'Boredom sets in when we're searching for stimulation, but can't find it,' explains Dr Sandi Mann, author of The Upside of Downtime and psychology lecturer at UCLAN.
It can be a distressing feeling, being bored - some evidence suggest it places stress on the brain and is linked with anxiety, depression.
However, boredom isn't necessarily about having nothing to do.
If you're experiencing boredom in 2017 chances are the activities that are filling your schedule may be purely online and they just don't stimulate you.
"Scrolling and swiping are fast-paced, passive activities - we're not using our brains very much," say's Dr Mann.
That's when we start second-screening - watching TV and scrolling the net at the same time. But that makes things worse, because we're even less focused.
We don't need to quit technology altogether, we just need to understand how boredom manifests itself within us.
What one person find frustrating makes another feel calm and creative.
Here are 5 Benefits to Being Bored:
1. It can make you more creative.
Researchers believe that being bored can lead to some of our most original thoughts.
Dr Sandi Mann found that boredom encourages people's minds to wander, leading them to more associative and creative ways of thinking.
2. It lets you know when something is amiss.
When people's minds wander and they're not thinking about what's going on around them, they're more likely to think about the future,
In a process known as "autobiographical planning," people most frequently plan and anticipate their future goals while daydreaming.
3. It could help make you more productive.
By stimulating a region of the brain responsible for both "thought controlling" mechanisms and "thought freeing" activity — thereby increasing mind-wandering behaviour — researchers found that daydreaming doesn't harm one's ability to succeed at an appointed task, but rather helps it.
4. It can make you a better person.
European and American Researchers believe that boredom can lead us to do altruistic things.
In their studies they found that when we're bored, we lack perceived meaning in our activities and circumstances. This, they say, triggers us to search elsewhere to re-establish our self-meaning.
The researchers found that boredom made people more likely to engage in prosocial behaviours like donating to charity and signing up for blood donations to help re-establish feelings of self-meaning.
5. It could be essential to our happiness.
Though esteemed philosopher Bertrand Russell mused on the makings of a happy life nearly 90 years ago, his observations about the essential quality of our capacity for boredom seems just as apt today as ever:
"A life too full of excitement is an exhausting life, in which continually stronger stimuli are needed to give the thrill that has come to be thought an essential part of pleasure."
Sign up to receive CTL News:
a monthly newsletter with blog posts relating to personal and professional well being and development