That sneaky yawn, the drooping eyelids, those sagging shoulders: we’ve all been victims of boredom at some time or the other. No one looks forward to it and we’re willing to go to any lengths to avoid it. But what if you found out boredom is actually good for you?

Read on to find out how to reap the benefits of this common affliction.

The Most Common Causes
Boredom is a sign that current goals are not motivating you enough. It also tends to happen when you are faced with repetitive tasks, which are anathema for our novelty-hungry brains. The excitement that comes from eating a favorite food, the thrill of a new possession or even a romantic relationship fades eventually, only to be replaced by ennui. It stems from the frustration of wanting but not being able to engage in satisfying activity.

Dangers of Boredom
The fear of appearing lazy is what prompts us to consider boredom as a waste of time and it’s followed by a need to constantly engage in some activity, even if it is detrimental, such as eating, smoking or drinking because such behavior shifts our mind to a highly sensory state, which temporarily alleviates our boredom. Chronic boredom has been linked to serious mental health issues since it shows a predisposition to anxiety, depression and obsessive-compulsive disorders.

Fixing The Problem
Boredom is a good thing if managed intelligently. Just as farmers leave fields crop-less to allow them to regenerate, the mind too needs to switch off to feel refreshed and energized. Make boredom work for you instead of dreading it—we promise only good can come of it.

Avoid Resistance
When faced with boredom, try focusing on it and observe the changes in your body and mind, from shifts in temperature to emotions that surface. This is a kind of meditation that will help you find the source of the problem.

Be Still
Don’t pressure yourself to solve the problem right away. Use this time to review whatever you were doing before you got bored and track how you got to the point where you switched off. Patterns will emerge and you will realize that perhaps you lost interest or the task at hand stopped being challenging enough. This will allow you to take the next step, now that you’re better informed.

Make It A Habit
Disengage on a regular basis to allow yourself a chance to daydream, which has been proven to increase creativity. Psychologists state that America is going through a decline in creativity even as IQ levels have been rising. Boredom has even been shown to increase ‘prosocial’ behavior, which is engaging in activities that benefit society as a whole, because people who are easily bored look for more ways to add meaning to their lives.

PS: Explore our Wellness section for spa DIY, natural home care and more.
Here’s your complete guide to 
Emotional Well-being.

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Simona is a journalist who has worked with several leading publications in India over the last 17 years, writing on lifestyle topics and the arts, besides interviewing celebrities. She made the switch to public relations and headed the division as PR Manager at ITC Hotels’ flagship property, the ITC Grand Chola, but has since returned to her first love, journalism. Now she writes on food, which she is sincerely passionate about and wellness, which she finds fascinating and full of surprises. When she isn’t writing, she is busy playing the role of co-founder and communications director of The Bicycle Project, a six-year-old charity initiative that empowers tribal children in rural areas, while addressing the issue of urban waste.