What challenges are you currently stressing over? Is it financial problems, weight issues, depression, or a lack of energy? Could it be self-esteem or relationship problems?
Those are truly legitimate concerns, but did you ever consider that many of those issues may actually be symptoms of a less obvious or hidden problem?
What hidden problem?
Underlying and contributing to these other problems, an epidemic of chronic boredom is draining the joy out of the lives of millions of people these days.
It’s affecting them emotionally, physically and financially. It’s robbing them of their happiness, and taking a big toll on the quality if their lives and relationships.
I am not talking about the kind of boredom that comes from not having anything to do. We all have plenty to do! In fact, having too much to do might be a contributor.
Can you be extremely busy and still be affected by boredom?
Yes, you certainly can, because boredom comes from not having anything to do that gets you truly excited and fills you with joyful anticipation. In other words, boredom happens when you are unable to do the things you really long to do! Boredom is actually a byproduct of feeling discontent and unfulfilled.
How about you, are you dealing with boredom or feelings of dissatisfaction? The sad truth is, many people are bored out of their minds!
Why? Because, from the time they get out of bed in the morning, until the time they climb back into bed at night, nothing fun or exciting ever happens. There is nothing for them to look forward to. No reason to feel totally jazzed about their day. No sense of eager anticipation or excitement.
It’s the same old breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It’s the same boring shallow conversations about the weather or the news, with the same old boring people. Multiply this by 7 days a week, times 52 weeks a year, and what do you get? You get a bland, boring, lifeless, soul sucking existence!
7 ways to beat the boredom blues
1) How about a vacation? A really nice vacation can break up the boredom, and get you feeling all fired up and excited. Vacations are a great idea, and I think it is extremely beneficial to take them regularly. But you can only take so many vacations, and their effect will only last so long. Then it’s back to the same old grind.
Still, they do help break up the monotony, so let’s categorize vacations a partial solution. What else can we do to breathe some pleasurable balance into our routine?
2) Complimentary activities. Here’s what I mean by that. If your work is mostly sedentary, then a you need to compliment it with some physical activities to balance things out. Take a walk during your lunch break. This will give you a change of scenery in addition to some increased circulation. Join a gym and stop there on your way to or from work for an hour or so. Go walking with your favorite person after work to unwind and communicate. It doesn’t really matter how you do it, just making time to move your body will help counter act the boredom.
What if your job is physically demanding? Then balance dictates some kind of restorative activity. This doesn’t mean you should exclude anything physical, but try to avoid activities that are too demanding. There are plenty of passive activities that will leave you feeling refreshed.
3) Quiet reflection. Everyone, regardless of their lifestyle, should spend some amount of time each day in quiet reflection. I like the early mornings before things really get rolling. This is not a time for high powered thinking. It is a time for feeling peacefully aware. I purposely keep my mind quite and allow thoughts to drift in and out without getting overly engaged.
Learning to quiet our mind while still being alert is extremely restful. The mind will be running at full speed soon enough. I try for a state in which the mind and body are fully integrated and peacefully in sync. Making it a habit to do this for 10-15 minutes a day can have a profound effect on the way you perceive your life and the degree of boredom you experience.
4) Get a hobby. Find something to do that has no connection with the rest of your life. Something you do for one reason only – enjoyment. You don’t need a practical reason for everything you do, practice doing something just because you enjoy it. Hobbies are like vacations from the structured part of your life, so don’t pollute them with ulterior motives. Their purpose is enjoyment, pure and simple.
My hobby is Japanese Bonsai trees. The first time I was exposed to the art of Bonsai, I was instantly, and passionately hooked. I have enjoyed potting, pruning, shaping and caring for them ever since. Why? No logical reason, I don’t analyze it, I just enjoy it. Find something that works for you, and set aside some time to indulge yourself.
5) Day or weekend trips. Big ticket vacations are great, but so are little mini escapes. Even if you love your work, you still need to separate yourself from it on a regular basis. Do it for the people you love, even if don’t feel the need personally. I love what I do, but my wife likes to have me to herself from time to time. Don’t loose touch with ‘who you are’ away from what you do. A meaningful life is a balanced life. Design periodic ‘away days’ and you will accomplish more and keep everyone much happier in the process.
6) Explore new career options. If you don’t really like what you do, explore other options. Technology has opened many new windows of opportunity. You have options available that you are probably not even aware of. Do some research in a field that interests you, and don’t be afraid to explore new possibilities. There are people earning fantastic incomes, working from their home, with nothing more than a creative idea and a keyboard. You are only limited by your imagination.
If you discover something that gets you excited, ease into it a little at a time, to see if it’s a good fit. When you have a real grasp on what is required, create a plan that will help you make the transition in a realistic way. You are not stuck where you are, unless you want to be.
7) Learn to view your current activities in a positive way. This one is about attitude, and let’s face, life is about 90% attitude. If you are feeling bored or dissatisfied with any aspect of your current life, maybe it’s time to reevaluate. Let’s say that it is your job that you are unhappy with. I suggest that you make two lists.
One list will include all the things you don’t like about your job. How do you feel about the people, pay scale, responsibilities, hours, appreciation level, and anything else that comes to mind. If it bothers you, list it.
On the other list, write down everything you do like about your job. No matter how small or insignificant it might seem, if it is something positive, write it down. Now here’s the thing about this list, don’t stop until you find at least 30 things that you like about your job. That might sound impossible, but take your time and be creative. If you run out of things to list, take a break and then come back to it.
When you are done with the second list, go back to the first one, and ask yourself this question about every single negative thing you listed: “How have I contributed to this negative feeling?” If you are honest with yourself, your answers will probably surprise you. Remember, attitude is a huge part of perception.
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