Boredom is often a warning sign of one or more of several different problems including the following:
- We are not living our lives to the fullest that we can.
- We are taking ourselves too seriously.
- We are lacking in patience and tolerance.
- We are not respecting our time.
- We are allowing others to be disrespectful of our time.
Remember that your time is your life, and if you are spending much of it in ways that you believe are wasteful, you are literally wasting your life. On the other hand, boredom is a result of perception, and perception is a matter of choice. There is a gray area between self-respect and tolerance where a line can be drawn and balance found.
Here are some tips to help alleviate boredom.
- Journal. Make a habit of carrying a note pad with you everywhere you go. When you find yourself stuck in a situation you find boring, take it out and start journaling.
- Meditate. The more you practice meditation, the easier it becomes to trigger a meditative state at any time. See my posts How to Meditate Effectively and Getting in the Gap to read more on meditation.
- Brainstorm. With that note pad you always carry with you, start brainstorming some ideas of things that you want or need ideas for: plans, writing topics, problem solutions, dinner ideas, vacation ideas, etc.
- Read. Make a habit of carrying a couple of books with you in addition to a pad of paper: perhaps one fiction and one non-fiction. Magazines are nice to have too, especially for shorter periods of boredom.
- Pray. Pray or focus on your intentions.
- Observe. Observe your surroundings and see if you can find something interesting or enlightening that you might not have otherwise noticed.
- Open your mind. If there are things going on around you that you choose not to be involved in, re-consider your choice. Often times boredom is a byproduct of fear, apathy, a closed mind, pride or self-importance. Re-consider your perspective of the environment that bores you, honestly look at why you find it boring and see if you can change it.
- Make yourself uncomfortable. If you are stuck in a situation, such as a quiet waiting room, where people tend to avoid interaction with others, do something to break the ice. Ask someone to toss a paper airplane back and forth with you. Approach someone and start a conversation about what they are reading. Scott at HELLO, my name is Blog! offers a great ice breaking idea: How to use an open book to open a conversation.
See if you can go the entire day today with no boredom.