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Do you often find yourself bored at home? While being bored may mean that you’re probably done with all your important tasks, it can also have profound effects on you and your health.
There’s nothing particularly wrong with boredom. Perhaps you even think that boredom is nothing but a trivial problem, but that can’t be any more untrue.
What are the bad effects of boredom on your health?
Boredom isn’t the least of your problems. According to psychologist John Eastwood from the York University in Toronto, boredom is associated with drug abuse, alcohol abuse, overeating, depression, anxiety, and a higher risk for making mistakes.
While boredom doesn’t immediately seem like a threat to your well-being, all these associated factors are dangerous for your health.
“The problem is we’ve become passive recipients of stimulation,” Eastwood explained to The Guardian. “But boredom is like quicksand: the more we thrash around, the quicker we’ll sink.”
Eastwood explains that boredom is also not a pleasant feeling so it may lead people to cope using counterproductive ways. For instance, boredom may be able to lead people to destructive behavior like gambling, overeating, and substance abuse.
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What are the good effects of boredom?
That said, boredom can also have good effects on your health. In fact, it can be particularly good for anyone who finds themselves feeling unable to live without their phones. You see, while phones and other gadgets help connect us with each other, it can cause an unhealthy constant mindless stimulation.
This means that even though you don’t exactly feel bored while using your phone, you might actually be just trying to kill time with it. This isn’t exactly bad when done occasionally, but too much technology and social media use are reported to have been linked to depression, anxiety, poor academic performance, and poor sleep.
|Mother and daughter in the kitchen baking / Photo by Getty Images|
Aside from that, there’s nothing like good old-fashioned boredom to stimulate your thoughts and mindfulness, resulting in imaginative and creative processes that you definitely need. Think of it this way: you can’t think of creative new ways to do something if you keep filling your mind with unimportant tasks and thoughts.
Another good effect of boredom is that you will have some time to mull things over and try new things. This means that you may find a new hobby or interest, one that would be good for your mind and health in the long run.
Things to do when you’re bored
You don’t have to do something life-changing to ease your boredom. Sometimes all it takes is something interesting enough to hold your attention and stimulate your mind.
How about reading something? It can be books, comics, magazines, or even articles on the internet about things you’re actually interested in. If you’re dreaming about traveling someday, you can read travel blogs that will actually hold your attention and would also teach you something new. Who knows? Maybe it will actually help motivate you to actually go traveling.
You can also try playing video games. There’s nothing wrong with playing video games every now and then. In fact, they can provide enough mental stimulation to keep you bored while also helping you learn new things.
Think there’s nothing a game can teach you? According to a 2013 study by German researchers, gaming caused an increase in gray matter in the areas of the brain that are responsible for spatial navigation, memory formation, strategic planning, and fine motor skills of the hands.
|Woman enjoys reading book at home / Photo by Getty Images|
Playing games help you think critically, as you plan and come up with strategic ways to solve different problems. So the next time you’re bored, try playing some video games.
Try writing your feelings out. Whether you’re actually a good writer or not, writing can help you organize your thoughts and get things off your chest. You don’t have to share it with anyone either. Write on your journal or on a private blog and you’ll definitely be stimulated enough to forget you were ever bored in the first place.
You can also channel your boredom and turn it into something productive instead. Have you been putting off cleaning your room or organizing that junk drawer? Now’s the time to start doing it. Play some good music that you can sing along with and start cleaning things up.
Trying out personal broadcasting on the internet
You can take your boredom-induced productivity to the next level by trying out personal broadcasting on the internet. Are you interested in making music, playing instruments, or singing? You can record yourself and upload it on the internet or stream it for your friends and even strangers to see.
How about streaming yourself cooking and eating? The sky’s the limit when it comes to personal broadcasting. You never know: you might just find something good, like a career or another source of income, out of it.
|Handsome man playing guitar / Photo by Getty Images|
Where to go when you’re bored
Sometimes all you need is some fresh air and a new environment. Try going out of your house and going shopping for groceries. You’re not only giving yourself a couple of hours to do something productive, you’re also keeping yourself mentally stimulated as you think through all the things you need to buy as you make a shopping list and scour the aisles for all the things you need.
How about going to a nearby park and exercising for a few minutes? Whether you’re going to be running, walking, hiking, or cycling, exercising can help you keep yourself stimulated and relieve stress, all while providing your body plenty of physical activity.
You can go anywhere you want to go, but opting for things that will also keep you productive or provide a great stress relief will be even better for you.
|Woman doing some stretching in the park / Photo by Getty Images|
Interesting apps to try when you’re bored
If you don’t really feel like leaving home, you can try downloading apps that can help you ease your boredom. There are plenty of gaming apps that you can download for free, which are good for your mental stimulation.
You can also try mindfulness apps. These apps would help you practice deep breathing and mindfulness exercises to help you mull things over and relax when you’re feeling mindlessly bored.
Aside from that, there are different kinds of productivity apps that you can try. If you like writing but you don’t want to make a blog, you can download writing apps that will function like a digital journal where you can write out your thoughts and ideas. There are also apps that can help you practice singing, drawing, and all kinds of things that will keep you productive.
|Man holding phone searching for apps / Photo by Getty Images|