Have you ever been so bored that it made you feel unhappy? If so, you’re not alone. A study from the University of Central Lancashire found that 78% of participants reported feeling “unhappy” or “very unhappy” when they were bored. But why does being bored make us feel this way? This article will explore the science behind why being bored makes us feel unhappy.
First and foremost, boredom is a sign of disconnection. When we’re bored, it’s often because we’re not fully engaged in what we’re doing, or we don’t have anything to do that interests us. This disconnection can lead to feelings of unhappiness as it leaves us with a sense of emptiness and dissatisfaction.
Secondly, being bored activates the areas of our brain associated with rumination and self-reflection. Rumination is when we overthink and obsess over a particular thought or situation. Self-reflection is when we think about our own lives and behaviours. Both of these processes can lead to negative thought patterns and mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety.
Thirdly, a lack of stimulation can lead to poor decision making. When we’re bored, we can become desperate for something to do, leading us to make unwise decisions. This can lead to further unhappiness as we regret our choices.
Finally, there’s a link between boredom and addiction. Studies have found that people who are bored are more likely to indulge in unhealthy habits such as drinking alcohol, smoking, or gambling in order to pass the time. This can lead to further unhappiness in the long run as these habits can have detrimental effects on our physical and mental health.
Overall, the science behind why being bored makes us feel unhappy is complex. Boredom is a sign of disconnection which can lead to rumination, poor decision making, and addiction. All of these factors can create feelings of unhappiness and dissatisfaction. The best way to combat boredom-related unhappiness is to find meaningful activities and connections that bring us joy.