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Do you find yourself getting bored really easily?
If so, you’re not alone. Countless people experience boredom on a daily basis.
What’s interesting, however, is that the feelings of being bored affect different people in different ways.
In fact, some people never experience boredom at all!
If you’re reading this article, you’re probably trying to figure out why you get bored easily. That’s a great initiative, as it means you’re aware that something’s happening that you don’t particularly like.
Fortunately, as soon as we understand the cause of something, we can determine which action(s) to take in order to remedy them.
What Does It Mean To Be Bored?
The feeling of boredom is described as a weariness or malaise because one either lacks interest in a current activity, or because one is unoccupied and doesn’t know what to do.
Different people have different coping mechanisms when it comes to feeling bored.
For example, one person might distract themselves by delving into a book that interests them, or going for a walk. Another might turn to external stimuli, such as talking to friends on the phone or watching a movie.
Apparently, how we experience (and deal with) boredom has a lot to do with how our brains are wired.
According to a 2019 study by scientists at Washington State University, people who express the feeling of boredom more often have more activity in the right frontal side of the brain than others.
“…there is more left frontal activity when people find ways to engage themselves by thinking about other things. Activity in the right frontal lobe is higher when people experience negative emotions or feel anxious. And those who said they were more prone to boredom had higher right frontal brain activity.”
Professor Sammy Perone, who led the study, states this observation:
“We found that the people who are good at coping with boredom in everyday life, based on the surveys, shifted more toward the left. Those who don’t cope as well in everyday life shifted more right.”
This explains a lot why some people struggle with boredom more than others do.
8 Reasons Why People Get Bored
Let’s take a look at some of the factors that may contribute to you getting bored so easily.
1. You may be accustomed to constant entertainment and distraction.
Many people go into absolute panic mode if their mobile phone connection goes down, or if Netflix isn’t working.
They’re accustomed – even addicted – to the constant dopamine release that comes with binging series, scrolling their Twitter feed, playing games, or interacting with friends.
When this constant dopamine flow is paused, they don’t know what to do with themselves.
Does this sound familiar?
Try to analyze your actions over the course of a given day. Take note of how often you pick up your phone rather than focusing on work, reading, exercise, or other personal pursuits.
2. You might have a neurodevelopmental disorder.
Many people who have neurodevelopmental disorders such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or autism spectrum disorders (ASD) often suffer from boredom.
When a person’s mind is bouncing in several directions at once, they often need multiple different types of stimulation.
Furthermore, you may have a lot of pent-up energy that’s trying to get expressed, but you don’t quite know how to deal with it.
It’s not uncommon for people with these conditions to have several things going on at once.
For example, you might have the TV on while reading a book so you have auditory and visual stimulation at the same time. Or you might be watching a movie and playing a game on your phone, while also snacking, and making occasional notes about creative projects.
When and if you’re not getting the stimuli you need, you may feel anxious, stressed out, or bored.
3. You aren’t being challenged.
If work isn’t challenging you and you feel like you’re just phoning it in, you might feel like there’s no point in continuing.
You might procrastinate from your work or studies because putting any effort into this is sucking the life out of you.
We thrive best when the work or pursuit we’re engaged in matches or slightly exceeds our skill sets.
If you’re a highly trained fine artist who’s relegated to finger painting, or you’re a mathematics professor teaching first grade math class, you’re more likely to be bored out of your mind.
Similarly, if you’re doing a creative project that doesn’t challenge you, or you’re reading a book that doesn’t grab your interest on numerous levels, you just won’t want to do it. At all.
4. You don’t have any self-driven hobbies.
What self-directed interests do you have that don’t center around someone else’s work?
Reading books and watching movies can be a lot of fun, but if they’re not offering you the opportunity to use your imagination and problem-solving abilities, you’re soon going to end up lying there like a bored lump.
Most people can derive immense satisfaction by engaging in a hobby or other pursuit that involves using their hands. It could be a creative endeavor such as painting, or something more utilitarian like carpentry or baking.
Basically, something that engages their time and results in something tangible. If there aren’t any movies or other forms of entertainment available, they’re able to engage in pursuits of their own making.
What types of things do you do that require your own imagination, skills, etc?
Do you have any long-term goals that you’re working toward?
Or are you a passive participant in your own life?
5. You’re overwhelmed or depressed by daily life responsibilities.
Some people feel like they can’t immerse themselves deeply into a project or pursuit. They lose interest in it almost immediately, and nothing seems to challenge, entertain, or tantalize them the way they hope it would.
In situations like this, the person might be feeling emotionally and physically overwhelmed, or even depressed.
