Boredom – finding value in it

I read an article recently on boredom and the author wrote about how persons who are bored die earlier.  The author spoke of extreme boredom, not average daily boredom that we all experience.  But it made me think about whether there is some value in the boring moments of our lives.  Boredom can lead to alcoholism, drug use, overeating – I will admit that I have the strongest urge to eat when bored.  I started thinking about when I get bored and why.  And when I considered writing this post, I thought about what I could do to get “unbored” to coin a new term.  I was in a meeting at work at the time I started thinking about blogging on this and suffice it to say I was bored.  Really bored.  I wondered if there was a different perspective I could have about my boredom.  I could track it – when am I most bored?  For me it is when I am not challenged, when I’m not busy, when I’m not connecting with someone or something.  During the meeting, it helped to focus on something in the topic being discussed that could be of interest to me.  For example, I like learning new things, so I tried to focus on learning something new.  Did it work?  Yes!  Well, for a little while anyway . . .

But that started me thinking – maybe it’s okay to be bored every once in awhile.  Our minds are so busy and so engaged by technology.  There’s cell phones and email at our touch 24/7.  We rarely do one thing at a time.  We’re in a meeting and checking email at the same time.  We’re driving and talking on the cell phone at the same time – even if you do it with a bluetooth, it’s still multitasking!  We’re talking to someone and thinking of something else at the same time.  When do we ever just sit and do nothing?  And is that boring?  Even if it is, there could be some value in it – rest is something that comes to mind.  If you’re sitting and looking out the window at nature, appreciating it, certainly there is value in that!

So the next time you’re “bored” take some time to breathe, look outside, look up at the sky, look at the wonder all around you and see if you can’t find some energy or excitement in that.  You might surprise yourself!


Nicole Hancock Husband is an attorney and Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (“CPCC”). Nicole graduated from Howard University School of Law in 1996 with a Juris Doctorate and from Ohio State University in 1993 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration, with a Finance/International Studies double major and Spanish minor.