We're afraid of having nothing to do, but being bored is no bad thing - we've just forgotten how to do it properly and how liberating it can be...
Rachael Oakden explores The Lost Art of Boredom on page 86 of August's The Simple Things. Meanwhile, read her tips on how to embrace idleness.
- Leave your emails unchecked next time you’re waiting in a café. Sit and smell the coffee instead (it worked for J.K. Rowling).
- Go for a walk. Boredom novices find it hard to sit still and stare into space. Repetitive, mindless exercise, such as walking or swimming, leaves your mind free to wander while satisfying your guilt-prone conscience.
- Visit green spaces. The sights, sounds and sensations of the natural world are gentle distractions that encourage the mind to go walkabout.
- Embrace screen-free Sundays. Disconnect from all electronic media for one day a week and reconnect with your inner and outer worlds.
- Listen to your boredom. Is it telling you that you’re unhappy in your job or lifestyle? Research shows that boredom can motivate us to become more altruistic and engage in pro-social behaviour, such as volunteering or donating blood.