What is boredom?

Boredom is described as the state of feeling where an individual is disinterested in their surroundings, has nothing to do, or feels that life is dull. It is a specific mental state that people find unpleasant. The lack of stimulation causes the individual to seek relief which may have social health or behavioral consequences.

Boredom affects individuals of all ages and gender. Individuals with mental health disorders, however, are more likely to experience boredom, especially if they go untreated. These conditions include depression, ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), and dementia. Other factors that increase the likelihood of experiencing boredom include; having a sedentary lifestyle,  being young, being female,  ill-health, and unemployment/underemployment. Boredom is also linked to certain lifestyle choices such as substance use and unhealthy eating habits.

Long-term boredom has been proven through research to increase the risk of early death. This is because boredom may increase the level of stress hormones that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Boredom places pressure on the heart and circulatory system. It may also lead to decreased immunity making one more susceptible to illnesses.

How to deal with boredom.

Although it is impossible to get rid of boredom entirely there are some things one can do to reduce the occurrence and intensity of boredom. Having a daily routine that includes time allocated for work, exercise, chores, recreational activities, spending time with friends and family, rest and sleep.

When you feel bored try doing the following activities depending on your preferences and interests; read a book, journal, workout, dance, cook, talk to a friend or loved one, volunteer, eat something, meditate and practice good sleep habits.

If boredom is leading to feelings of depression, anxiety, substance use, or feelings of self-harm it may be helpful to seek professional help from a therapist.


By Monica Musyoka.


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