You need more boredom in your life, otherwise your brain suffers! New research shows that nearly half of us turn to technology the second we feel bored. Ever notice how we hop on our smartphone in line at the grocery store, or even sitting in traffic?
Dr. Christopher Lynn is an anthropology professor at the University of Alabama. And he says that 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” include smoking a cigarette or doodling. But researchers 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 there’s a benefit to boredom. Consider the latest research:
University of Michigan researchers found that constantly looking at texts, emails, and YouTube videos leaves your brain stressed and exhausted.
Another reason why you should give your brain a break to be bored? An NYU study found that if you don’t take a time out from electronic stimulation – you’re 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.
So, next time you’re bored or have a little downtime, don’t turn to your phone for a quick pick-me-up! Instead, researchers say do your brain a favor and zone out.