Boredom and Hobbies

In this post and the following we discuss the concept of boredom, its negative impact on health and how hobbies can help combat it.

“For happiness, evils are less disastrous than boredom” (G. Leopardi)



Boredom: tiredness of mind caused by lack of stimulation or distraction, or by repeated annoyance

Inaction: lack of action

Unemployment: lack of occupation, idleness

Leisure: cessation of work, inaction or total omission of the activity; free time of a person; fun or restful occupation…..

Vaguear, loafing: to be voluntarily idle


Bored: feeling weary and impatient because one is unoccupied or lacks interest in one’s current activity

Leisure: time when one is not working or occupied; Free Time

Idleness: a state of inaction; inactivity (and also laziness, indolence)


Idle: lazy, idle.

Leisure: leisure, unemployment (for leisure)

Leisure time: free time

Boredom, in addition to being a philosophical concept, is mainly a psychological concept. Although it sometimes borders on or is related to psychiatric problems, it has not been included independently within psychiatric illnesses. In the psychiatric field, a distinction is usually made between the state of boredom (momentary) and the trait of boredom (or tendency to boredom), associated with personality and, sometimes, with various psychological problems.

As indicated in the definition of the RAE, boredom is a state of mind, with its own personality, with a negative connotation since in a way it is opposed to joy or happiness.
However, boredom may not always be negative or harmful since it serves as a contrast to assess situations and other states of mind and can serve as a stimulus that generates ideas or attitudes (to escape from it).

Everyone has known, to a greater or lesser extent, boredom. As stated in the definition, it can be distinguished:

boredom due to lack of stimulation, doing nothing or not having anything to do that interests or distracts,
boredom due to performing repetitive tasks, not pleasant or motivating.
repeatedly or punctually exposed to situations that are usually not at all interesting, stimulating or satisfying.

Any of these situations supports the concept that boredom is triggered mainly when we are faced with a situation that we consider “meaningless” or without purpose.

For our analysis in relation to hobbies and hobbies, we are only interested in boredom due to lack of stimulation, the one most related to free time or leisure.


We have said that we are interested in boredom related to free time. “Active” free time, in general leisure time, occupied by tasks, hobbies or voluntary activities is not usually boring. Boredom is much more present when it comes to free time “in which we do nothing”.

Inactive free time, which is usually, but not always, leisure; is one in which the person has no obligation of any kind and, by choice, or due to circumstances, DOES NOT DO ANYTHING, basically on a physical level (it is not necessary to be immobile, but no programmed or organized physical activity is carried out), and – less emphatically – not at the mental level (in this case we refer to programmed, organized or “compulsory” mental activity: how to solve pending problems, remember pending or unresolved tasks, etc…).

Inactive free time is a concept more of the future and the past than of the present. One wonders what am I going to do in those free hours that I have ahead of me? If you have the idea that there is some activity of some kind that can be enjoyable, that time will be used in a satisfactory way and remembered as positive. If you don’t know how to “fill it in” or you try something that isn’t pleasant and, among other things, it is thought to be boring, the memory is usually also of something negative. So:

Free “inactive” time can be occupied in various ways:

In a positive and pleasant way:

-leaving the mind blank
-relaxing, meditating
-interesting or pleasant thoughts “not dependent on obligation”


-getting bored with negative feeling
-Unpleasant or negative thoughts, reflections, memories.


-Watching TV, mobile or internet to “fill the time” (different from when one considers seeing or doing things because they seem interesting or with a specific goal)

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