3 Ways to Overcome Boredom

boredom

We all get bored once in a while, but how do we overcome it? There are three ways to do it.

Why do I get bored?

  • You are unable to successfully engage your attention with (internal) thoughts and feelings or (external) environmental stimuli
  • You are focused on the fact that you cannot engage your attention with a satisfying activity
  • You attribute the cause of your boredom to the environment

3 ways to overcome boredom

  • Reappraise: You can use cognitive strategies to make a situation or an activity meaningfu, e.g. by convincing yourself that it is meaningful
  • Criticize: You can change the situation to cease the boredom
  • Evade: You can distract yourself with another activity

The reappraisal strategy has been found to be the best way to overcome boredom, since it has been associated with an increase in emotional, motivational, and cognitive outcomes.

Those who use reappraisal both reduce and prevent boredom. In general, they seem to respond to experiences of boredom more effectively, and they demonstrate a greater self-regulation, i.e. they see the purpose and future value of their boredom.

Image: Julie Edgley – Resources: Eastwood et al. (2012), Nett et al. (2010), Nett et al. (2011).
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