Why a little boredom could be good for your relationship

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Psychologists have interesting news about boredom: It can be good for interpersonal relationships.

In an individual, boredom can lead the mind to wander, stimulating creativity. It can do much the same in a relationship, acting as a powerful signal to pay attention and step up your game. It may even help you rekindle your connection.

Until recently, research into boredom has focused almost exclusively on its negative effects, which include links to increased stress, smoking, drinking and drug use, as well as depression and weight gain. Boredom can appear in many types of relationships, including friendships. It may come and go. In a relationship, it may even be the beginning of the end.

The bored brain may be up to something good, some scientists now think. When we feel bored, our prefrontal cortex—the area in the brain associated with consolidating memories, processing emotions and making decisions—is highly active. In addition, when we experience boredom, two areas of the brain may be busy working closely together—the executive network, which solves problems, and the so-called default network, which takes over when your brain isn't involved with something external. The result is enhanced creativity.

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