Bored? Read on…
Can you ever truly be bored? I remember as a child being really bored in the school holidays, but this was in a time before the internet was widely used, and when it was it meant that no one else could use the phone! Nowadays, no matter how old you are, surely there is enough in this world to stop anyone from ever being truly bored?
As children we perhaps have more of an imagination to deal with boredom; we can create imaginary friends, play with dolls/action figures and cuddly toys, draw pictures; I think the possibilities of what we can do are endless to a young mind. As we get older, reality hits and it might not be as easy to make our own distractions and allow things to occupy our time anymore. It might be that we become more thoughtful about what we should be doing; going to school or work, studying for something or making time for our relationships with others. Shouldn’t they all occupy us and help us to not be bored?
We now have millions of things that can keep us occupied. Off the top of my head I can think of these being watching television shows and films, playing video games (or even board games), listening to music, browsing the internet, playing games on our phone, reading a book, looking at and posting on social media, going shopping, going for a walk, and these are just things that can be carried out individually. We can also go out to dinner, go to the theatre, or go anywhere in the world come to think of it! The possibilities are seemingly endless now.
But, maybe that is part of the problem. We now have the opportunity to do so many things that we don’t actually know what to do! That becomes another thing entirely because we could become indecisive and then not do anything, possibly becoming even more bored.
So maybe boredom is to do with our state of mind, and not actually about what we are doing? The term ‘boredom’ can be defined as being an unpleasant emotional state where a person feels an unwelcome, prevalent lack of interest in a current activity, and has a difficulty in concentrating on it. It is interesting to find that some causes of it may be things like mental fatigue, a person’s need for excitement, problems with attention, lack of self-awareness, a person’s lack of necessary inner skills to amuse themselves, and having a lack of autonomy. These are just some of the reasons for why someone may feel bored, and may include reasons that people can address for themselves as there could well be an explanation for why boredom ensues.
Whatever the reason for boredom occurring, there are many distractions that could be used to ease its effects. Taking up a hobby could be a useful thing to do, or even learning something new. Maybe this is an example of where a negative has the potential to become a positive?
Sarah Keeping MBPsS MSc PgDip GDip BA (Hons)
Follow Sarah on twitter at @keepingapproach