I Am Bored, Therefore I Eat
How boredom eating can change your brain and how to change it back
Posted June 29, 2012
We’ve all said it at one time or another: I’m bored.
There are two types of boredom. The first is garden variety boredom also known as the “blahs,” an acute state of lacking in pleasure/enjoyment. It is usually temporary, with some people experiencing bouts more frequently or prolonged than others. This type of boredom typically can be remedied when you discover a source of pleasure or enjoyment. Imagine you are sitting, staring at the TV, feeling bored. Then a good friend calls and says, “Come on, over, we are firing up the barbecue!” You are immediately excited-- boredom resolved.
The Slippery Slope
Interestingly, how we go about relieving our garden variety boredom can actually cause us to develop anhedonia.
Here are few strategies to keep the boredom away while ensuring the pleasure centers in your brain remain healthy:
2. Build An Arsenal. The pleasure you experience in life should not come from one single activity, but rather from many activities. Remember it is an over-reliance on one thing that paints us into a pleasure corner, slowly narrowing our brain's ability to enjoy other things. By putting enjoyable activities into your day, you can buffer yourself from using food as your “go to” boredom cure.
Creating a fulfilling and stimulating life requires a balance between finding pleasure within and outside the routine of life. If you are stuck in a rut of boredom, constantly stretch yourself with new and different activities that give your brain a reason to light up…so that it doesn’t end up going dark on you.