Boredom Can Turn Into Creative Moments

3 min read

During times when we are expected to be joyful, such as holidays and vacations, people can experience boredom and even the blues. For some, the lack of daily structure can be unnerving and may trigger boredom; that is, “the negative state that occurs when people want to engage their attention in an activity but seem stuck and unable to do so.” Drody et al. (2022). However, a simple creative activity or even daydreaming can be beneficial.

Four thoughts on ways to overcome boredom

If you are bored, ignore the advice of those who say, “Snap out of it.” Instead, take small steps so that you might find a creative outlet that might keep you from falling into depression. For stimulation to beat boredom, there are simple ways to take that first step into feeling brighter. These include: Making a wish list. Reading a fiction book. Watching a children’s movie. Embracing the benefits of daydreaming. Here’s how these might be helpful:

  1. Making a wish list can give you purpose. Fill it with wishes for right now, for yourself and people you love. You will find yourself feeling the excitement of possibility.
  2. Reading a fiction book. Researchers have found that fiction improves vocabulary, language skills, and emotional intelligence. Additionally, it stimulates empathy and mood.
  3. Watching a children’s movie. Children’s books enliven the imagination providing us with moments to revel in fantasy. When was the last time you saw the animated fantasy, The Polar Express, and cheered for the young boy on the magical train heading to the North Pole?
  4. Daydreaming to stimulate your creativity. Those with a tendency toward boredom might benefit from simply letting their minds wander.

Appreciate the value of daydreaming

Researchers have found that daydreaming helps with problem-solving and it helps with mind wandering. Being stuck on a particular problem can sometimes lead to boredom or even a desire to distance oneself from facing a problem. According to Zedelius and Schooler:

“A number of studies suggest that stepping away from a problem and letting the mind wander freely facilitates unconscious memory processes that support the generation of new ideas and creative insights.”

Even in the absence of a problem to solve, daydreaming gives us an opportunity to simply let our minds wander.

A bit of solitude can be helpful with daydreaming

Where might you find the best place for daydreaming? Sometimes you might simply sit by your window and observe the world outside. Or you might find yourself dozing off because you are simply bored with what it is you are doing.

To take a more active approach consider taking a walk in your own neighborhood or visiting a nature preserve, even sitting quietly in a museum. Cherish solitude.

Embracing solitude may seem boring, but keep in mind that Henry Thoreau retreated to a wilderness and pond area in Concord, Massachusetts. As a young school teacher in 1845, he decided to live simply, study, keep a journal, and write about his retreat in Walden. The pond and its nature trails are still open to the public.

Copyright Rita Watson, MPH, 2023.

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