(2017-08-01) Control Smartphone Use Be Bored Be Creative

I kicked my Smartphone addiction by retraining my brain to enjoy being bored

One of the most common questions that writers receive is: “Where do you get your ideas?” The best answer for me is that I get ideas for stories during periods of Associative Thinking - that is, letting my mind wander, just musing and reflecting.

A 2014 study in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology found that bored people “are more likely to engage in sensation seeking”—that is, to look for activities or sights that engage their minds and stimulate the brain’s reward centers. These people are more prone to “divergent thinking styles”—the ability to come up with Creative new ideas. “Thus, Boredom may encourage people to approach rewards and spark associative thought.”

There’s another big upside to boredom: It encourages us to take action toward a non-boring alternative

The first step, according to researchers, is to get in the habit of spacing out again.

Every time we resist the urge to pick up the phone while waiting in line or to fire up the laptop as soon as we get home, we’re giving our brains a chance to rest and reset, he says.

In our flight from boredom, we’re also often fleeing from uncomfortable feelings.


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