Is boredom good for us?

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I’ve been hearing a lot recently about the “benefits” of boredom.

One of the teachers honored by the Minnesota Council for the Social Studies said she tells her high school students they need to feel bored. They need to unplug, unwind, step back from the world of constant stimulation and just let themselves BE. Even if it’s hard.

Manoush Zomorodi, host of the @NotetoSelf podcast, wrote an entire book on this subject called Bored and Brilliant. She also argues that boredom holds the key to insight and creativity. We need to give ourselves time without stimulation, she argues so that we can truly think.

They are both right — to a point. Downtime without any scheduled activity, unplugged from our devices, is a good thing. But boredom is only valuable if we are in charge of what we do next.

You see, boredom is our brain’s signal to us that it’s time to stop what we’re doing and move on to something new. Boredom is great when we can take that message and run with it.

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Martha Rush is a teacher, blogger, author and speaker. Visit or join the NeverBore LLC Facebook group for more information. @MarthaSRush