigan researchers found that constantly looking at texts, emails, and YouTube videos leaves your brain stressed and exhausted.
  • An NYU study found that if you don’t take a time out from electronic stimulation, you’re actually hurting your brain’s ability to process memories and experiences.
  • And finally, scientists say that being bored sparks creativity! In fact, one study found that daydreaming is a top way to turn on the creative side of your brain.

I'm all about keeping my creativity in tact and I'm sure you are, too. So, the next time you’re bored or have a little downtime, don’t turn to your phone for a quick pick-me-up! Instead, do your brain a favor and give yourself permission to zone out.

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