Asked by: John Brooks, Manchester
Boredom is one of the complex mental states that is regulated by the hormone dopamine in the brain. Some people either produce less dopamine or have receptors in the brain that are less sensitive to it and these people have a lower threshold of boredom.
Generally negative states of mind have been shown to depress the immune system, but the greatest risk from boredom stems from the things you do to combat it. People who are easily bored are more likely to engage in dangerous sports, be sexually promiscuous and engage in drug and alcohol abuse. All of these things will reduce average life expectancy, but is that dying of boredom or dying of excitement?