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Nandita Kochar

The smartphone revolution has placed a gadget in your hand which can do almost everything – from buying groceries to reminding you when to drink water to hoarding what seems like a bottomless well of memories. 

But what it has also done is placed a gadget in your life which does not let you get bored. After all why sit alone with your thoughts when you could be Tweeting them? Why simply wait for someone to come when you could be surfing Pinterest? The smartphone has placed us in a “go” mode, a mode in which we constantly need to be doing something – writing an email to our boss, Instagramming a dish we tried at the new Chinese restaurant that opened two blocks away, Shazaming a song we just heard while walking on the road.

This overstimulation can have some negative consequences on our health – higher stress levels, lack of focus and creativity, and smartphone addiction. The solution? Some good old-fashioned boredom.

If you are in the habit of constantly doing something on your smartphone, doing nothing might make you feel anxious at first. But pausing for a short while may do much more for you than you can imagine. After all, an idle mind is not always the devil’s workshop.

Scroll down for reasons for why you should put away your smartphone and simply do nothing, every once in a while –

 

  • Curbs Down Smartphone Addiction

Yes, smartphone addiction is a real thing. One feels anxious when unable to check the notifications or hears imaginary cell phone ringtone or feels the constant urge to keep recording whatever is happening around, distancing himself/herself from the realness of things. 

Mindlessly using your smartphone, especially for social media channels, has been linked to depression, anxiety, poor academic performance and poor sleep

So the next time you feel the need to kill time, shove your phone into your bag and just walk, holding hands with your boredom to the land of daydreaming, doodling or whatever it is.

 

  • Boosts Creative Thought

Sandi Mann, a senior psychology lecturer and author of The Upside of Downtime: Why Boredom Is Good says, “Boredom is a search for neural stimulation that isn’t satisfied. If we can’t find that, our mind will create it.” So the mind wanders and daydreams, thus boosting creativity and problem solving. “There’s no other way of getting that stimulation, so you have to go into your head,” Mann says. You never know what you may land up with.

 

  • Cultivates Mindfulness

Mindfulness is all about doing nothing except observing the present with all your awareness, soaking in everything that surrounds us. The practice has been linked to improved sleep, emotional stability and more success with weight-loss efforts. 

So the next time you find yourself waiting in a line at the ATM or in a hectic workshop or simply with no deadlines on your shoulder, resist the urge to run to your smartphone. Let yourself be bored!

 

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