Though boredom is a feeling that most people experience from time to time, there are many ways to address and prevent it.

What is boredom?

Boredom is a common feeling. Feeling unsatisfied by an activity, or uninterested in it, can lead to boredom.

Boredom may occur when you feel energetic but have nowhere to direct your energy. It may also occur when you have difficulty focusing on a task.

Boredom is a common complaint among children and adolescents. In some cases, they may also complain of boredom when they’re uncomfortable dealing with their thoughts or feelings.

Boredom is marked by an empty feeling, as well as a sense of frustration with that emptiness.

When you’re bored, you may have a limited attention span and lack of interest in what’s happening around you. You may also feel apathetic, fatigued, nervous, or jittery.

In some cases, boredom can make it more challenging to focus and cause you to feel stressed or distracted.

People identify and experience boredom differently. In some cases, boredom may occur due to:

  • inadequate rest or nutrition
  • low levels of mental stimulation
  • lack of choice or control over your daily activities
  • lack of diversified recreational interests
  • poor perception of time

You or child may become bored while engaged in an activity due to:

  • loss of interest
  • confusing instructions
  • fear of making a mistake
  • repetition of the activity for too much time
  • feeling unable to try new approaches to the activity

In some cases, chronic boredom can also be a sign of certain mental health conditions, including depression.

While there is no specific medical treatment for boredom, there are plenty of solutions if you’re experiencing boredom.

For example, you may want to consider trying some new hobbies or other new diversional activities.

Joining a club can be a good way to thwart your boredom. Reading clubs, hobby groups, or exercise groups are all great places to start. Participating in a community group that organizes activities or outings is another great options.

You can also help your child cope with feelings of boredom when they arise.

When they complain of boredom, encourage them to communicate and address their feelings without questioning the validity. Take time to help them identify the causes of their boredom and find creative solutions.

For best results:

  • Don’t question whether or not your child “should” be bored.
  • Avoid responding to your child’s complaints of boredom with impatience or anxiety.
  • Ask open-ended questions to stimulate their creativity in finding interesting solutions for alleviating boredom.
  • Recognize that your child’s complaint of boredom may be their way of trying to engage your attention or asking to participate in an activity.
  • Help your child identify any other emotional issues or feelings that they may be identifying as boredom.
  • Help your child find an engaging activity or one you can participate in together.

If boredom is part of larger issue, like depression, you should seek treatment from a mental health professional. Talking to a doctor about your feelings will help them understand your needs and identify the best course of treatment for you.

Here are some simple tips you can try to prevent boredom:

  • Keep a record of the circumstances in which you or your child becomes bored. Note the time of day, place, and activities preceding the boredom, so you can avoid those circumstances or prepare for possible boredom in the future.
  • Make routine tasks more interesting by adding a unique element. For example, start timing tasks to see how fast you can do them.
  • Combine multiple repetitive tasks so they can be done together.
  • Break larger tasks into smaller ones and plan breaks or rewards at key milestones.
  • Create a list of activities to try when boredom strikes. If your child is the one feeling bored, try creating this list together.
  • Establish a special area where you or your child can store activities reserved specifically for battling boredom.
  • Be prepared to take time out to work with your child to set up an activity when they’re bored.

Boredom is common in all ages and some boredom is unavoidable.

However, learning how to deal with boredom at a young age will develop problem-solving skills that can be beneficial in the future.

Why do I get bored easily?

Feeling bored easily can be caused by many different factors, including decreased mental stimulation or a lack of control over activities in your daily life.

Interestingly, research suggests that some people are prone to experiencing boredom more frequently, which may also be linked to decreased attention span, self-control, and self-esteem.

What emotional or mental health problems can be related to boredom?

For some people, boredom may be used as a way to disconnect from negative feelings or experiences that can be overwhelming and difficult to deal with.

Additionally, chronic boredom can be a sign of depression. If you experience other symptoms of depression like decreased energy levels, unintentional weight loss, or sleep disturbances, you should consider talking to a healthcare professional to determine the cause and best course of treatment for you.

What are the benefits of boredom?

In some cases, boredom may actually be beneficial.

In fact, feeling bored can help push you to try new activities or explore other hobbies and interests. It can also promote self-awareness and problem-solving by encouraging you to identify the cause of your boredom so that you can address it.