Do This To Conquer Boredom

It's ok to be bored sometimes.

We are driven. Doers.

Every minute planned; every to-do list spewing out to the margins.

And when we have a moment to come up for air, we choose to hold our breath and take another dopamine hit from the social media slot machine. Who’s doing what that’s more exciting than our reality? Who liked our selfie?

At the end of it all we are so run into the dirt that we can no longer choose for ourselves - take our binge watching of The Office, yet again, as case-in-point. The never-ending slump into ‘blah.’ Over time we lose our spark. Our uniqueness is dissolved into the technological soup of humanity and the vicious cycle keeps turning round and round. Our health suffers. Our lives suffers. Our relationships suffer. We suffer. 

Every moment of every day we have a choice. Many of those choices may seem to be pre-filled - eight hours here for sleep, another eight for work there, but that still leaves eight hours - not to mention the number of opportunities most of us have at work to make the right choice when on break or switching between tasks. 

The choice we have in front of us is that of choosing boredom and then conquering it. We are becoming less human because we give ourselves no chance to just BE anymore. 

We come to find our true selves in boredom. We remember. Everyone is so desperate to be someone on social media but we already are somebody in the real world. 

People are showing signs of withdrawal symptoms when they are unplugged for too long today. Our smartphones and the apps we use daily have been engineered to be addictive. That constant dopamine drip when unplugged will leave us itching for another hit.

For the sake of your self, your health, and your peace of mind, you must resist regularly. 

Conquering boredom is easier said than done. You’ll feel like you’re missing out on something when you look around and see everyone else plugged into a digital landscape and completely unaware of what’s right in front of them. You’ll seem strange, in fact, to choose yourself over your digital avatar. 

You’ve been convinced that you’ll miss out on something but you won’t; not really. You’ll actually be receiving so much more in return. 

The next time you’re waiting in line at the grocery store or waiting for your friend to arrive for dinner at the restaurant resist the urge to immediately pull out your phone and swipe mindlessly. Because the urge will come immediately - take note of that. And instead take a deep breath - focus intensely on that breath. It feels good to breathe deep. Much better in fact than looking through your Instagram feed like a mindless zombie.

 It may feel boring, true, but overtime your overstimulated nervous system will relearn to settle down. It wasn’t very long ago that our world wasn’t like this. Only 15 years ago we didn’t have the same fidgety issues at such an epidemic scale and a generation ago we were content to sit quietly or allow our imagination to wander without intervening. 

Think about the simple pleasures a dog gets from sitting and waiting. The depth that comes to the world from the sounds, smells, and sights that are ever-present when we let them just come to us. 

So return to your breath or just let your thoughts process for a change. What you call boredom isn’t always as it seems. You’ve just unlearned what to do with your own thoughts as you constantly have the inputs of other consciousnesses bombarding your own. 

Overtime it will become easier to embrace the boredom and to allow the stillness to settle in. 

And in this stillness, in this silence, you will realize that it’s all ok.