Can you literally be bored to death?

Everyone feels bored at one point or another. Maybe your kids are at camp and your husband's off fishing with his buddies and you thought you'd enjoy the time alone, but then there's nothing to do. Maybe you had plans with friends but then everyone had to cancel for whatever reason, and now you're bored out of your mind. Well, it turns out that that boredom is actually doing a LOT more harm than you might think!

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A new study titled "The Unengaged Mind" has pointed out that being bored has a lot of pretty negative consequences. It's not just the fact that we're bored and brainless, boredom can actually lead to "increased drug and alcohol abuse, overeating, depression and anxiety, and an increased risk of making mistakes," Psychologist Dr. John Eastwood of York University, Canada, who co-authored the study, says, according to The Guardian:

The problem is we've become passive recipients of stimulation. We say, 'I'm bored, so I'll put on the TV or go to a loud movie.' But boredom is like quicksand: the more we thrash around, the quicker we'll sink.

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So what are we supposed to do if we're bored and don't want to reach for that extra cookie or drink? Well, I'm definitely going to look for better options, THAT'S for sure! If being bored is going to make me resort to less-than-great forms of entertainment, then I think it's definitely worth it to stay much busier. Or, at least, not always rely on TV to distract me from being bored (since that's DEFINITELY when I'll be reaching for those snacks I don't need to eat).

Image via simaje/flickr

Topics: healthy eating  junk food  mental health  alcoholism