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Want to prevent boredom this summer? First, you need to understand it

Friday, July 29, 2016

Bored person

Your elation about being unshackled from work has worn off. It’s too darn hot out to do anything. The kids are bugging you to keep them occupied. Even the dog seems listless. Welcome to the summer doldrums.

With a wide-open calendar and no pressing tasks to complete, you may find yourself feeling a little lethargic. But are you bored?

Unlike apathy, boredom is not a state of low arousal, cognitive neuroscientist James Danckert believes. On the contrary, the University of Waterloo professor says he considers boredom “an agitated sort of experience,” one that he refers to as “aggressively dissatisfying.”

“Boredom is this kind of motivated state where you want to be engaged with your environment in whatever way that you can be – and that all sounds fine until you fail to satisfy that motivation,” he says. “It’s a state of wanting, but not fulfilling a need to engage.”

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