Boredom is a phenomenon that everyone has encountered in one way or another, especially during a lockdown. And if for some people it passes quickly, then for others it can develop into apathy and even depression. Inc.com has compiled 5 tips to combat boredom based on research from members of the British Psychological Society.
1. Put your phone down
The first thing many people do when bored is reach for their phones. Scrolling through your social media feed seems like an ideal and effortless way to get rid of it, but research shows that using your phone, at least during work hours, doesn’t help.
Despite the fact that study participants looked at the screen more often when they got bored, they felt even more bored after using the phone than at the beginning. Switching from work tasks to social media creates additional cognitive load, psychologists explain.
2. Change your attitude towards boredom
Nobody likes to be bored, but thinking of boredom not as a test, but as an opportunity for introspection, it can make life a lot easier.
In 2016, psychologist Tim Lomas of the University of East London purposefully made himself bored during a flight by taking notes of what he thought and felt for an hour. He concluded that a mild feeling of boredom caused his brain to be more creative. If people begin to view boredom as a meditative experience, it will no longer be perceived negatively, he said.
3. Get creative
Many people do not create because they think they will be bad at it, but research shows that for art to be useful, a person does not need to be talented.
The point is, being creative can reduce stress and, most importantly, help fight boredom. Psychologists advise you to stop worrying about how bad you are and just start practicing.
4. Indulge in nostalgia
If you are constantly reminded of the serene time before the pandemic, do not stop. Research shows that nostalgia is a useful and viable way to deal with boredom.
Boredom is often accompanied by a sense of existential emptiness, so realizing yourself as a person with a purpose and meaning in life can help, psychologists say. One way to do this is to remember significant events from the past, for example, by taking apart old photographs or a box of mementos.
5. Let your mind wander
Mind wandering is the process of immersion in one’s own thoughts, when a person begins to pay attention to information that he creates himself, as opposed to information coming from the senses. Research proves that a wandering mind is a sign of intelligence and can also help fight boredom.
Mind wandering can make routine tasks shorter, help you take your mind off boring surroundings, and improve a person’s mood. In addition, the process is associated with increased creativity and problem-solving skills, psychologists say.