“I’m booooored!” That saying may harken back to your childhood, but when was the last time you were truly bored?  Health and happiness are greatly affected by allowing for some mental downtime.  Here’s why boredom is healthy and how to get more of it into your life.

Get Bored for Bright Ideas

According to a study, boredom increases creativity by giving the brain a chance to daydream, which according to neuroscientists, is vital for the creative process.  These wandering mind moments often lead to new ideas or solutions to persnickety problems.

Try this:  Promote productivity with some boredom in the middle of your workday.  Step away from your desk, go outside and to just be or take a walk without distractions.

Get Bored for A Better Mind

What color was that flower blooming in your neighbors yard?  Chances are you saw it, but it didn’t register.  Mindfulness can help. The art of awareness or being mindful has a host of health benefits, such as increased memory and immunity.  Being bored gives you the opportunity to be mindful, because you’ve slowed down to pay attention and create space in your life.

Try this: Instead of reaching for your smartphone on your subway commute or any time you feel boredom or uncomfortable nothingness, try a digital detox.   Start small, try going 30-minutes without looking at your phone. Work up to an entire day digital free day, while being mindful to what’s happening in the real world.

Get Bored to Bust Stress

Becoming bored breaks the body’s stress hormone cycle, which is a normal reaction to the everyday demands of life, but overtime can be hard on our health.  Pausing for some de-stressing moments with either deep breathing, mindfulness or just being can do wonders for your emotional and physical health.

Try this: Get bored at bedtime.  Resist the temptation to end your day with a TV show or by answering email.  Try a lavender infused bath or do some meditation instead. 

Of course too much boredom and lack of purpose can signal depression and be stressful too.  There’s a difference between beneficial and burdensome boredom.  Bottom line, done right, with the tips above, boredom does have a proper place in your health and wellness routine, with positive results for the brain, body and soul.