Why Boredom Is Bad For You And Your Kids

"I'm bored!"


How often do you hear that as a parent?  How often do you say it, even to yourself?  Our hectic lives have not banished boredom from the face of the planet.  Whether it's at school, at work, or in other environments, boredom lingers and presents many threats to our health and happiness.


For example, people prone to boredom are more likely to engage in addictive behaviors such as binge eating and drinking, gambling, and other compulsions.  In addition, boredom is associated with unsafe driving habits.  Bored drivers tend to drive at higher speeds and are slower to react to unexpected hazards.  They also are more likely to drift over the center line into oncoming traffic.  Finally, boredom has a negative impact on kids.  Bored students are less able to learn and remember information, and bored teens are 50% more likely to experiment with smoking, drinking, and illegal drugs


Fear not, however, because we can eradicate boredom by practicing habits of happiness and creativity.  Dopamine-producing behaviors such as gratitude, kindness, and walking change our brain chemistry and make us more engaged.  Being creative is another way to inject enthusiasm into an otherwise mundane situation (check out my "10 Ways To Boost Creativity" blog post for ideas).  You can also fight boredom by learning something new and interesting.  Have you ever heard of Gaelic football or cheese rolling?  Start there!   A curious person who loves daydreaming, reading, and thinking will never suffer from the plague of boredom. 




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