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An Underrated Relationship Killer: Boredom

An Underrated Relationship Killer: Boredom

What’s the most common way people describe their relationships?

Fun? Exciting? Interesting?

Nope.

A study of couples by researchers at the University of Winnipeg found that the most common way for people to describe their relationships was ‘dull.’ [1]

People also said that their relationships lacked fun, romance, and conversation, and felt ‘like a chore.’

The results showed that while dating, men are more likely to be bored, but while married, women experience more boredom.

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Getting worried?

Luckily, there are loads of simple ways to keep your relationship fresh, interesting and exciting, whether you’ve just met or been married 30 years.

Relationships take work – and that’s okay.

Is boredom more damaging than arguments?

Arguing with your partner might seem like the worst thing that could happen, but boredom in a relationship can actually be even more damaging, according to some psychologists.

A study carried out by the University of Michigan and Stony Brook University found that couples who felt stuck in a rut after seven years of marriage were much more likely to feel unhappy in their relationships after sixteen years. [2]

If you’re feeling bored, the best time to take action is now – don’t let your relationship continue on a downward spiral.

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What causes boredom in a relationship?

When you have a new experience, your brain releases feel-good chemicals.

That’s why a first date, a meal out at a new restaurant, or a trip to a new city can feel so good.

However, when you repeat an experience, your brain processes it in a different way. Instead of getting a boost of happy chemicals, you might not feel much at all. [3]

That’s why it might seem like the second date is never as good as the first, or like that delicious meal tasted so much better the first time you tried it.

It also explains why doing the same things, with the same person, day after day, can start to feel boring – it’s all down to the brain.

To keep your brain interested and stimulated, you need to make an effort to introduce new experiences into your relationship.

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Common signs of relationship boredom

Wondering whether or not your relationship is suffering from boredom?

Here are some telltale signs:

  • You no longer get excited to spend time with your partner.
  • Your relationship feels like a chore, or another thing to check off your to-do list.
  • You feel like your relationship used to be fun and exciting, but isn’t any more.
  • You can’t remember the last time you had fun with your partner.
  • You make excuses to avoid spending time with your partner.
  • You don’t feel optimistic about the future of the relationship.

If this sounds like you, don’t worry. There are plenty of ways to reconnect with your partner and make the relationship fun again.

How to stop your relationship from getting boring

Helen Fisher, an anthropologist and expert on love and attractions, recommends three things to avoid boredom in your marriage. [4]

We’ve listed them below, along with some suggestions to get you started.

Step 0: Choose the right partner!

Being with the right person is key if you don’t want your relationship to get boring. If you’ve tried everything and still don’t enjoy your relationship or feel a strong connections to your partner, you may not be right for each other. Try having some honest conversations about what you each want from life, and how you’d like the future to be.

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Have a shared hobby

Having a shared interest or hobby is a great way to connect with your partner and have fun. If you’re both beginners, you can bond over the learning process and help each other to improve.

There are so many hobbies out there that there’s bound to be one to suit you and your partner.

You could try:

  • Rock climbing
  • Playing musical instruments
  • Dance classes
  • Cooking
  • Painting
  • Hiking
  • Photography
  • Astronomy
  • Camping

Try to plan a date night each week, and try out something new each time. One of your dates could develop into a full-time hobby – and if not, you’ll still be having exciting new experiences together.

Be intimate regularly

Regular intimacy has been shown to have all sorts of benefits, including:

  • Better health
  • Stronger relationships
  • Longer life expectancy
  • Strong immune system
  • Greater feeling of connection

Make some time for intimacy each day, even if it’s just a quick kiss or an evening cuddling in front of the TV.

Your relationship will feel stronger, and there’s less chance that you or your partner will feel bored or unappreciated.

Bored of your partner? Fix it now and your relationship will be stronger than ever.

