Boredom is Essential to your Mental Health

Our culture is emcompassed by the concept of being busy. You always have to be doing something, or you are a failure, you are not productive, you are lazy... the criticisms go on.

But that's simply not true. Oftentime, we actually need boredom to be productive. If you are always doing something, you will burnout, and the quailty of your work will really suffer. Boredom allows your mind to have the space to be more creative and original, which allows you to do much greater things in this world. And I'm not just talking about taking breaks from work or school, I mean taking a break from DOING anything at all and simply just BEING. Don't stare at your phone or search through Netflix, itching for anything to do to fill your time. Instead, meditate, take and bath, or just take a few minutes to simply breathe everyday. In retrun, you will learn how to feel peace.

Richard Carlson, the author of Don't Sweat the Small Stuff, says that "much of our anxiety and inner struggle stems from our busy, overactive minds always needing something to entertain them, something to focus on, and always wondering 'What's next?' ... It's almost as though we are frightened at the thought of not having something to do, even for a minute." Our mental health could really benefit, and our daily anxieties could slowly be alleviated, if we just learn to relax. "When you allow yourself to be bored, it takes an enormous amount of pressure off you to be performing and doing something every second of every day."

Americans, especially the younger generations, have collectively felt the pressure to do, do, do every second of everyday. I don't know why this mindset came into our culture, but it is clearly detrimental to our well-being and our productivity. Now, with social media, streaming services, and countless forms of entertainment on the internet, it's almost impossible to let yourself be bored. But truly unplugging and letting your mind take a break, even just for a few minutes, could mean the world.