Boredom : what is the root?

We’ve all experienced boredom at one point or another, whether for a night or a repetitive pattern in our lives. According to Oxford Languages, boredom is defined as feeling weary because one is unoccupied or lacks interest in one’s current activity. You may accept boredom as a part of life but have you ever questioned the root cause of this issue and how to prevent it?  

When you experience boredom, there are four main areas of your life that are lacking fulfillment: inspiration, pleasure, connection, or clarity. When we break down these 4 areas, we can discover antidotes to help combat boredom.  

When feeling uninspired, you won’t be mentally stimulated enough to take action and do the things you want, which will lead to those familiar feelings of boredom. When life starts feeling mundane and you’re doing the same routine on repeat, it can be hard to find inspiration. You are doing what is necessary but not necessarily fun.  

As we get older, responsibilities change and we don’t take the time to incorporate having fun and “playing” into our schedules. There are many benefits in play, as it stimulates your mind and boosts creativity. Play can also reduce stress, increase energy and improve connection with others.  

As children we might play on a playground, or play pretend with our friends. But as adults, play can mean many things. Going bowling, playing laser tag, riding a bike or painting can all be considered play and help inspire you. Being outside in nature and exploring has wonderful benefits as well. You might find inspiration as you walk amongst the trees, breathing in the fresh air or jumping around on rocks in the river.  

There is inspiration everywhere, if you take the time to explore what is fun to you. But what do you do when you aren’t feeling satisfied with the things you’re doing? 

When feeling bored, you aren’t enjoying or feeling satisfied in the moment; plainly put, there’s a lack of pleasure. We are used to being busy and running around, filling our days with things to do; but how much of your day do you actually enjoy? What things do you do to bring yourself pleasure? At the end of your day, write down all the moments that brought you joy and try to incorporate those moments into life on a daily basis. If you realize you don’t have a lot to write down, brainstorm what simple things you can do to find pleasure. 

There are different types of pleasure, one of which is intellectual pleasure. This type of pleasure has to do with all things that stimulate your mind and provide critical thinking skills. There are many things you can do to seek intellectual pleasure depending on what interests you. You could read a book, listen to a podcast, research a topic you’re interested in, or even work on a puzzle.  

Another type is sensual pleasure, which engages your 5 senses to evoke pleasure. Next time you feel bored, try cooking your favorite meal and notice the aromas that swirl around; as you eat, chew slowly and savor the flavors of the food. Listen to some feel- good music and allow the melody to wash over you or take a walk outside observing the sights and sounds. Remember, it’s not just about staying busy to prevent boredom, but the quality of your actions and how it stimulates your mind and body. It’s easy to read a book but just scan the pages. You eat everyday but mindlessly scroll on your phone during the meal.

It’s important to be mindful when seeking out pleasure to get the most benefits. 

You’ll also find that feeling disconnected from yourself and others can leave you in a place of vulnerability, leading to anxiety or depression. ​​Your boredom might be stemming from a lack of connection with yourself and/ or others. Boredom has nothing to do with the amount of people you are with. You can be just as bored by yourself as you are with a group of others. It’s what is or isn’t taking place in that moment that determines whether we’re bored or meaningfully-engaged.  

It is possible to enjoy spending time alone and appreciate your own company when you have a healthy relationship with yourself. Practicing innerwork enables us to connect with ourselves on a deeper level and increase self-awareness. Meditating, journaling and breath work are a few activities that can transform your life, when practiced consistently.  Exploring your spirituality can also allow yourself to open up to new ideas and new perspectives in life. When you take time to learn about yourself, you will discover what brings you pleasure in life. Strengthening your intuition can help you make decisions and be confident in those decisions. When you trust your intuition, it can guide you to take action and do things you’ve always wanted to do rather than focusing on the unknown outcome.  

Another way to feel connected is by spending time with others and building relationships. Human connection allows you to share ideas, bond with like-minded people, and help get you out of your comfort zone. A lot of people feel bored and disconnected when they are alone because they crave socializing with others, especially those with a more extroverted personality. Finding a group activity or volunteering for a cause that you are interested in can help beat the boredom you might be feeling.  

Lack of clarity is the last piece of the puzzle when it comes to the root of boredom. Clarity allows you to see and understand things more clearly; it shines a light on the areas of your life that need help and showers you with inspiration. But how do you gain clarity?  

Meditation is a great practice in mindfulness and teaches you to get comfortable in stillness. When you clear all the chatter in your head, it will help you to focus on yourself, and eventually strengthen your intuition and allow you to get clear on what you want or should do. Meditation can be an intimidating practice, but it’s important to have patience with yourself. ​​Most of us have become so accustomed to a fast-paced, instant-gratification lifestyle that we miss out on the power of the present. Practicing patience will help you slow down and refocus on the present moment.  

If you’re someone who suffers from boredom often, activity scheduling encourages you to find fulfillment in areas that require your attention. Scheduling your activities will give you something to look forward to and boost your mood. Take some time to evaluate what areas of your life are lacking and how you can make improvements to bring ​​inspiration, pleasure, connection and clarity back into your life.  

1 thought on “Boredom : what is the root?”

  1. Dear Kaitlin Stack,
    So much to process, especially this:
    “Strengthening your intuition can help you make decisions and be confident in those decisions. When you trust your intuition, it can guide you to take action and do things you’ve always wanted to do rather than focusing on the unknown outcome.” Trusting us and ours to hope health, happiness and harmony.
    Gratefully, Carol


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