Fear vs Boredom Every single person feels bored or scared from time to time. Many may consider fear and boredom the same thing for they both cause people insecurity, depression and health problems. However, if that is the case, why do people respond less to boredom than they do in fear? Although the two emotions have similar effects, the causes and solutions for each of them are significantly different. In order to deal with these two emotions successfully, it is important to know about their similarities and differences. Generally speaking, there are three effects of fear; a lack of concentration, health problems and mental illnesses.
A person who suffers fear is unable to focus. In some serious cases, one may have a panic attack and which will drive them away from working productively. “Panic attacks can wreak extreme habit on someone’s emotional confidence and physical well-being. The days that come after a panic attack the person will typically complain of being extremely tried and unable to focus on very simple tasks” (Health Fitness Articles par 5). Moreover, fear will bring health problems in the long run because it creates anxiety, which cause extreme stress and eventually destroy the body system; “Fear causes worry.
Worry makes you tense and nervous and affects the nerves of your stomach and actually changes the gastric juices of our stomach from normal to abnormal and often leads to stomach ulcers” (qtd. in Carnegie 22). Furthermore, fear may cause sadness and can ultimately lead to mental illnesses. For example, students, who are very concern their academics, may worry about failing an exam, which in this case creates a psychological fear in their minds that they are actually failing in school. As this type of fear continues to grow on a person, the accumulation of the negative emotion may cause him or her total depression. What causes insanity? No one knows all the answers. But it is highly probable that in many cases fear and worry are contributing factors. The anxious and harassed individual who is unable to cope with the harsh world of reality breaks off all contact with his environment and retreats into a private dream world of his own making…”(Carnegie 24). Therefore, if a person is constantly fearful, he may be prone to mental illnesses. Boredom has similar effects as those of fear, but more specifically people suffering boredom are unable to focus, subject to physical illnesses (such as stomach problems, heart diseases etc. and mental problems (e. g. depression). A person feeling bored has lower motivation to focus on his work, because boredom can make a person lose passion towards things around him, and cause a lower level of work efficiency. According to Bruce Leckart and L. G. Weinberger, both states that the principal emotional components of boredom are a feeling of uninvolvement, a lack of concentration or focus of one’s attention, a loss of enthusiasm, an absence of motivation, a feeling of emptiness and, above all, no excitement or enthusiasm for what is happening around them(Leckart and Weinberger 32).
In addition, boredom can also cause health issues. People who are persistently bored are prone to have unhealthy habits that affect their lives in different ways. This is supported by Susan Aldridge who believes they are more likely to indulge in unhealthy habits like smoking, drinking, or comfort eating which, in turn, increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other health problems (Aldridge par 3). Apart from that, people who face boredom may have mental problems as well. Also, Leckart and Weinberger suggested that a sense of depression, too, frequently covers up boredom (Leckart and Weinberger 28).
They are relatively subject to depression since they use most of their time in suffering boredom instead of staying positive and active in their lives. On the other hand, the causes of fear are different from those of boredom. A person is fearful when he is insecure or facing uncertainties. Insecurity will bring worries and hence fear to an individual. For example, some people are insecure with public occasions and worried about being judged, the association is even stronger when it comes to someone who has social anxiety disorder.
Alina Morrow states that individuals with a social phobia, when exposed to fearful situations, experience an intense fear and worry that others watch their actions and judge their performances as poor (Morrow par 2). Another cause for fear is when a person is facing uncertainties. Since one cannot predict what will happen in an unfamiliar situation, they may assume that everything would get worse and feel frightened of many consequences to come.
Riexler notes that if a person does not know the nature of danger, he then makes an assumption, meaning that he would not stop thinking of the worse until he feels secure (Riezler 494). This implies when one is facing uncertain situations, he may make more bad assumptions than good assumptions based on the human nature, which will in turn bring him fear. Contrarily, the causes for boredom are different. A person is bored when he is used to his lifestyle or he has low incentives to find new interests. People who are bored are usually familiar with their lives.
In other words, one knows very well about the things in their daily lives and they are able to deal with them without facing uncertainties. Because of the lack of new issues and uncertainties, they may end up in boredom. “Life-style boredom is obviously more pervasive and severe. Characteristically, some aspect of your style of living no longer gives you the basic gratification, excitement and involvement that it originally produced. In short, you have outgrown your life and failed to notice it…” (Leckart and Weinberger 38).
Moreover, another reason for a person to be bored is that he may have low incentives to try new things. This can be explained by the arguments of Leckart and Weinberger that inertial boredom is boredom maintained simply because there is no apparent or convenient way to break the inertia of doing what a person has begun to do, or used to doing, even though it is not involving or interesting (Leckart and Weinberger 47). There are three steps to relieve a person’s fear. Firstly, one should have hope, for one will be more confident in conquering fear. We always hope, if only that the thing we are afraid of will not happen. Man faces great danger without fear if a strong desire, emotion, passion sways his heart. Men and animals in rage are blind to danger. Hope can conquer fear” (Riezler 489). Secondly, one should learn more about the fearful situation of by doing research or learning from others’ knowledge. This process can help a person prepare for the situation that he is afraid of, so in turn, he will be more capable to solving the problems and thus will be less anxious.
Third, one should learn to relax. For example, when one is facing a fearful situation, he or she can stay calm by taking deep breaths. This allows them to relax, so that they can think rationally and feel relieved from fear. With the previous solutions, one should achieve them in order to be free from anxiety. The solutions for boredom are different from those to conquer fear. People should take initiatives to do new things and set up plans to achieve them. It is essential for a person to take initiatives to do things and explore interests.
This way, one may unexpectedly find himself in doing things he has never done before, and defeat the act of boredom. Leckart and Weinberger suggested that one of the primary solutions to boredom is overcoming inertia: just do something. Frequently this involves changing the cognitive state of the individual from uncertainty and indecisiveness to a different framework of thought (Leckart and Weinberger 35). After that, one should set up plans and follow them. For example, people should start making plans for their summer and spring breaks so that they would not be ended up bored or just wasting their free time.
It is a very important step to solve the problem of boredom since this can actually help one to do well in their new interests. “With no plans there is no movement and no excitement. Life becomes dull, routine and tense until a decision is made, one way or the other” (Leckart and Weinberger 40). This can bring him back a meaningful life. All in all, fear and boredom are obviously different from one another. Even though they have similar effects, which both cause a person unable to concentrate in his life, health problems and even mental illnesses, fear and boredom are different.
Fear is brought about through facing uncertainties or insecurities while boredom is caused by low motivations or feeling too comfortable with their lifestyles. So, the solutions for fear are to have hope, search for knowledge to conquer the problems, and learn to relax, while the solutions for boredom are to take initiatives to explore new things, set up plans and follow them. It is important to understand their similarities and distinguish the differences of fear and boredom because appropriate methods can be applied to help people overcome these situations, and to achieve happiness.