When was the last time you felt bored? Actually, let me rephrase that: When was the last time you were bored and didn't feel guilty about it, like you should be doing something "more productive" with your time? Better yet, have you ever just let yourself feel bored and fought the urge to pick up your phone to kill the time? The reason I'm interrogating you, my friend, is because there are actually some legit benefits of boredom, and honestly, they'll probably make you want to do a whole of nothing way more often.
The thing is, boredom used to be kind of normal. It's a good thing, after all, to be present and content with the simplicity of nothingness. But as Doreen Dodgen-Magee, Psy.D., a psychologist who specializes in healthy living in the digital era, writes in her new book Deviced! Balancing Life and Technology in a Digital World, technology has essentially made boredom a thing of the past. "Waiting on line at the grocery store? Hit Facebook," she tells Elite Daily in an email as an example. "Lying on the beach? Snap a selfie and post it to Instagram. Waiting for your coffee to brew? That’s a good time to squeeze in a few minutes of video game play." Pretty relatable, right?
According to Dodgen-Magee, feeling bored isn't really part of a typical person's everyday life anymore, and while this may seem like a good thing, the psychologist says that boredom is important, as it offers space to explore, and it encourages you to really get in touch with yourself. "When we are free from stimulation that distracts us, we are brought to the end of our hiding and into new spaces of exploration," Dodgen-Magee explains. "When we have nothing to look at, listen to, or engage with, we are given the opportunity to see what we ourselves are made of, and unoccupied time can spark creativity and insight."
This is just a taste of what boredom can really do for you and your well-being. Here are a few other benefits of being bored from time to time.