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Psychologists Explain How Boring Buildings Are Harmful To Our Mental Health

Psychologists Explain How Boring Buildings Are Harmful To Our Mental Health

If you live in a concrete jungle, chances are, you are depressed. The high standards required to live a metropolitan life can put a load of burden on you and then, coupled with a highly demanding job and you’ve got yourself a one-way ticket to stressville.

Studies conducted by psychologists have given fascinating results showing that humans are very much affected by the environment we engage with every day, so much so that it affects our mental health. Here are some explanations by psychologists to show us that boring buildings are indeed harmful to the human mind.

Cognitive Disengagement Or Just Bored

    It’s safe to say that nobody favors working in a boxy building with other boring buildings surrounding the area. In fact, an important study done by Ellard discovered that people who are subjected to a bland environment simply becomes bored.[1]

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    The study involved a small group of participants wearing sensors which recorded skin conductance. When participants felt emotionally excited, the sensors would then be able to tell the researchers.

    Ellard took these participants to two kinds of places in East Houston. The first place was a lifeless street with a boring building where Whole Foods was situated and the second place, a block away where restaurants thrived with an ocean of activity.

    True enough, participants were measured to be bored while at the Whole Foods building and recorded to be excited when taken a block east from it.

    Boredom Creates Stress

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      The feeling of being bored isn’t simply just seen as one of our pet peeves, it can deal more damage to our mental health than we think. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that after retirement; the tendency of us having dementia is higher. Why? Because boredom causes stress.

      Studies done by Psychologists Colleen Merrifield and James Danckert[2] tell us that small doses of boredom can cause stress. In their experiment, participants fitted with electrodes to measure their emotional responses were made to watch three kinds of videos; a sad video, an interesting video and a boring video.

      The results?

      Surprisingly, nothing increased heart rates and cortisol levels (the hormones produced when stress occurs) when the participants were watching the boring video. Can you imagine multiplying that moment by years and years of living in a boxy pigeon hole?

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      Boring Environments Cause Socially-Induced ADHD

        Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a mental disorder that can be developed in the young and the old. The telltale signs if one is suffering from it can be seen if he or she is always fidgeting, making rash decisions or having trouble multitasking.

        One of the main causes of this disorder is a nonstimulating, boring environment. A house without toys, art or constant stimuli of the senses is a recipe for disaster, or ADHD.

        Solution: The Feeling Of Awe

        People shouldn’t start moving to a place where there is a barrage of information to process every day like the Las Vegas Strip or Shinjuku to avoid having ADHD. In fact, it might be counter-productive if our environment becomes too saturated with information.

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        Instead, as suggested by a study done by psychologists,[3] the idea of a “thrill” introduced once in awhile in our lives can help to improve mental health. In the experiment, psychologists presented pictures and videos of awe-inspiring images, such as the Eiffel Tower, to participants. And what the psychologists found out was that the participants became more inclined to make their lives more meaningful and satisfying such as volunteering for a charity and choosing experiences over material possessions.

        What Do You Do To Stay Happy?

        By taking yourself out of the environment, of course! Taking a vacation to the beach or somewhere very different from your regular environment will keep you sane. And if you can’t change the building that you work in? Why not try having a digital picture frame that flashes pictures of loved ones and the favorite places you love to go when you’re not at work. Having a little thrill and novelty in life might prove to be a life-saving decision.

        Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

        Reference

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        Lim Kairen

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        Last Updated on May 21, 2019

        10 Most Entertaining Things To Do During A Long Journey

        10 Most Entertaining Things To Do During A Long Journey

        There are many more fun and eventful things to do to pass away time during a long flight or train journey. Apart from sleeping and continuously playing games on mobile, you can utilize this quality time in more creative ways.

        Should we take a look at all those amazing and curious ways to kill time during the long journey? Let’s go.

        1. Become the Next Big Thing in the Writing World

        Yes!! It’s time to become an Author. When I watch a romantic movie or read some fictional story, I feel like writing something of my own. If you feel the same, then there is no better time than a long journey, especially when you are traveling alone. Don’t forget that JK Rowling got the idea of Harry Potter while she was traveling on a train.

        2. Become a Philosopher

        Enough of reading and listening to various thoughts and quotations of other people. We all have experienced life and learned a lot, and it’s time to put your ideas into words.

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        Or you can try to determine the meaning of life, what you have experienced and things you have learned from it. Remember, every success or failure and try to find the philosophical reason behind it. It will help your mind to calm down.

        3. Card Games? Invent a New One

        I have no issues with claiming that Card Games has always been the most preferred way to pass the time during an extended journey. But don’t stop there, you have enough time to tweak some rules, do some experiment and invent your own card game. Call it anything you want, make sure that new game is entertaining enough to attract more players.

        4. Go into the Fantasy World

        Most of the time I put myself into Hogwarts, next moment I am fighting for the wizard world. You can do that too, and it’s not that tough. Going into a fantasy world is the most exciting thing you can do while traveling alone.

        5. Day Dream

        Day Dreaming is sometimes helpful and helps your brain do some exercise. You can be at your creative best. I have found realistic solutions of toughest problems while day dreaming. You can be more open minded and understanding at this time.

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        Daydream about being a singer or actor or richest person in the world. It gives you the motivation to do well and achieve your goals.

        6. Time to Plan your Dream Project

        This one is my favorite. You get enough time to work on your plans or dream projects. Travelling is the best time to brainstorm on your next product, which can be very efficient. Think about all pros and cons, praise yourself, criticize yourself and come up with best possible solutions because no one is there to judge you or your work at this moment.

        7. Movie Marathon

        Not only weekends, but a long journey is also an excellent time to start a film marathon. Create a list and watch movies online. Tune into any of the popular video streaming sites or app and watch your favorite TV Series and movies.

        8. Breakdown your Goals into Realistic Steps

        While you are traveling, you can set realistic and possible steps to achieve your aim. Spend your time in breaking down your goals and plan to achieve each small one in a given period. You can set your daily routine, work on your work-life balance and plan for a more systematic approach in day to day life. Don’t forget that walking through small steps is the key to reaching on top.

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        9. Read a Book

        Reading will never go out of fashion. Always carry a book with you. It is the most amazing thing to spend some time with, especially when you are alone and have lots of free time. Fiction or non-fiction, stories of any kind will always entertain you and enlighten you with new life lessons.

        10. Eavesdrop: Its Actually Entertaining

        The most entertaining thing to do during the long flight or train journey. You get to listen to amazing and exciting stories of the ordinary public, which sometimes are more interesting than Soap operas. I, once eavesdropped on a couple’s fight and seriously the reason was hilarious.

        I got entertained like never before.

        The Bottom Line

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        Have some fun, do some exciting things, don’t waste your time in sleeping and playing the same game again and again.

        Featured photo credit: simplybusinessclass.com via blog.simplybusinessclass.com

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