Can u die of boredom

Can You Die of Boredom? Facts, Risk Factors, and Staying Healthy

The old phrase “I’m so bored, I could die!” is considered an exaggeration for a reason. It’s very unlikely that you could die from having one boring day.

But while being bored once in a while won’t kill you, research has indicated that long-term boredom may increase your risk for a premature death.

But it’s not due to the boredom itself; it’s due to certain lifestyle choices or underlying health issues.

There are ways you can address boredom before it negatively affects your health. Read on to learn more about how fighting boredom can help you lead a healthier life and ways to overcome boredom.

Once thought of as a childhood exaggeration, researchers now know it may be possible to die from boredom. Here’s what the science says about being bored — and what you can do about it.

Underlying conditions

In general, boredom is more likely to occur in people with the following conditions. This is particularly true if these conditions are untreated:

  • alexithymia (inability to describe and identify emotions)
  • attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease
  • depression
  • high sensitivity
  • traumatic brain injury

Increased health risks

Research over the last decade has shown that boredom alone won’t kill you.

However, long-term boredom may increase your risk for an early death. This is because boredom may increase stress hormones in the body, which can lead to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.

Risk factors

One key 2010 study on boredom found that the following risk factors increased the likelihood of chronic boredom:

  • overall poor health
  • lower rate of regular physical activity
  • being young
  • being female
  • a lower employment grade
  • having Alzheimer’s disease

The link between boredom and premature death isn’t fully understood. Rather than a direct cause-and-effect, researchers believe that long-term boredom may lead to health issues that can then reduce your life span.

May be linked to unhealthy lifestyle choices

Boredom may also be linked to the following lifestyle choices:

  • smoking
  • alcohol misuse
  • substance use
  • binge eating or mindless snacking
  • eating unhealthy foods

May increase your risk for heart attack

Like stress, boredom may place undue pressure on your heart and circulatory system. This may increase your risk for a heart attack. You may also experience more illnesses due to a lack of immunity.

May lead to depression

Boredom also appears to have a strong link with depression. In some cases, constant boredom may lead to depression, but you may also be chronically bored from having this mental health condition.

Untreated depression is linked to an increased risk of heart disease.

Treating any health conditions you have as well as becoming invested in your health can also help you fight boredom.

One way to fight boredom is to stick with a daily routine.

While you don’t necessarily have to engage in the exact same activities each day, it’s helpful to block out specific times dedicated to work, exercise, chores, hobbies, and socializing.

Still, even with a routine in place, it’s possible to experience boredom from time to time.

If you find yourself bored from either a lack of stimulation or companionship, consider trying out the following activities whenever boredom arises:

  • Read a new book or magazine.
  • Do some journaling or scrapbooking.
  • Engage in your favorite workout routine, or try something new, such as a dance class.
  • Cook a new recipe.
  • Join a club or try out a new hobby.
  • Call or video chat with a friend or loved one.
  • Look for volunteer opportunities or charity work in your community.
  • Mindfully eat your meals.
  • Adopt mindfulness practices, such as meditation.
  • Get enough sleep every night so you have the energy to be active during the day.

Additionally, it’s important to communicate your boredom with a friend or loved one.

You can also address chronic boredom related to depression or anxiety with a mental health professional. Once you’ve identified boredom, you can become empowered to work through it.

Being bored once in a while isn’t harmful.

In fact, when considering children and teens who might be constantly entertained by technology, you might encourage them to work through occasional boredom. This can help them learn how to find creative solutions for entertaining themselves.

However, for many adults, long-term boredom can adversely affect health.

The effects of boredom may be especially more potent if you have certain untreated health conditions, like depression.

It’s also possible that having a mental health condition or chronic illness could increase your chances of experiencing boredom.

The best way to prevent boredom is to deal with it head-on. Staying socially active helps, along with engaging in hobbies, exercise, and other activities.

If you find that boredom is leaving you more vulnerable to feelings of depression, substance use, or feelings of self-harm, reach out to a mental health professional right away.

Can you die of boredom?

"" Is it really possible to be so bored your heart gives out? sdominick/Getty Image

Boredom is like an emotional oxymoron. Your mind itches for something to do, but your body doesn't respond.

