January 28, 2021 in Dag

In praise of being bored

It seems that this days, the most important thing in the world is to be excited. To be energised and enthralled. To be switched on every moment of the day.

Every form of entertainment seems designed to press all our buttons at once. Movies are full of adrenaline-inducing thrills. TV shows push the dramatic envelope in every way possible. And music seems to be all about maximising the emotion of every moment.

And when we’re not watching or listening, what do we do? We’re stuck on our phones, scrolling through video after video, or doing the best to collect more views and likes for everything we do.

It feels like there’s no time to switch off. No time to withdraw from all of that excitement and spend some time in your own head. No time to, dare I say it, be bored.

Being bored seems to get a bad rap these days. Who would want to be bored when there’s so much excitement on offer? What sort of failure must you be if you can’t find a way to entertain yourself, every hour of every day?

Well, I’m here to offer an alternate perspective. I’m here to speak up on behalf of being bored.

Because, in this over-programmed and overstimulated world, I reckon there’s nothing better than taking a bit of time to be bored.

I hate the idea that I need to be entertained and stimulated 24/7. I value those times when I can switch off. I love having absolutely nothing to do.

Partly, it helps me to refresh my mind. As an introvert, I definitely need that time to get away from everything and recharge myself. There’s nothing better to me than laying back with nothing on my mind and nothing to distract me from just being me. It’s like taking a cold drink, or walking into a cool room on a sweltering day.

But the real benefit is what it does to my mind. With nothing to occupy it, and nothing it needs to do, it really clicks into action. I start to find my own ways to entertain myself. The ideas flow and I soon find myself creating new worlds and inventing new stories.

Obviously, this is a prime requirement for a writer. But I reckon it’s not just beneficial for writers and other creatives. We all have those problems we need to solve. Giving yourself some of this mental free time can really help in generating solutions. And given the state of the world at the moment, I often feel that if more people stepped away and gave themselves that quiet time, we’d start to find some creative ways to address those issues.

So as this new year kicks into gear, I’m really hoping to find plenty of opportunities to get bored. Hopefully I won’t be the only one.

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