• 5 Ways Boredom is Good for You

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    5 Ways Boredom is Good for You

    Being bored doesn’t always feel like something to be celebrated. Often it makes the anxious more anxious and the depressed more depressed. It can feel like for a brief time you have no purpose, no destination. But, boredom can have many benefits to mental and physical health. The key is in the embrace. 

    April is National Stress Awareness Month and a great time to discuss how boredom can help to release some of the stress we are so frequently carrying around. As a society it seems like we are always on the move, always connected, always distracted, always running in 10 different directions. So when we get those rare and often brief moments of having nothing to do, it can cause us to scramble for what we should be doing with that fleeting time. 

    At CW Psychological Services in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania we work with clients on stress management, anxiety, depression, and improving overall mental wellness. Our goal is to give our clients the tools they need to live the best way possible. That is why we have put together this list of ways to embrace boredom positively. Next time you are feeling bored, we hope that you can lean into it and allow it to open your heart and your mind and ride the wave.

    1.) Use this time to reflect

    It is hard to put a lot of thought into things in our lives when we are always juggling busy schedules. Use boredom as a time to reflect on your life. Think of it as an invitation from your brain to pause. Ask yourself things like “What’s been on your mind lately?” “What is causing me to stress?” “What are some changes I would like to make?” 

    Who knows what you might come up with?

    boredom mental health

    2.) Unplug

    These days, more than ever before, we need unplugging. We are living in a hyper-connected world. The notifications never stop rolling in. Use this break from activities to unplug from devices. Maybe take a walk without your phone. Turn off devices and journal, read, do an art project, or spend the day playing board games with family or friends. You may be surprised at how rejuvenating it can feel to let go of technology for a few hours. 

    3.) Embrace the creative process

    The most imaginative ideas arise when we are staring at a blank wall or out a window, ever wonder why? It’s because boredom allows your mind the freedom to wander—sparking creativity. Channel your boredom into starting a new project or pursuing a passion. Maybe it’s time to finally paint that room, or re-do that piece of furniture. 

    boredom mental health

    4.) Reduce stress with self-care

    Most of us do not take proper care of ourselves. We are the last person on our list to care for. Boredom offers a break from the hustle and bustle of the everyday. It is a great time for your body and mind to slow down. Ask yourself what you can do to relax. Allow yourself that afternoon nap you rarely get to take, start the book that has been resting on the shelf, schedule a massage, or whatever is calling you. 

    5.) Rediscover old hobbies

    When was the last time you rode your bike, painted a picture, went bowling, took a dance class, or explored the great outdoors? When was the last time you tried something new? Boredom can ignite interest in old or new passions. What is something that brings you joy?

    boredom mental health

    Struggling with Boredom

    Boredom is not always easy. When the mind calms down a lot of feelings and thoughts that have been hidden away may rise. If you are struggling, consider seeking the help of a mental health professional to help guide you through those uncomfortable moments. 

    Some journal prompts may be helpful to you. Ask yourself:

    • How do I usually react when I experience boredom?
    • Has boredom ever led to positive outcomes? When and what happened?
    • What activities or passions have I set aside due to my busy schedule? How can I reconnect with them?
    • How can I incorporate more mental health breaks into my weekly schedule? Consider waking up an hour earlier or going to bed an hour later to give yourself some quiet space. 

    Being bored is part of the human experience. It is not meant to be a negative thing. It is an opportunity for self-discovery and can ultimately lead to a more fulfilling life. Next time you feel bored, we hope you can welcome it with open arms. 

    Ready to begin counseling in Pennsylvania?

    Counselors and associate-level clinicians at CW Psychological Services are professionally trained. We have openings for online, or telehealth, therapy appointments. Email us at [email protected] or call (610) 308-7575. We are here for you.