We live in a particularly stimulating age. Among other stimuli, smartphones are perhaps the most notorious, providing a constant stream of ready-made engagement. If you could stand to disconnect for a while—from your phone, from your overbooked priorities—you might realize that boredom is good for you; it can stir up a dormant sense of creativity you forgot you had, and it may very well make you a better person.
It’s hard to comprehend that boredom is good for you when you consider the self-destructive behaviors that it can inspire; a selection of these behaviors cited by The Atlantic include bad driving, mindless snacking, binge drinking, risky sex, and gambling problems. One study titled “Self-Inflicted Pain out of Boredom” published in Psychiatry Research even found that some people self-administered electric shocks to break up the ennui of watching a boring movie.