This universal human experience ranks at the bottom of our list of desirable emotions, and while boredom springs from various sources, people report almost uniform sensations of lazy restlessness [source: Martin et al]. But what happens when that flat-lined feeling doesn't go away? Can you — as the saying beloved to angst-ridden teenagers goes — really die of boredom?


Run-of-the-mill boredom alone won't kill you. But, in a roundabout way, it can pose problems for adolescents. Today's teenagers in particular may be susceptible to boredom from a combination of overstimulation and lack of coping skills when action dies down.

Some adults, however, don't grow out of typical teenage boredom. Certain personalities that gravitate toward high-risk lifestyles also experience chronic boredom. While the relationship between the two isn't completely understood by science, it can spiral into danger. In fact, boredom-prone people are more likely to engage in activities including alcohol abuse, drug addiction, compulsive gambling and eating disorders [source: Gosline].

This type of endless ennui also happens more to men and people with brain injuries and certain psychotic disorders. For drug addicts, fighting boredom can predict their success in kicking their habit as well.

In cases like these, boredom simultaneously serves as a symptom and a stimulant for adverse behavior. People may not have the coping mechanisms and ability to put circumstances in perspective to overcome boredom, leading to continuous dissatisfaction.

Boredom seems to be more common in women, young people, those who are on a low employment level and those who don't do a lot of physical activity. A 2010 study concluded that "those with a great deal of boredom were more likely to die during follow-up than those not bored at all. In particular, they were more likely to die from a CVD [cardiovascular disease] fatal event... However, the state of boredom is almost certainly a proxy for other risk factors" [source: Britton and Shipley]. In other words, the people in the study weren't dying of literal boredom. But boredom led to them to unhealthy behaviors like excessive drinking, smoking and taking drugs.

What exactly is this elusive phenomenon of boredom, and why is it so unpleasant? We'll stoop down and take a closer look at this lowest of the lows on the next page.

Cite This!

Please copy/paste the following text to properly cite this article:

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Get help & support for suicide

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If you believe that someone else is in danger of suicide and you have their contact information, contact your local law enforcement for immediate help. You can also encourage the person to contact a suicide prevention hotline using the information above.

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Important: Partnerships vary by country and region.

Korea Suicide Prevention Center
Country Hotline organization Website Phone number
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India iCall Helpline icallhelpline. org 9152987821
Ireland Samaritans Ireland 116 123
Israel [Eran] ​​ער"ן 1201
Italy Samaritans Onlus 06 77208977
Japan Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology 81-0120-0-78310
Japan Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare of Japan www.mhlw.go 0570-064-556
Malaysia Befrienders KL 03-76272929
Netherlands 113Online www. 0800-0113
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213 544 545

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Spain Telefono de la Esperanza 717 003 717
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United States 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline 988

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Information about the unified all-Russian children's helpline

0444 8-800-2000-122 .

When calling this number in any locality of the Russian Federation from fixed or mobile phones, children in difficult life situations, adolescents and their parents, other citizens can receive emergency psychological assistance, which is provided by specialists of services already operating in the constituent entities of the Russian Federation that provide services for telephone counseling and connected to a single all-Russian number of children's helpline.

Confidentiality and free of charge are the two main principles of the children's helpline. This means that every child and parent can anonymously and free of charge receive psychological assistance and the secrecy of his call to the helpline is guaranteed.

Working hours of the children's helpline in the constituent entities of the Russian Federation

(as of October 1, 2013) 2400
Name of the subject of the Russian Federation 9Arkhangelsk region 09.00-22.00
22 with Nenets Autonomous Okrug daily 09.00-17.30
23 Vologda region around the clock
24 Kaliningrad region daily0039 around the clock
35 Chechen Republic 08.30-20.00
Southern Federal District
37 Republic of Adygea
38 Kalmykia Pon-Pen. 8.00-17.00
80 Magadan region pon.p.-five. 10.00-22.00
81 Sakhalin Region
83 Chukotka AO Mon-Fri 09.00-22.00, closed 16.00-22.00

Infographics. The principle of operation of a single federal helpline number for children, adolescents and their parents

Information from the regions about the work of the children's helpline


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