Reference

[1]The Daily Mail: 70 ways boredom can kill a marriage
[2]Science Daily: Boredom Can Hurt A Marriage
[3]Psychology Today: Why People Get Bored
[4]Wardheer News: Boredom Kills Marriages

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Eloise Best

Content Writer

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Published on November 28, 2018

How to Do Meditation at Home to Calm Your Anxious Mind

How to Do Meditation at Home to Calm Your Anxious Mind

The woman in yoga pants sitting in a lotus position atop a rocky cliff, overlooking a valley draped in fog — this is the glamorized version of meditation you’ll come across as you search. Yet if you’re seeking meditation to calm your mind, a fantastic setting with no distractions is rarely available.

So how to do meditation?

The truth about meditation is it’s an everyday practice for anybody. You could be a mountain climber or you could be an accountant — either way, your home is just as good a place for meditation as any.

Are you seeking to corral your racing thoughts and relieve a sense of unease, awkwardness, or uncertainty? Look to home meditation to cultivate a laid-back, creative, confident, and organized frame of mind. According to extensive scientific research, meditation relieves stress and anxiety, decreases blood pressure, improves sleep, and improves your ability to pay attention. [1]

From start to finish, this article will give you quick, easy steps to follow so that you can meditate at home regularly. You’ll begin by assessing, identifying and altering things that need to change in your home environment. You’ll end by understanding the basics of meditation so that you can let yourself do what you already know how to do deep down in the hidden reality of your mind.

You’re ready to let your mind be, and just be, in your own home — let’s begin.

1. Find the Right Space in Your Home

Where is your right space for meditation at home? Is it in your basement, your bedroom, your living room, or your study?

The right space will be one with the least distractions built in to its purpose. In that case, it may be your bedroom. If you’ve set up your bedroom to be a place for sleep and only sleep, it will lend itself well to meditation.

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The right space will also be a reasonably spacious one. Although comfort is not your goal, you need room to sit. Choose a space that is private, spacious, and quiet. If you don’t have a space in your home like this, create one. Free it from clutter and get it ready for you to meditate there any time.

Ultimately, your right space is one you feel comfortable meditating in, the space you can enter with no other expectations.

2. Improve the Feng Shui in Your Home and Meditation Space

Feng shui means “wind and water.” It’s the ancient Chinese art of placement.[2]

Feng shui improves harmony with nature. Adherents to the principles of feng shui believe all things have energy (chi). The focus of feng shui is to send negative chi (sha) out of the space and attract positive chi (yun).

Here’s the truth about feng shui: it’s not complicated or hard. The following will influence feng shui positively in your home and meditation space:

  • Living things, such as plants
  • Beautiful objects, such as sculptures or even a well-polished piece of driftwood
  • Mirrors in symmetrical placement with the lines in a room
  • Mellifluous sounds, such as trickling water or wind chimes
  • Furniture away from walls
  • A centerpiece, such as a small table with books or an ornate lamp on it
  • Incense or something else that smells good
  • A lack of clutter and an attention to organization that emphasizes the usefulness, purpose, and essential being of each item in your house

Given that feng shui is connected to Taoism and Buddhism, it will complement the meditative atmosphere you want to cultivate in your home.

3. Eliminate Pervasive Distractions That Can Harm Your Wellbeing

In part, meditation is about accepting the existence of distractions. When you meditate, you don’t judge and assign a positive or a negative value to distractions — the ticking of a clock, an itch, the barking of a dog — you let them occur and let them dissipate like waves.

However, in the same way that feng shui removes objects that attract negative chi, there are certain types of distractions that don’t belong in your meditative space. You must remove them.

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In a survey of 1,700 people who visited social media sites at least 30 times per week, 30 percent reported high levels of sleep disturbance and 25 percent presented symptoms of depression. [3]

Those individuals who experience sleep disturbances or mental health issues due to social media are not setting boundaries between themselves and their connected devices.

Part of learning how to meditate at home is learning how and when to set boundaries between yourself and your connected devices and social media accounts. If you need your phone for a timed meditation practice, but you normally receive social media notifications on your phone, set it on Do Not Disturb or Airplane mode during your meditation time.

4. Flow into Meditation Through Time

Next, set aside a time for meditation each day. It’s right to be structured and disciplined about your meditation time.

