New Neuroscience Reveals How To Overcome Boredom, Frustration, And Impatience

New Neuroscience Reveals How To Overcome Boredom, Frustration, And Impatience

Eric Barker is a great writer, who covers and makes sense of the science in areas such as happiness and wellbeing, life and more!

He does a great job of briefly reviewing the evidence, and then presenting it in a way that readers can put into practice, in their lives, and hence enjoy more happiness or better mental health.

And he doesn’t just write about happiness.

Barker also, as in this article, touches on other important emotions such as frustration and irritation, impatience and boredom …

Life, much like that questionable tuna salad at the office potluck, is a strange mix of flavors. We have many different feelings, many different emotions. Some are nicer than others — and some we complain about a lot. Like boredom, frustration, and impatience.

Well, I’ve got news for you: none of those three are bad things. You’re shooting the messenger. It’s an emotional friendly fire incident.

In fact, boredom, frustration, and impatience are downright good for you. Yeah, I said it.

They aren’t obstacles to a good life; they’re your guides to a good life. They help us find our path, they motivate us, and they give us hope. Instead of avoiding them, fighting them, or suppressing them, we just need to listen to them — and maybe steer them a bit.

Confused? Well, that means you’re about to learn something…

This time we’ll be drawing insight from Andreas Elpidorou’s excellent book “Propelled.” And we’re going to learn why boredom, frustration, and impatience – three things you have never ever felt while reading my blog – are wonderful.

Okay, let’s get to it…


Many people dream of visiting outer space, of being an astronaut. Could anything be more exciting than that?

Actually, yes. Because you know what some astronauts have to say about space travel? It can be kinda boringGene Cernan, an Apollo 17 astronaut said, “Funny thing happened on the way to the moon: not much.” And he’s not the only one. Astronaut Norman Thagard said, “Even though it’s space flight and all of that, you still get bored.” NASA even published a report that mentioned boredom as one of the primary problems faced during space travel.

Seems there’s no escaping it. Boredom: the all-consuming, soul-sucking vacuum of the human condition. It’s like the flu — but for your entire existence. So what’s the deal with boredom?

We misunderstand it. Research shows boredom is actually a regulatory emotion, similar to pain. It’s the blinking warning light on the dashboard of our lives, signaling that it might be time to try something new. It’s insufferable, but just like pain, the point is to inspire you to come up with new ways to avoid it.

Boredom is a drive, a motivator to make sure you’re doing things in line with your goals. It’s there to make sure you’re spending your time well, that what you’re doing is interesting and meaningful. Boredom says, “Are you sure this is what you should be doing with your life?”

Now sometimes it’s a false alarm and we need to keep at whatever we’re working on. (That’s certainly true for astronauts.) And during those moments we have to put in some effort to find the meaning in what we’re doing.

Many people have hobbies you couldn’t pay me to do. For some, gardening is relaxing; for others it’s a chore. Some people find fixing a computer to be drudgery; for others it’s the grandest of puzzles. It’s subjective. We all do “boring” stuff but when we find meaning in it, it’s a delight.

Having a faux tea party with the family dog might be boring on the surface but making your child happy is meaningful. Filling out spreadsheets can be excruciating but providing for your family can give you a sense of fulfillment. We need to step back, get some distance and see the bigger picture. May sound like a gimmick but it’s not. Hospital janitors who saw themselves as people who cleaned up messes were unhappy. Those who saw themselves as “part of the team that helped sick people get better” found fulfillment.

Boredom makes us ask if we’re doing the right thing. If we realize what we’re doing is meaningful, the discomfort disappears faster than your dignity at a karaoke night. And if what we’re doing isn’t fulfilling, boredom tells us it’s time for a change. Either way, boredom is there to help.

But what about when we’re not bored? We’re engaged, but we’re meeting resistance. This feels awful too. But there’s another way to look at it…

… keep reading the full & original article HERE