How boredom can bring in creativity in you

Do you get bored often? Well, congratulations. You hold the potential to become a very creative person. Or be productive at least. Now all you have to do is channel that negative kind of energy to do the tasks that are “not boring”. Boredom and creativity are two different states of mind with one being perceived as an act of being lazy and the other one being able to create amazing things. But the fact is, they are not so different as we have thought and being bored leads you to be creative.

A few weeks ago, I tried to build some study habits for my son who is 10 now. He was watching way too much TV, playing games on his tablet, and when he wasn’t doing any of that, building Lego (well, mostly playing with it). I wasn’t so opposed to the Lego thing as it helps kids to be creative, it was also stopping him from doing other creative stuff. I would constantly ask him to draw something, practice the piano, read a story book etc., but without any success. Chasing the “fun” all the time was draining his energy and that left no motivation to do anything else.

So, I decided to hide the tablet and TV remote, pack his Lego and put in out of his reach. Basically, he’s got nothing to do, and he absolutely didn’t like that. He was so bored and got frustrated for the first 2 days, which is understandable as it was also his school holiday. Then the third day came along, and he started to look around for the activities he could do to keep himself engaged. Later that day, I found the following drawing he did on his own without me or anybody asking him to do-

Drawing of a modern train on tracks
This reminds me of my school friends who used to draw on their text books during a ‘boring’ lecture.

From that moment, my son started developing other good habits. Now he plays ping pong with me and it’s surprising how quickly he became really good at it. He beats me most of the time. He also reads story books and writes stories as well. He looks happier now and he is getting more creative every day. Just this morning, he built this paper cruise ship-

Paper cruise ship
Notice the logo and stuff 🙂

We are no different than the kids. Or better, we are just grown-up kids. We all have the desire to be creative, but we think that we must be born with it. But the truth is, your desire is not big enough to get you started on anything. You should amplify that desire to a greater scale by introducing boredom in your environment first and then digging your own path out from there.

How to create boredom in your life

There are far too many things in this modern world taking our attention and time. The first step would be to recognize the things that take your attention away from your goals or tasks that are important to you, and then stopping or limiting your engagement with them. This could be done by limiting your social media usage, Netflix, video games etc. You can reduce the number of notifications you receive from social media apps to help limit the amount of time you spend on each platform.

How to get rid of boredom

Just undo the previous step. Just kidding, don’t do that. As now you have freed your time from all the distractions, you probably have nothing to do in your free time. Being bored is no fun. It’s tempting to welcome the distractions again, but you must hold your position. Now, this is the time to think about what else you could be doing in this free time. You can pick up something that you have been putting away for so long.

Some tips to stop being bored and start exploring your creative world-

Engage in a new hobby: Try something new like photography, painting, or learning a new language.

Get active: Go for a run, walk, or bike ride. Exercise can release endorphins that can help you stay positive and energized.

Connect with others: Meet up with friends or family, or join a club or group that shares your interests.

Learn something new: Take an online course or read a book about a topic you find interesting.

Plan a trip: Believe it or not, this requires certain skills and a level of creativity. I have a couple of friends who are really good at it. I always seek their help. Even if you can’t go on the trip right away, planning and researching can be exciting and engaging.

Practice mindfulness: Practice being present and aware of your surroundings.

Volunteer: Find organizations that allow you to help others and give back to your community.

Try a new recipe: Cook a new meal or bake a dessert you’ve always wanted to try.

Write: This is what I’m doing right now, well, by typing. You can also start a journal, write a short story, or compose a poem.

Why do we get bored again? The science behind boredom

We get bored due to a lack of stimulation or the inability to engage with the environment or activities around us. It can also occur when we feel unchallenged, unmotivated or when we have repetitive or monotonous tasks. Boredom is a psychological state that motivates us to seek out new experiences and stimulation to alleviate the feeling of discomfort associated with being unoccupied or disinterested.

If you observe nature, you’ll notice that boredom doesn’t only exist in the human world. Animals that have varying levels of cognitive abilities can experience boredom, especially in captivity or when they don’t have enough stimulation. For example, animals that exhibit natural behaviors like digging, foraging or playing, may become bored and exhibit negative behaviors when they are not given enough opportunities to express these behaviors.

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