How To Overcome Boredom
The words, “I’m bored,” sure are haunting. The idea of having nothing to do is something that most people will do almost anything to escape from. When these moments arise, we rush to the nearest distraction or attention grabber to save us from this endless abyss called boredom. Many of these attention grabbers aren’t productive and can take on the form of television, cellphone usage, surfing the internet, social media, watching countless videos and movies, napping, drug usage, trouble starting, and more.
“Is life not a thousand times too short for us to bore ourselves?” – Friedrich Nietzche
As you can see, most of the activities above involve technology. With the growth of technology, there are now countless ways to stay occupied. The entertainment and tech industry has grown to consume an abundance of our time, focus, and energy. The average American home has 3 televisions. 92% of American adults own a cellphone. 84% of American homes own a computer. As you can see, technology is everywhere and only growing with time.
I find this to a be a severe problem. We have solved the issue of boredom through the advent of counter-productive technological tools. Is this truly progressive? Is it satisfactory to have children, teens, and adults spending almost the entirety of their free time being brainwashed by a TV, phone, or computer screen? Now don’t get me wrong, there are many beneficial uses for these technologies. But when bored, we tend to look for pure entertainment. Entertainment literally means to hold the attention of the mind. Holding the attention of the mind does not equate to edification of the mind.
You see, boredom is the antithesis of creativity. Boredom especially creeps up when there is a lack of passion, drive, and vision in one’s daily life. Boredom is also the result of lack of stimulation. So, it is crucial to engage in productive activities during these times of boredom instead of pacifying the mind with energy draining activities. It is important to stimulate yourself with enhancing stimuli, not debilitating stimuli.
“Our planet is facing the greatest problems it’s ever faced. Ever. So whatever you do, don’t be bored. This is absolutely the most exciting time we could have possibly hoped to be alive. And things are just starting.” – Waking Life
How to Break the Boredom Habit
I wish I could tell you that you can simply will your way out of boredom. That simply being patient and sitting through it will allow it to pass. Unfortunately, that is not the case. The human vessel and mind has a need to always be doing something, even if that something is as simple as sleep or meditation. So to keep things as simple as possible, the way to break out of boredom is to do something and stimulate the mind. Simple enough, but that doesn’t solve the problems listed above.
The way to break the habit of boredom in a positive way is to replace the leeching stimuli and activities with productive stimuli and activities. This takes a bit of will power and conscious effort to do consistently. So, how does this look? Well, when you are bored, what are the first few activities that come to mind? Back before I began shifting my habits, the first things I would think to do were play video games, scroll through a bunch of YouTube videos, or take a nap. All three of these are a great way to speed up time, but they weren’t really adding value to my life. So instead of doing one of those 3 activities, now I partake in some form of creative art such as playing my trombone, drawing, or planning. I can still go on YouTube, but instead watch a video that enhances my mind and life in some way. I can go outside in nature and stimulate my senses. There are so many productive activities that now replace my old unproductive ones. So, next time you feel that boredom creeping in, begin to replace that normal habit (if negative) with one that can be conducive to productivity.
Here is a short list of 5 productive activities to do during these times of boredom. This provides just a sample of what is possible. Click Here!
Now understand, it will take some time for these new activities to become habit. So, just know that in the early stages of this process, each and every activity replacement will have to be a conscious effort and decision. Stick with it and the way your daily life looks will drastically change. Your productiveness and daily progress will jump in magnitude. It will help to identify the new activities you want to implement into your life before the moments of boredom arise.
As stated earlier, a lack of vision, passion, and drive can lead to boredom. When you have those 3 things, you are too focused on working towards your targeted passion or vision to really be bored. Boredom arrives when you have nothing to do. If you really want to eliminate boredom completely, redefining and lighting a fire under your passions can do just that.
I wish you the best of luck in conquering this beast of boredom. Feel free to share additional advice and feedback in the comment section below :D!