It really is hard for us to just do nothing. We grab our phones, turn on our TV’s, or use the computer for some sort of stimulation. It is like our clutch to keep us away from the uncomfortable stillness. We don’t like boredom. We see it as bad, but boredom really isn’t bad for you, actually it can be good for you. Yes, that may sound strange, but hear me out.
I have been trying to keep my distance from too much stimulation, and tried to be more mindful, and accept boredom in my life. We try to escape boredom by any means possible, but boredom is part of life. You will be bored at times, and that is okay. Boredom like any emotion, just is, it isn’t good or bad. It is how we perceive it that makes it good or bad for us.
What we should do is learn to use boredom to our advantage, rather than use that time to distract us with nonsense, or wallow, or become depressed in the fact that you have nothing to do. I find myself to be the most creative, during these times. Boredom gives me the time to be in the moment. It allows me to think through my problems. It allows me to look into my goals. It gives me ideas of what I can do to improve my self and my well-being. I agree that it is uncomfortable to sit still, and be bored, but these moments can allow for some great insight and knowledge.
Our screens make it much easier to get away from the boredom, but by doing this we are getting away from an essential part of life. We have gotten so comfortable with the busy lifestyle of easy distractions. We forgot how to be bored. How to be still. Our ancestors did not have these easy distractions to fill the time, so it can be done. I have also fallen into the trap of when there is nothing to do, fill it with distractions of the screen, if its watching Youtube videos, scrolling social media, playing a game, even reading a book. I didn’t realize I can use that time of stillness and boredom to my advantage, because I didn’t want to sit with the uncomfortable feeling.
Boredom creates productivity, creativity, ideas, reflection, insight, knowledge. All needed to improve our goals and well-being. You can’t do this with constant busyness and stimulation. The problem with boredom is that we see it as a bad thing, which creates resistance. We can’t possibly have something to do at all times. There will be gaps. We live in a culture that praises the busy lifestyle, so we don’t feel to good about ourselves when we are doing nothing, but doing nothing is as necessary as doing something. You need the space to relax, rest, refresh, gain perspective.
To cope, and combat boredom blues. We got to learn to embrace and accept it. Sit with it more to understand the benefits it contains. Using the digital clutch keeps us away from reality, who we are, and how to live in the moment. Boredom is our rest. Our time to rest. Our time to think of our best ideas. Our time to think of excited, and fun plans for the future. The more I sit with it. The more comfortable I am with it. The more relaxed I am. Like anything, you need continuous practice to improve a skill. I have lots of plants, so it is nice just staring at them, or looking out the window, hearing the sounds of nature outside. It really is quite nice once you recognize the beauty of boredom.
I was trying to look up a quote on boredom, and by these quotes I can see why people have such negative thoughts on boredom. I just want to say, boredom isn’t the problem. Your thoughts on it are. It is not the emotion itself that creates turmoil, but your thoughts on it that does. When you are bored you create thoughts like, “This sucks.” “I should be doing something fun.” “My life is boring” etc,. As a human being. You can not constantly be moving. You can not constantly be busy. That is illogical to think this way. We feel guilt when we are not doing something fun, because we feel we have to. It is impossible to have something to do all the time, and even if you try. You will possibly burn out. You need space to be still. Life is about balance. Not one or the other. You need both to live a fulfilling life.