The Mindful Survey: Got the Blahs?

What do NASCAR, data entry, and watching chickens have in common? Find out in our latest reader survey.

Illustration by Freepik

Was Harvey Danger right when the band sang “If you’re bored, then you’re boring”?

32% say yes, 68% say no


What’s your go-to fidgeting method when you’re bored?

38% say they don’t fidget, as they’re perfectly comfortable to just sit and stare. Another 27% rearrange things arbitrarily, and 27% doodle. 8% bite their fingernails.

Is boredom a good thing or a bad thing?

42% Say it’s neither good nor bad, and 24% say it’s both good and bad. 15% consider boredom entirely a bad thing, and 12% are ambivalent. Only 9% think boredom is good. Read our feature (in the October issue of Mindful) for a deeper look at boredom.

What form of entertainment do you find most boring?

Well, there aren’t many gamers around here! At 46%, video games are considered by far the most boring form of entertainment among Mindful readers. That’s significantly more than the next most boring form of entertainment, TV (26%), followed by board games (12%), movies (3%), magazines (2%), and books (2%). Another 12% had their own answers to the question. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Opera
  • Politics
  • Golf on TV
  • Watching grass grow (Note: Is this really a “form of entertainment”?)
  • Neurophysics lectures

How long does it take you to nod off if you’re bored?

49% never nod off from boredom, while it takes 25% just a few minutes to conk out. 22% can hold off for an hour or two before succumbing to bored sleep, and 4% fall asleep right away.

On a scale from 1 to 10, how easily do you get bored?

Average = 4.2

What do you think of doodling?

65% say it’s a creative release, while 21% consider doodling a way to relieve tension, and 14% believe it’s something people do for no reason.

How would you describe your experience of boredom?

  • “So crushing I want to chew my arm off.”
  • “A lost opportunity to be creative but this can be productive when you re- arrange your priorities!”
  • “Since I am the most interesting and fun person I know, I am not sure that I have experienced boredom.”
  • “Kind of itchy.”
  • “One big yawn.”
  • “………….”
  • “Resistance to nondoing.”
  • “Blah!”
  • “Extra energy in my body/limbs but numbness in my brain.”

The best thing to do when you’re bored is:

  • “Daydream or find something  you enjoy to do.”
  • “Go for a walk.”
  • “I enjoy puzzles such as sudoku or crosswords.”
  • “Chill.”
  • “Contact a friend.”
  • “Slerp.” (Note: We’re not sure what this means, but it sounds kind of nice.)
  • “Read and sip on wine.”
  • “Think about something you haven’t had time to think about.”
  • “Sit with it and let it drift away.”
  • “Write in a journal. There’s always something for you to process.”
  • “Still don’t know. Thinking about it is boring.”
  • “Stay off the damn smartphone.”

What’s one hobby you can’t believe you do because it seems so terribly boring?

  • Read nonfiction
  • Meditate
  • Watch documentaries
  • Organize stuff
  • Listen to my husband go on about his computer issues and how they were solved
  • Data entry
  • Rearrange the silverware drawer
  • Dusting
  • Pull weeds
  • Watch my chickens

illustration of chickens

This article originally appeared in the October 2016 issue of Mindful magazine.