You don’t like to be bored. Correction: You despise being bored. You feel restless, impatient, and dissatisfied when you’re bored, so you actively avoid it. It’s how Candy Crush got so big. And it’s why the kids these days are becoming more addicted to screens.
In reality though, what we don’t like about being bored isn’t that we have nothing to do, but that we’re forced to become aware of the reality of simply being. In other words, we’d rather feel anything than feel nothing at all (or, in this case, the weight of our own existence).
Because being still is scary. It brings up anxieties, it feels unproductive, and our self-esteem takes a hit.
The solution is simple. Some people – and even some cultures – are good at it. The Italians have a saying “Il Dolce Far Niente“. We should take a page from these happily bored people, to learn to appreciate the “sweetness of doing nothing“.
Let yourself daydream
Ever feel stuck on a problem, only for the solution to spontaneously come to you as you’re mindlessly staring out the window on your commute? Some people refer to these ‘shower thoughts’. Side note: the subreddit ‘showerthoughts’ has over 25 million followers. It’s a thing.
Our brains have a default mode network that’s more active when we’re doing nothing. This network contributes to our ability to remember things, think about the future, and daydream.
This is where the real magic happens.
Being mentally passive allows our brains to create innovative connections between unrelated elements in our lives. Not only do we become more creative problem…