When you’re bored, you blame the situation you’re in for being boring. Work: boring. School: boring. The commuter train to Penn Station: boring, boring, boring. But psychological research is beginning to show that boredom comes largely from within. And the harder we try to distract ourselves from what’s boring us, the more bored we may become.We live in a world of constant entertainment, with endless updates, games and conversations beeping and buzzing at our fingertips. And this, worries John Eastwood, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology at York University in Toronto, could be making us more bored than ever. In a 2012 study, Eastwood illustrates that boredom is a problem of attention—that is, not paying enough of it. When we can’t engage in what’s going on (in the room or in our heads), we feel bored. Then we think about being bored and feel worse. Then we declare, “This is boring!” and probably pull out the iPhone. “There is only limited research, but I think of the distractions as a short-term fix that makes things worse in the long run,” says Eastwood.Boredom feels like the absence of feeling, but that’s selling boredom short. It is, itself, a very real emotion that can have serious impacts on our health and happiness. At its worst, boredom is a pervasive and chronic stressor, often accompanied by a muted sense of life purpose, low job satisfaction, poor productivity, depression, anxiety and impulsive behavior like drinking and binge eating. And yet, there has been very little research into boredom and its effects.Part of the problem, says Thomas Goetz, Ph.D., a professor at the University of Konstanz in Germany, is that boredom is the “silent emotion.” It’s not an obvious state like anger, elation or confusion. There’s no emoticon that encapsulates the malady of malaise.In fact, Goetz argues that there is not just one thing called boredom. Rather, there are multiple boredoms, each with a different emotional profile.He and his team have identified five different types of boredom, which can feel wildly different from one another—from vaguely pleasant to downright dreadful. And while certain situations might provide the perfect backdrop for each variation, Goetz’s findings suggest that there might be a personality component as well. People tend to experience the same kind of boredom over and over (and over) again.Do you favor a particular flavor of bored? We broke down Goetz’s five types of boredom to help you find out:Type 1: IndifferentPossible setting: At a chamber music concert after a long day at workYou feel: Calm, relaxed, even wistful. A cheerful sort of sleepy.You want to: Zone out completelyType 2: CalibratingPossible setting: Waiting for a doctor’s appointmentYou feel: Meh. Not terrible, not awesome, just meh.You want to: Daydream about your next vacationType 3: SearchingPossible setting: At the office, finishing a PowerPoint presentationYou feel: Antsy, like you’d rather be doing just about anything elseYou want to: Check Facebook. And Pinterest. And Instagram.Type 4: ReactantPossible setting: Your company’s annual investors’ meetingYou feel: Like pulling your freaking hair outYou want to: Run through the wall, leaving a you-shaped hole in the bricksType 5: ApatheticPossible setting: Any situation from which there’s no escapingYou feel: Depressed, dejected and doomed to be bored foreverYou want to: Sit and wallow in the never-ending misery that is your life at this very momentNow the million dollar question is: How can you not be so bored all the time? You’ve got to find your flow. That means letting yourself become fully absorbed in what you do. Pay attention—real attention—to what’s going on around you, and to the task at hand, and reap the rewards of productivity and true engagement.And if you’re not totally bored already, meet the man who discovered flow, and take the Hobbies for Happiness Quiz to find the best flow activities for you.