What is boredom?
Boredom is a pretty bad feeling. Do you know those days when you don’t know what to do with yourself, stare into space or just hang out on the couch? Those days just happen and it’s totally normal. Everyone knows it! For example, you’ve planned to go cycling in the countryside and suddenly a thunderstorm comes up and you have to stay at home. Then you reach for the game console or do things you’ve been putting off for a long time. Or you just chill out a bit and listen to music.
How does boredom arise?
Boredom can arise when a person feels that the current environment or situation is uninteresting or uninspiring. Underchallenge or excessive demands can also be reasons for boredom to develop. Boredom can therefore also arise from a lack of variety, if one is in a monotonous environment or if one carries out the same activities over and over again. Another factor that can lead to boredom is a lack of goals or a sense of futility. If a person does not have clear goals or feels that everything they do does not really serve a meaningful purpose, this can lead to a person becoming bored.
However, boredom can also arise when a person is in a situation where they are not really just bored because there is nothing to do, but because they feel lonely. Boredom can also arise or be intensified due to stress, depression or other psychological problems.
Not all boredom is the same
There is also a form of boredom that is worrisome and should not be taken lightly. The psychologist John Eastwood described this worrying form of boredom in one of his books as an unfulfilled desire for a satisfying activity. This form of boredom does not arise from a lack of external stimuli or from having nothing to do. It arises from within. This bad form of boredom can be a very oppressive feeling. And it can cause real stress. Moreover, scientific research assumes that boredom can also be linked to aggressive behaviour, depressive moods, eating disorders or even addictive behaviour. It is not uncommon for people to smoke or drink more alcohol when they are bored.
However, this is not the kind of boredom we are talking about in this article. If you experience this kind of boredom, it is helpful to talk to someone who deals with it professionally.