Boreout: definition, symptoms and what to do

bored man

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Too few or hardly any demanding tasks in daily work life can lead to a permanent challenge that ultimately makes you sick. Boredom occurs, also known as boredom syndrome. This is basically the opposite of the more well-known burnout syndrome, because the causes are the exact opposite. However, a boredom also stems from problems at work and can certainly trigger similar symptoms. What are they, who is affected by a poll and what can you do against a poll? You will find out in this article.

Definition: What is a Boreout?

The term boredom (also boredom or boredom syndrome) is relatively new: Since 2007, the term has been used for health problems caused by chronic low effort at work. Although it is a neologism of two German authors, the word “boreout” has English roots: “to bore” means “to be bored”.

A boreout is not yet an officially recognized disease. This means that there are no international criteria for diagnosis and no standardized test to determine a perforation. However, boreout syndrome is known to many medical professionals and some psychological practices also offer special therapies for treatment.

Who is affected by boredom?

In principle, anyone can develop a boreout. Two main factors particularly contribute to the occurrence of a sounding:

  1. On the one hand, these are tasks that do not pose a challenge for the interested party.
  2. On the other hand, too few tasks can lead to a boredom syndrome.

Both create a lasting feeling of boredom when the daily work is largely determined by them. The activity itself is not considered satisfactory or significant, dissatisfaction arises.

A boredom can also be favored by fixed work schedules that do not adapt to the actual workload, for example, a 40-hour job whose tasks can be completed in 15 hours.

What behavior does a probe indicate?

Basically, there is a lack of motivation for activity due to high job dissatisfaction. There is a distance from the company. Many of those affected have already resigned in their minds, even though they keep showing up at work.

At the same time, attempts are often made to hide the lack of workload from colleagues and/or superiors. This may be related to the fact that the topic is generally uncomfortable for those affected. However, there is often also the fear of losing the job, if it becomes clear that the position itself is not really needed or not needed to such an extent.

In order to disguise the piercing from the outside, “fake strategies” are often used. For example, affected individuals artificially prolong tasks or deal with private matters during the working day, thus engaging in ostensibly professional activities.

What are the symptoms of boredom?

The symptoms of boredom are similar to those of burnout, that is, the signs that arise when you are chronically overwhelmed at work. The physical and psychological symptoms are diverse.

Possible signs include:

These health problems are not only noticeable during working hours, but private life can also be burdened by boredom. If the situation persists for a long time and does not improve, boredom can turn into depression. Therefore, those affected should seek medical attention at an early stage.

What can you do against boredom?

If you notice signs of boredom and changes are not expected in the company in the foreseeable future that could improve the situation, you should actively seek a conversation with a superior to find solutions to the problem together. Possible options here include taking on new projects, redistributing tasks within the team, or changing positions within the company. If necessary, a reduction in working hours may also be an option.

If there is no prospect of solving the problem within the company, those affected should consider changing jobs.

In the case of serious health problems or even if depression is suspected, medical advice should always be sought. Psychological support can also help to deal with problems at work or, in your case, to take the step towards changing jobs. Coaching can often help with career reorientation. Some coaches even specialize in helping bored people choose a new job.

Measures to counteract emotional stress can also be helpful. These include, for example, mindfulness exercises, tai chi, or yoga. Sufficient physical exercise can also help reduce mental stress.

Which is worse, exhaustion or boredom?

It is difficult to make an adequate assessment because the symptoms of both syndromes are similar and always stressful for those affected. Also, both exhaustion and boredom can lead to depression if left untreated.

In principle, however, it can be said that burnout is currently attracting more attention and recognition within society and also within medicine. In 2022, burnout syndrome was included in the “International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems” (ICD), that is, the “International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems”, which officially recognized it as a syndrome that affects health. This has not happened so far in the case of the survey. There is currently less research on the subject.

Updated: 09/20/2022

Author: Jasmin Rauch, Medical Editor


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