In this article I will try to give you 2 practical things to do when you are bored. And a simple and long-term solution to (almost) never be bored.
“It’s the boredom that kills you. You read until you’re tired of that. You do crossword puzzles until you’re tired of that. This is torture. This is mental torture.” – Jack Kevorkian
Boredom a BIG part of my life
I was bored a pretty big part of my life, I was an only child and could not play with brothers or sisters. Although I considered my dad to be pretty fun to play with, he would always entertain me and do fun things with me.
One thing I would tend to do when I was bored was that I would invite a lot of friends and play with them. That helped, but when they couldn’t come over I was bored as f*ck. Then I would play video games to get rid of my bored feeling. But when I wasn’t allowed or couldn’t play them either then I was not bored as f*ck, I was extremely bored as fuck.
I was so bored that I would walk around in circles, just to do something. I would sometimes do this for over 30 minutes. Or I would complain to my mom that I was bored and ask her what I could do. And she would say “Thomas it is not bad to be bored and not knowing what that do.”
This I didn’t understand, I would think: “It is not bad to be bored and not knowing what to do? It is f*cking stupid to be bored and not knowing what to do. It is the worst feeling you can ever have.”
But you came to this article to find a solution for your boredom, maybe to find a quick fix to get rid of this feeling. You see when you type in google “Things to do when you are bored” you get quick fixes and lists of things you can do to fix your boredom pretty fast.
Although when you do the activity or when it is over you get bored again, pretty fast. And you need to get distraction again.
Why are you Bored and why is it Bad?
You are bored because doing nothing in our society is labeled as something bad, our society is very productive. BUT thank the universe it is, otherwise we wouldn’t enjoy all the cool stuff we have today.
But it is also pretty bad for our health, see being bored is caused by wanting to do something. By wanting to be in the future but being in the present. so that you can finally snowboard, or do something fun like going to an theme park or playing paintball.
This results into stress because we feel that we are not productive or are wasting time, our time is limited right?
So we try to do whatever we can to not feel it again, that’s why we browse facebook and Instagram.
Things to do when you are Bored
If you want to handle boredom then there are 2 things to do when you are bored:
- You do something and stop being bored. (Quick Fix)
- You change your mind set about boredom. (Long-term fix)
The short-term solution
The short-term solution us pretty obvious, do something, but this is too easy. It is also not practical because you don’t fix the root problem and shift it too the future, or don’t even handle it at all. You need to handle this.
The long-term solution
In the beginning of the article I said that my mom used to tell me this: “Thomas it is not bad to be bored and knowing what to do.” I didn’t understand it until a few months ago. What my mom used to say is actually very wise.
And it actually requires at little mindset change and some practice
The Practical Long-Term Solution
The present moment
The key for overcoming boredom lies in the present moment, in the present moment there are no problems in the now. There is no future and no past, those are made up by your mind, and it may be hard to understand right now. But the past and future are both illusion from the mind, they are memories and don’t exist anymore. Even this second is doesn’t exist anymore.
Why is the present the key? Because you will not think about what you can do, because there is only the now and the now is perfect as it is. But this may sound too spiritual for now. Lets move on to the 3 practical things to do when you are bored.
1 – Seeing the benefits of being Bored and Reframe it
It may be hard to think see boredom as something good right now, but it is.
You see when you are always trying to distract yourself you always keep your mind busy. It working overtime 12h a day (if you sleep less longer) and it gets very tired. You get also stressed when you know nothing to do, when there are no new movies, no people to text, nothing cool to see on Facebook or Instagram. It is like an irritating.
When you allow yourself to be bored you giving you mind a rest and you become very present. You can be at peace almost every moment, you don’t need the distraction you are perfectly fine when there is nothing to do. And to be honest 70% of life is like this, so why resist it? Why swim against the stream to get to a darker place? When you can swim with the stream to be at a better place and be at peace?
2 – Exposing yourself to boredom:
I got to be honest, this is probably the hardest of the things to do when you are bored. When you try this you will feel pretty irritated, or at least it will be pretty hard. Because it is so easy to give in, just to grab your phone and browse Facebook.
But like Alan Watts says: “The mind will quiet itself.”, you have to expose yourself to boredom by doing nothing. You mind will at first say “Do this, do that.” but after a while, it will quiet itself and you will experience an extreme peace inside yourself.
This may not sound like fun to do, no worries you can also do something else to start.
(Btw here is a cool video from Alan Watts about the mind, enjoy)
3 – A Spiritual practice?
Meditation is linked a lot to religion and that’s why some people don’t want to do this. But this is not true, although may be invented because of religion (we are not sure). It actually isn’t about religion anymore, it is about becoming present and being at peace with the present and silence.
How can you meditate?
Very simple, go and sit on a place where you will not be disturbed. Close yourself and focus on your breath, when I thought comes up, label what it is: (for example) Love. And then focus back on your breath. This helps you to become at ease with presence.
Whenever you see yourself focusing on the future, go back to your breath. And relax.
You will be able to stay present if you practice this 10 minutes a day. It will also improve your mental health.
These were the 3 things you can when you are bored. These are not quick fixes, I know and they actually require some practice to work, but they will help you get rid of the feeling being bored. And they will also improve your overall happiness and satisfaction of life.
I want to thank everyone for reading this far, if you have other questions or solutions, feel free to drop them in the comment section.
And I wish everyone a really beautiful day!
Things to do when you are bored:
1: Boredom is a label and can cause you stress
2: The Long or Short term solution
3: See the benefits of boredom & Reframe
4: Expose yourself to boredom
5: Meditate daily