Buddhist monks whose lives revolve around meditation are very structured and organized with their tasks each day. Structure provides the balance your being needs. Once you are meditating, your mind has no need for time. Outside of your given meditation time, you are completing tasks essential to the wellbeing of yourself and your home.

Consider meditating as the sun rises. This is a quiet and contemplative time of the day when it is natural to set your day’s balance through meditation.

5. Recognize the Rightness of Doing Nothing

At home, you’re probably used to always doing something. When you do meditation at home, you are being, which is doing something and nothing simultaneously.

Maryville University points out that successful people unplug by doing nothing. [4] Not only this, but they set the right expectations for the time during which they will do nothing.

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We oftentimes look forward to the future by expecting something to happen and by expecting something of ourselves. To meditate from home, look to that time and that space by expecting nothing. You will not do any chores. You will not catch up on work. You will do nothing but meditate for a certain amount of time each day.

This might sound crazy, but in taking on meditation from home, you’re not expecting yourself to improve and become a better person. As Ram Dass put it, you are expecting yourself to be here now.

6. Choose from the Incredible Variety of Meditative Practices

As I outlined in my post on types of meditation, there are many different and not-so-different types of meditation from which to choose.

Many beginners find it right to choose guided meditation, for which there are apps, videos, and audio tapes available.

If you are not necessarily a beginner but are merely moving your meditative practice into the home, you can facilitate a practice such as Nada Yoga — sound meditation — by placing a fountain in your space or listening to ambient alpha wave music.

If you’re used to meditating outside of your home — perhaps you are drawn to the outdoors because of the sounds of nature — a practice like Nada Yoga can help you transition into your home space.

7. Understand You Can Meditate Any Time at Home

What if I told you to throw out all of the tips that came before this? Sounds crazy but that is how radical mindfulness meditation really is. We don’t think of it as radical because it is now ingrained in our popular discourse.

Mindfulness meditation does start as a sitting meditation practice. It goes like this:

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  1. Sit comfortably and close your eyes.
  2. Focus on breathing. Inhale through your nose slowly and exhale slowly.
  3. As distracting thoughts arise, don’t judge them and don’t hang onto them. Let each thought go as you focus on breathing.
  4. Treat all physical sensations and feelings in the same way you do thoughts: register them, then let them go, returning to breathing.
  5. Extend this practice to everyday activity, remaining “in the moment” of the body’s activity with each new breath.

As you practice mindfulness around your home, note the physical characteristics of the things in themselves. Note physical sensations: sounds, smells, textures, appearances, tastes. Stop now and then and do a body scan from head to toe, noting what each section is doing and how it’s feeling.

Note thoughts that come and the emotions attached to them: let them go. Concentrate on the breath and the physical activities — including the details of the objects with which you’re interacting.

You’ll notice that your home will lend itself to a meditative state when things are in order. This is where true feng shui originates. You will naturally sense how the arrangement of things affects the energy in a room.

Clutter will disappear because mindfulness tells you to dispose of unnecessary things. Plants will bloom. Birds will make their nests in your backyard. Your home will smell pleasing and people will naturally be attracted to it and your presence.

You’ve Reached the Beginning and the End

Once you are able to do mindfulness meditation even as you are attending to the normal and abnormal requirements of your home, the mundane and the unusual, you are at both the beginning and the end.

You are at the beginning because meditation never ends. Continue setting aside time each day to do sitting meditation in the space you’ve set aside. Continue practicing mindfulness as you attend to the energy of your house, your own energy, and the energy of those around you.

You are at the end because you grasped what it means to do meditation at home: it means letting go of cares and concerns and being in your home as you attend to the right tasks. The right tasks are those necessary for being in your home.

As you sit in your home, rise, open the door and you leave, you are calm in your mind because you are home.

Featured photo credit: Simon Rae via unsplash.com

Reference

[1]Healthline: 12 Science-Based Benefits of Meditation
[2]Marquette University: Feng Shui: The Wind and Water
[3]Rutgers University: Social Media and Well-Being
[4]Maryville University: How Successful People Unplug

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