It's Time For The Boredom Boost. Learn To Embrace Boredom.

The beginning of a brand new year marks the time when the resolve to pursue and achieve the goals of personal excellence, growth and happiness are the strongest. It's the time we examine if we are actually on the right track towards those pursuits. If self-actualisation remains that much a sought after goal and when we undoubtedly agree that it needs to stem from virtues within us, then it's time to address the huge paradox looming right in front of us.

We have turned into a generation that dreads aloneness. A generation that tries to annihilate solitude in every conceivable way. A generation that immediately springs into action to shield our children from boredom. A generation that resolves to be continually distracted and diverted and a generation who would just do anything rather than to be in the company of one's own selves.

This paradox is holding us back from exploring the unimaginable richness of our minds and is producing a progeny of passive minds overstimulated my mindless inputs.

It's time we declutter and rethink our relationship with boredom.

Here are 3 important reasons why boredom is an absolute necessity.

  • Boredom Combats Stagnation
  • Boredom nudges us to explore, to seek out. It warns us about redundancy and motivates us to switch goals. Rather than allowing boredom to unleash the power of our minds we aim to terminate it with gadgets thus nipping the buds of our own growth.

  • Boredom Fuels Creativity
  • Boredom resets the mind to an active mode of thinking, thus allowing it to conjure ideas from an untouched enormous base of unprocessed knowledge and creative potential. Boredom retrains our minds to be a magnificent producer rather than a mindless consumer.

  • Boredom Nurtures Empathy
  • Boredom, allows us to reflect on our thoughts, to process our different feelings and emotions and to derive healthy conclusions. An extremely important outcome of the process is the development of empathy. Our common reaction when we witness acts of selfishness and cruelty, "How could he have not thought for a second before doing this?! Absolutely! It's because we have been taught not to spend the 'I' time to reflect and rethink.

    Escaping and avoiding boredom thus has negative impacts on our health than we could ever imagine. Constant mindless stimulation brings about fatigue, stress and stunts our emotional, social and cognitive growth in the long term.

So how do we learn to embrace boredom - the fast dying art of aloneness?

  • Learn to be with yourself. Start with smaller time periods and make an attempt to consciously extend it every single day.
  • When you find a quiet moment, embrace it. Make a conscious attempt to resist that impulse to check your phones.
  • Don't look for quick fixes when your child whines, "I'm bored". Teach and allow your children to be with their thoughts.
  • Learn to choose temporary periods of isolation and to balance it with the overwhelming social media intrusion.
  • It's time we stop being monophobic. It's time to start feeling comfortable with our own selves and with our own thoughts. See for yourself the rejuvenation and renaissance of your spirit when you start the lone travels of your mind!

Article by Dr. Yamini Kannappan, MBBS, DPM, DNB,
Psychiatrist, Kauvery Hospital

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