I’ve previously posted about a short lesson I’ve done on being bored and what students — and teachers — can do about it (see Have You Ever Had A Student Say “This Is Boring”? Here’s A Lesson On It I’m Trying Out Tomorrow).

A new article (Could boredom be curable?) in The Boston Globe follows-up on the research I used in that lesson and adds the results of even more recent studies.

Two ideas mentioned in the article are not “earthshakers,” but I still might try to add them to my lesson as strategies that students should keep in mind if they feel bored.

One is that research found that if subjects found that their mind was wandering towards pleasant alternative leisure activities, just being reminded that this wandering could be a symptom of feeling bored resulted in the elimination of feeling that way. In other words, remembering that thinking of pleasant leisure activities led to feeling bored led to:

boredom symptoms [being] evaporated. Apparently, just tuning into the conflicts that are making us feel bored can go some way toward banishing boredom.

Another finding was that just changing a physical surrounding can eliminate boredom. For example, students could just change seats or sit on their desks.

Again, I don’t think these are brilliant insights, but could just be one more tool in a student’s toolbox — if they are made aware of them.