Boredom to the Mind Is Like Sleep to the Body

The overlooked importance of boredom in our lives

John P. Weiss
Personal Growth

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My childhood friend, Steven. All photos by John P. Weiss

It feels like contemporary society is suffering from a loss of center, as we spiral hopelessly into a vortex of relentless information dump, social media narcissism, TikTok superficiality, harmful productivity addiction, and a near-complete abandonment of the one thing that can save us all.

What’s the one thing?

Boredom.

Because when we shut out all the distractions, stimuli, and digital noise, our exhausted brains idle down and slowly recover. “Boredom to the mind is like sleep to the body,” according to Korean-born Byung-Chul Han, a Professor of Philosophy and Cultural Studies in Berlin.

Professor Han is the author of The Burnout Society, a slim, scholarly, 68-page analysis of why so many in society are miserable. The book was published a few years ago, but the diagnosis still applies today.

Dr. Han is a deep thinker, as evidenced by this description of his book:

“Our competitive, service-oriented societies are taking a toll on the late-modern individual. Rather than improving life, multitasking, ‘user-friendly’ technology, and the culture of convenience are producing disorders that range from depression to attention deficit…

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John P. Weiss
Personal Growth

I write books, stories and essays about life, often illustrated with my photography and artwork. JohnPWeiss.com.