NYC Psychotherapist Blog

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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

How Boredom Can Lead to Greater Creativity

In my prior two articles, Understanding the Different Types of Boredom and Boredom as a Secondary Emotion: Discovering the Underlying Emotions in Therapy, I introduced different ways of looking at boredom (also see my article:  Boredom as a Relapse Trigger as it applies to addiction).  In this article, I discuss how boredom can lead to greater creativity.

How Boredom Can Lead to Greater Creativity

How Does Boredom Lead to Creativity?
Two research studies conducted by University of Central Lancashire and Penn State University    found that boredom can spark creativity because the restless mind craves stimulation.

According to psychologist Heather Lench of Texas A&M University, when people are bored, this often leads to their being in a seeking state of mind, so the mind becomes more engaged.

Sandi Mann, a psychologist at the University of Central Lancashire, discovered that when people are bored, they go into a daydreaming state, which can lead to creative ideas.

Many people discover that when they're engaged in mundane, boring tasks, like folding the laundry or washing the dishes, they get creative ideas.

It doesn't matter if they are artists, business executives or students.  These repetitive, mundane tasks can open up the mind in a creative way.

How Can You Benefit From Boredom to Become More Creative?
According to Sandi Mann, Ph.D., it's important not to distract yourself when you're bored so that you allow yourself to benefit from the deeper thinking that can take place when you stay with the boredom and see what comes up next.

How Boredom Can Lead to Greater Creativity

According to Dr. Mann, when you distract yourself from your boredom by looking at your cellphone, going online on your computer or finding other ways to alleviate your boredom, you move away from the slow moments that can lead to creative ideas.

So, instead of trying to distract yourself from boredom, stay with it and don't distract yourself. You might discover that you get some of your best ideas if you just allow yourself to remain in that bored state for a while.

If you need to come up with creative ideas, you could benefit from planning mundane activities like making photocopies, answering basic email or attending an especially boring staff meeting where your mind will crave stimulation and, possibly, this state will allow you to open up to new ways of looking at things (see my article: Reclaiming Your Creativity).

About Me
I am a licensed New York psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR, AEDP, Somatic Experiencing and Sex Therapist who works with individual adults and couples (see my article: The Therapeutic Benefits of Integrative Psychotherapy).

To find out more about me, visit my website: Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist.

To set up a consultation, call me at (917) 742-2624 during business hours or email me.