Discovering and creating a life that matters.
by Todd B. Kashdan, Ph.D.
Science Shows You Can Die of Boredom, Literally
How does being bored increase the speed of yourdemise?
Published on March 3, 2010
Monthly magazines from Reader's Digest to Cosmopolitan are inundated with tips on how to sleep better, find happiness, and weave seriously sexy hair. Takingnothing away from being happy and blowing your romantic partner's mind on valentine's day, there are few things as valuable as staying alive.
Sometimes we fail to take life and death seriously. Thinkback to those painful days of calculus class in high school. Like the sounds of a banshee ripping out its entrails, you and your classmates probably screamed the same screams heard year after year - "I'mso bored, I could die!" And yet, did your calculus teacher care? Did they offer a hug or show the slightest empathy? Probably not. And what about the desperate pleas of innocent children on long,monotonous car rides. All children want is a life free from boredom's jaws of death and yet, parents often ignore them. With this in mind, try to withhold your skepticism for a moment as I share a brandnew scientific discovery:
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The more bored you are, the more likely you are to die prematurely
Could cold-hearted calculus teachers and parents be culpable of involuntarymanslaughter? The answer is beyond my area of expertise. I'll leave that to legal authorities. What is important is that we consider what we can due to curb a potential epidemic. Boredom is not innocuous.Over 7,500 London civil servants aged between 35 and 55 were interviewed in the late 1980's. Among other questions, they were asked if they felt bored at work during the past month. These same peoplewere tracked down to find out who died by April 2009. What the researchers found was that civil servants who reported being very bored were 2.5 times more likely to die of a heart problem than those...