For many people, there is nothing worse than staying at home with nothing to do. With nowhere to go, people to visit or just being alone . When this happens, some of them get a feeling of emptiness, something bothering inside. In fact, this feeling can also arise from a lack of interest in what you are doing or the environment around us. Such a feeling is what we commonly call boredom.
But don’t be afraid, being bored is normal. Most likely you will feel this a few times throughout your life. ‘Dying of boredom’ is a very common expression when we want to emphasize how knowledgeable we are about something. But have you ever wondered if anyone could actually die of boredom?
The initial answer would be: more or less. No one dies directly from boredom. On the other hand, such a feeling increases the likelihood that several other things will bring you closer to the grave . A survey conducted in the late 1980s, involving more than 7,500 London civil servants aged 33 to 55, questioned how bored people were about their work over the past month. They were also asked how healthy and physically active they believed they were.
About 7% of people reported feeling ‘pretty’ bored in the previous month. About 2% of them said they were ‘very’ bored . Those who reported that they were more knowledgeable also stated that they performed less physical activity and rated worse how healthy they thought they were.
Bored to death
In 2009, a few decades after the publication of the results of the research, a group of health researchers consulted publishes research data and the central registry of the National Health Service UK to find out what those people had died. And how many of them were still alive.
Thus, they found that those most bored were more likely to have died. In addition to being more than twice as likely to have a fatal cardiovascular disease. Another observation regarding research is that the probability of death linked to boredom seemed to be cumulative.
Over the years data have been collected and new research conducted. People who said they were bored several times were more likely to die. This compared to those who said they were bored only once.
The boredom-death connection the researchers thought might have formed because savvy people were more likely to feel unmotivated, dissatisfied, and unhappy. Which could trigger unhealthy behaviors like excessive drinking and smoking. As well as overeating or taking drugs. These habits would increase the risk of stroke and heart disease. Understanding “is almost certainly a bridge to other risk factors,” the researchers wrote.
Other research has linked boredom to harmful health decisions. Researchers from Baltimore, USA, found that among drug users in urban centers, those who said they were most bored were more likely to report symptoms of depression. In addition to engaging in risky practices such as unprotected sex and sharing syringes and needles.
In the United Kingdom, a psychologist and an engineer interviewed drivers. They found that those more likely to be bored on the road were more likely to engage in habits that put them at high risk for accidents and crashes. This often in an attempt to make driving less “boring”.
Psychiatrist Katya Rubia explained in the book Boredom: A Lively History, still untitled in Portuguese, that children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) “self-medicate” to cure boredom. According to psychologist Peter Suedfeld, in an interview with Mental Floss , “people sometimes do reckless and stupid things when they suffer from chronic boredom.”
According to Suedfeld, a person working at an Antarctic research station, for example, could go for a walk without a coat in a place where the temperature could reach -40ºC.
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