Sunday, January 29, 2012

The ABC's of Curing Boredom


Often times we do not reach the elevated level of focus that stimulates our brain's executive functions which allows learning to take place. 

When we are in our survival mode, our brain's are largely focused on unconscious judgment based on previous knowledge and experience in order to attend to our survival needs in our environment. 

Our focus is directed toward security safety. 

When we're overwhelmed by boring information we cannot connect, focus, or create meaning from the information being presented. This causes tension and agitation, and makes it difficult to get back on track, make sense of the data, and determine where we should focus. 



Our brains notice novelty, pleasant surprises, creative play, and emotionally enjoyable and comforting situations. Basically, we pay more attention to things that interest us and allow us feel good. 

We can foster interest by balancing novelty with the security of familiarity. Familiarity can be as simple as allowing a person to focus on their own personal interests and utilize their talents. 

Relevant information is processed with the most interest in the brain. Recognizing someone's areas of interest provides avenues with connecting them to the possibilities whereby they can explore and potentially contribute to any given field of interest. 

When people's interests are respected, they think out their questions more carefully, and ask the appropriate questions that many people could benefit from knowing. 

Stimulating a person's interests in personal matters increases overall attention-focusing skills, which leads to increased cognition. 



Once a person's fight-or-flight system is appeased, and once their interest is peaked, selective attention is ignited, which allows someone to focus on the sensory input they need to process information. This state cannot occur unless an individual can link their own interests and ideas to a topic and raise questions that are meaningful to the path in life they are following. 

This is the impetus of motivation. 

When we are tuned in to something and when we care about it, we will naturally seek the tools we need to solve any given problem. 

During this elevated state of selective focus, the frontal lobe executive functions are stimulated. Just as with any repeatedly used and stimulated brain circuitry, the more you use something, the stronger it becomes. 

"Use it or lose it" is a maxim people all over the world understand. 

If you do not bore a person into a coma, more dendrites and synapses will grow, which increase the brain's efficiency while simultaneously entertaining us. 


Confident, motivated, capable, higher-thinking, non-bored Homo sapiens. 

1 comment:

Dr. Lee Martin said...

"The instruction we find in books is like fire. We fetch it from our neighbors, kindle it at home, communicate it to others, and it becomes the property of all!"
- Voltaire