How Boredom Affects Your Health

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Scientists have recently been paying a lot of attention to an ironically interesting topic – boredom. It seems extra relevant now that most of the world has spent the better part of a year in some type of pandemic-related lockdown. For many, this has certainly limited normal daily activities and increased the frequency of boredom. But many are wondering: how does boredom affect your health? Is boredom good or bad? Can we make the most of boredom and see a positive side of it?

We’ll take a look at some of the positive and negative effects boredom can have on your health and how you can make sure you’re staying physically and mentally healthy through routine chiropractic care with Charlotte chiropractor Dr. Grant Lisetor.

A recent study at Carnegie Mellon University found that while boredom is more prevalent among men, youth, and unmarried people with lower incomes, 63% of American adults experience boredom at least once every 10 days. But, according to a scale that psychologists use to assess and discuss boredom, there are two main types of boredom, and their effects on your health can be very different.

  • Chronic boredom lasts for an extended period of time, indefinitely.
  • Transient boredom is situational and temporary.

Those who experience chronic boredom are more prone to impulsivity and risky behavior. These risky behaviors include careless driving, compulsive gambling, drug and alcohol abuse, and other destructive behaviors. Those who experience boredom easily are also more susceptible to depression, anxiety, anger, academic failure, loneliness, and isolation.

But, while chronic boredom can lead to negative outcomes and quality of life, it’s not written in stone that because you get bored easily that you will experience negative outcomes. For instance, North Americans report higher degrees of feeling bored than other cultures. Religious people also report feeling bored less frequently. Neuroscientists are beginning to understand that your brain benefits from those times when we’re not making it work too hard, or when we’re simply bored. There’s evidence that boredom can actually foster creative ideas when it has a break from doing.

Mounting evidence is beginning to show us that setting aside time to be mindful and present gives our brains time to catch up and recharge. So whether it is meditation, prayer, gentle yoga, or a quiet, leisurely walk around the block, you can be happier and healthier if you learn to enjoy and relish a little boredom. Italians call this “il dolce far niente,” or “the sweetness of doing nothing.”

Your brain is always working, even when it is sleeping. While you’re resting, your brain is catching up on a long days’ worth of work. So even though you’re asleep, your brain is still putting in work, doing things like processing the day, keeping you breathing, and running core functions of your body. In order to keep your brain and body functioning smoothly, Charlotte chiropractors at Greater Life Chiropractic provide practice members with gentle adjustments to remove spinal misalignments that might be keeping them from living their healthiest, best lives. If you’re interested in how chiropractic care can help your body function optimally and help you make the most of boredom, set up an appointment with Dr. Grant Lisetor today!

Sources

Cantor, C. “Why Being Bored Can Be Hazardous to Your Health.” Columbia News, 2019. https://news.columbia.edu/news/why-being-bored-can-be-hazardous-your-health

Chin, A., Markey, A., Bhargava, S., Kassam, K.S., Loewenstein, G. “Bored in the USA: Experience Sampling and Boredom in Everyday Life.” American Psychological Association, 2016. https://www.cmu.edu/dietrich/sds/docs/bhargava/CMBKL%202017%20Bored%20in%20the%20USA%20Emotion.pdf

Farmer, R., Sundberg, N.D. “Boredom Proneness—The Development and Correlates of a New Scale.” Journal of Personality Assessment, 1986; 50(1): 4-17. https://static1.squarespace.com/static/53a79084e4b01786c921de45/t/53a85547e4b0cd712a48205b/1403540807167/Boredeom+Proneness+-+The+Development+and+Correlates+of+a+New+Scale+%28Farmer+%26+Sundberg%2C+1986%29.pdf

Robinson, B. “Why Neuroscientists Say, “Boredom Is Good for Your Brain’s Health.’” Forbes, 2020. https://www.forbes.com/sites/bryanrobinson/2020/09/02/why-neuroscientists-say-boredom-is-good-for-your-brains-health/?sh=132cf7391842

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