Chronic Boredom

By Ann Griswold • Published: July 6th, 2007
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

Almost everyone has experienced occasional humdrum moments in board meetings, traffic jams and even while sitting at home on the couch. But what do you do when boredom becomes a constant state of mind?

Experts say chronically bored people often latch on to risky behaviors that promise to spice up life. When the world seems dull, people are more apt to overeat, drive aggressively and even engage in extreme sports, like skydiving and bungee jumping. But chronic boredom in its most dangerous form can lead to drug and alcohol addictions. The connection to abuse is so strong that some experts can predict whether an addict will stay clean by how easily the person becomes bored.

Staying busy is important… chronic boredom often strikes people who rely on others for entertainment. Experts recommend making a list of goals you want to accomplish… and not just someday, but this afternoon and tomorrow morning. Do you want to be more involved in your community? Volunteer at a local animal shelter. Are you out of shape? Sign up for a dance class. Want to be more creative? Sit down with a pile of old photos and an empty scrapbook. Life is short and the possibilities are endless. Reflect on what makes you happy and use your imagination. Interesting things are all around you!

Chronic boredom can sometimes signify an underlying medical condition. Contact your physician if you experience any warning signs of depression, such as prolonged sadness, irritability or sleep disturbances.