When depression hits, it’s difficult to cultivate enthusiasm for anything, really. You might manage to feel genuinely positive about the prospect of a project, but when it comes down to actually doing it, you don’t have any energy. Or the reality of just how much effort it would take to do that project flattens you.
Like the idea of “spoon theory,” we only have X amount of energy on any given day. This is kind of like only having 10 spoonfuls of said energy to use.
If 4 of those spoonfuls are put toward paid work, 3 toward child care, 1 toward meal preparation, and 2 toward social interaction (including one’s partner/spouse), then that day’s energy is all used up.
What had originally seemed like a fun, engaging pursuit now seems draining. Like a painting that’s lost all its color, this endeavor has lost all positivity. It becomes yet another chore; another drain, rather than something that’s meant to inspire.
6. You constantly crave new, exciting things.
Variety is the spice of life, and novelty keeps life exciting. If you find that you get bored easily, you might be a perpetual thrill seeker who constantly needs novelty.
If “been there, done that” is pretty much a mantra of yours, it’s no surprise that boredom is something you experience on a constant basis.
After all, there are only so many new, exciting things we can see, do, and taste within our immediate vicinity.
Certain Myers-Briggs types, such as the ESTP, are perpetual thrill seekers. As soon as they’ve tried bungee jumping, they’ll move on to sky diving. Once they’ve tried that, it’ll be deep sea shark diving, heli-skiing, or tornado chasing.
If you’re wired like this and you’re stuck working a 9-5 in a city, you’ll likely be crawling out of your skin.
7. You feel trapped.
Many people who feel that they get bored easily do so because they feel like they don’t have much control over their own lives.
For example, teenagers often complain about a sense of boredom. And why wouldn’t they? They have very little say in what’s going on in their world.
Their lives are governed by other people’s rules, and their day-to-day activities are dictated by schoolwork, chores, and extracurricular activities that others may have decided on for them.
These young people may only have a tiny bit of time to themselves, and if their self-chosen pursuits are very limited, they’ll likely get sick of doing the same thing over and over again.
As would any of us, really.
This can also happen with adults who feel trapped in the monotonous cycle of housework and child rearing. Additionally, elderly people whose days in retirement homes are endless “Groundhog Days” of sameness experience a great deal of boredom.
Everyone needs to be challenged and engaged with new things. Otherwise, spirits sink and minds atrophy.
8. You’re pursuing something for the wrong reasons.
Let’s say that you’re taking a language class because you feel like you “should.”
Maybe you only speak one language, and your family/friends/social circle is pressuring you to learn another.
So, you enroll in an online language program but get so bored every time you try to do a lesson.
As you can see, when some people say that they’re bored with a hobby or other interest, what they often mean is that they don’t want to continue what they’re doing.
In a situation like this, it isn’t a case of “boredom” but rather a complete disinterest.
When we do things because we feel that we have to, rather than because we want to, our hearts and souls really aren’t engaged.
Furthermore, our minds might be wired in completely different directions from what it is we’re (halfheartedly) trying to do.
Do you love science, but you’re trying to force yourself to learn to play piano? Or vice versa: are you a musician through and through, but you’re trying to immerse yourself in astrophysics?
Question your motivations, and determine whether you’re doing yourself more harm than good.
Quite often, a feeling of boredom is a strong indicator that change is needed. Although it may be frustrating in the moment, boredom can also be a huge motivating factor.
If you can analyze where it’s coming from, you can allow it to be the fire beneath your backside to push you to where you really want (or need) to go.
Still not sure what the source of your boredom is or how not to feel bored by things so easily? Talking to someone can really help you to handle whatever life throws at you. It’s a great way to get your thoughts and your worries out of your head so you can work through them.
We really recommend you speak to a therapist rather than a friend or family member. Why? Because they are trained to help people in situations like yours. They can help you to trace your boredom back to its roots and to then provide advice and exercises to change your mindset and motivations.
A good place to get professional help is the website BetterHelp.com – here, you’ll be able to connect with a therapist via phone, video, or instant message.
While you may try to work through this yourself, it may be a bigger issue than self-help can address. And if it is affecting your mental well-being, relationships, or life in general, it is a significant thing that needs to be resolved.
Too many people try to muddle through and do their best to overcome issues that they never really get to grips with. If it’s at all possible in your circumstances, therapy is 100% the best way forward.
Click here if you’d like to learn more about the service BetterHelp.com provide and the process of getting started.
You’ve already taken the first step just by searching for and reading this article. The worst thing you can do right now is nothing. The best thing is to speak to a therapist. The next best thing is to implement everything you’ve learned in this article by yourself. The choice is yours.
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