Mindfulness prevents boredom and the Deterioration of the Mind

By Desmond Yeoh SC


“Key among the scientific discoveries behind emotional alchemy: that mindfulness shifts the brain from disturbing to positive emotions, and that the brain stays plastic throughout life, charging itself as we learn to challenge old habits”

– Tara Bennet Goleman, Emotional Alchemy,  New York Times Bestseller


Road sceneryTara Bennet explained that our mind becomes energised and perks up whenever we encounter something new such as a new song or seeing a new place. On the other hand, our brain “tunes out” familiar things, such as the sound of a fan in the background, after registering it for a moment. We can notice the difference when we are driving through a new route with beautiful scenery versus a route which we have used many times before. She further explained that boredom happens when the mind is not sufficiently stimulated by new sense objects.

Does this mean that we have to keep searching for new things to stimulate our mind? No. She wrote in her book, “But we don’t have to change the environment to perk up the brain; we can do it simply through sharpening our attention to whatever is there. Full attention is the antidote to boredom. Mindfulness rouses the brain, jump-starting the orienting response”.

Therefore, mindfulness can stimulate our minds without the need for new sense objects and thus reduce our need for distractions. At the same time, it keeps our minds alert and fully awake, thus prevents the deterioration of our  minds as we age.

So, the next time you find yourself getting bored, why not try out some mindfulness practice instead of wasting time and money on distractions. There is really nothing to lose.



Related articles:  Training the Mind through ‘Noting’ Meditation, Wisdom and awareness against habitual tendencies, Action With Awareness – Right Conduct, Practicing Awareness

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