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Oct
17

Tips to Alleviate Boredom

Boredom is the feeling that everything is a waste of time; serenity, that nothing is.
-Thomas S. Szasz

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Pray. Pray or focus on your intentions.
  6. Observe. Observe your surroundings and see if you can find something interesting or enlightening that you might not have otherwise noticed.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

About the author

Danny

I am Danny Kohn, writer and designer for this site and owner, software engineer and consultant for Inspirations Software Design. My three greatest passions in life are sharing time with my family, software design and sharing inspiration with others. I have the incredible privilege of being able to spend a significant amount of time every day doing each of those three things. I am a single father of Tristen, our 6 year old son. It has been such an incredible joy to watch him grow up and learn so much. Everything he does and says overwhelms me with adoration. We have a wonderful evening ritual of reading books together in a beanbag chair. Nearly every night, we have a laughing attack together. I smile and giggle constantly in his presence and feel truly inspired.

Permanent link to this article: https://beinspiredeveryday.com/2007/10/17/tips-to-alleviate-boredom/

8 comments

  1. HELLO, my name is Scott! says:

    Thanks for the link love!

    Boredom is the enemy

  2. Brittany says:

    Very insighful and helpful. I find that I get extremely depressed and irriatable when I’m bored. This article offered a great new prespective for me to adapt into my life.

  3. Matt Damon says:

    tried the whole paper plane thing and nearly took someone’s eye out. Instead I have taken to walking around supermarkets and farting in children’s faces.

  4. Danny says:

    @Matt Damon – Hmmm… Maybe you should consider leaving silly comments on blogs as a tip for alleviating boredom ;)

  5. jerri mlone says:

    THANKS DANNY YOU MUST BE AND ANGEL FROM HEAVEN YOU’RE SAVING MY LIFE AND GIVING ME THE ENCOURAGEMENT I NEED TO HERE AND I AM GOING TO PAY ATTENTION!!!!!!!!!! THANKS GOD BLESS YOU ALWAYS PLEASE KEEP THE MESSAGES COMING EVERYONE OF THEM THAT I READ IS CONFIRMATION FOR WHAT I HAVE BEEN PRAYING ABOUT ON HOW TO TURN THINGS AROUND IN MY LIFE SO THAT I CAN BE HAPPY WITH GOD HELP OF COURSE YOU ARE TRULY A BLESSING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. danny says:

      Wow! Thanks Jerri. I appreciate you sharing your enthusiasm. I always love to hear that these writings are making a difference in people’s lives.
      As far as I know, there is no Angel in my ancestry, but I do my best to keep my spirit in the right place when I am writing. So, maybe there is a little heaven sprinkled in here. :)

  6. Dan da Man says:

    Thanks for the tips Danny, you should be called Danny the Man..ny? haha anyway i think your tips are really good but what to do when your too lazy to execute them? i guess that’s a whole other ball game – motivation. How do i motivate myself to actually do follow these tips? It just seems so much easier to lay back and watch TV and do other menial tasks which give the illusion of alleviating boredom but really leave you doing just that, giving you an illusion so instead of alleviating the boredom you just continue ‘trying’ to alleviate it leading to a trap of trying to alleviate boredom while simultaneously alleviating it by doing so!?!? Wow! Hope that made sense :)

    1. Danny says:

      @Dan – Yes, it made a lot of sense in a messy sort of way: messy like life can be. I address the “laziness” thing a little bit in my recent post about Self Sabotage. I think the key is convincing yourself through and through that the decisions you make in life are worth working for. That’s easier said than done though. The biggest part of the challenge is facing uncertainty. You know that watching TV and other menial tasks will give you a certain amount of pleasure and make you feel safe and secure. When you branch out and do something new and meaningful, you can’t know for certain what’s going to happen. So, getting excited about and having faith in your goals is essential.

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