There are oodles of activities a person can engage in when they are bored. Often times it is out of our laziness that we stay in our boredom. We can also get stuck in the trap of boredom when we are uncomfortable dealing with our thoughts and our feelings. I once had a co-worker who would say “If you are bored, it must be because you are boring”. I like that saying as it demonstrates that boredom is truly a choice.
One of the things that I talk about a lot concerns making choices. Every single day we have the opportunity to make many choices. It starts in the morning and continues on throughout the day, all the way until we put our heads on our pillows. The interesting thing is that we aren’t usually even aware that we are making choices. Often many of our choices are done subconsciously, and more often than not, they stem out of habit. It is easy to fall into traps of complacency, laziness, and even boredom.
Dangers of Being Bored
Boredom puts us at an increased risk of the following:
* drug abuse/addiction
* alcohol abuse/alcoholism
* compulsive gambling
* eating disorders
* feelings of anger
* poor social skills
* low work performance
* poor academic performance
* obsessive compulsive tendencies
* risk taking behavior
* compulsive acting out behaviors
* relapse if you are in recovery
What do you do when you are experiencing boredom? Do you make a choice and engage in an activity that is healthy? Or do you engage in something that will do you more harm than good?
Working with women in recovery for over a decade I was able to observe the dangers of boredom. When we are bored we are more likely to eat poorly and neglect being physically active. Often we will suppress our feelings (anger/hurt/frustration/disappointment) and will get buried in our stress. When we are in the trap of boredom we are not engaging in self-care nor are we being active in our stress management. Boredom can also lead us into using and abusing drugs, alcohol and smoking cigarettes.
Signs of Boredom
The following is a list of some signs of boredom:
* feeling of emptiness
* feelings of apathy
* being very tired — fatigued
* feeling jittery and nervous
* having a short attention span
* difficulty in focusing
* lack of interest in your surroundings and/or the people around you
Causes of Boredom
There are various causes of boredom and they can vary from individual to individual. The following are some of the causes:
* lack of choice or control over your daily activities
* lack of sleep
* poor nutrition
* poor perception of time
* not enough recreational interests
* loss of interest in the activity you are engaged in
* fear — of failure/of making a mistake
* low levels of mental stimulation
* lack of money
* repetition of the same activity for too long
* depression — Author’s note ~ if you are struggling with depression please seek medical advice and assistance. Examples of this may be: feeling extreme sadness, feeling hopeless, suicidal ideation, and self blame/hate for your boredom.
Taking Action When You Are Bored
The solution to boredom is “you”. Making a choice to take action is the best starting point. It is our responsibility to get ourselves out of the trap of boredom. We can not wait for others to come and entertain us. I have compiled a list of 98 activities that you can do when you are bored. There were probably many more that I missed. Take a risk and try something that you have never done before, invite a friend to join you. You just might find a new hobby, or activity that you can enjoy for years to come.
So don’t tell me that you have nothing to do. Remember — boredom is a choice.
What is your favorite activity to do when you are experiencing feelings of boredom?
What new activity are you willing to take a risk and try?
Leave me a comment as I would love to hear from you.