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Beat the Blahs with The Boredom Manifesto

Beat the Blahs with The Boredom Manifesto

    Most of the time, you keep up with your schedule. You wake up each day, go through your morning routine and then start working. You start doing your stuff. Piece by piece, task by task.

    And most of the time, it’s boring.

    Many times it feels far better to just do nothing. Sometimes you feel like relaxing in the backyard but you have a business meeting you really have to attend. So you get up and go.

    Other times you feel like watching that game on the couch, but you promised yourself you’re going to run 5km today. So you get up and go.

    You don’t enjoy it, but you finish it. You go to that meeting. You do your 5km run. And then the next one. And the next one.

    And at some point when you really look back and try to understand how you did all the stuff that you did. You look at how you achieved all that you achieved.

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    Then you realize that — statistically — the boring periods in your life were far longer and persistent than the joyful, motivating and enthusiastic ones.

    It’s true. Just look back and see for yourself. Have you really been all that high for your entire life? Were you enthusiastic all the time? Exhilarated? Pumped up? Adrenalized?

    Nope.

    But you got out and did your stuff. You somehow managed to cope with the boring moments and fill them with things you wanted to do.

    The Beauty And The Boredom

    As human beings we are wired to follow pleasure and reject pain. Many daily activities are centered around this pattern. We do what we enjoy and repel or postpone what we don’t. I did it myself for quite a while:

    “As of today, I’m gonna do only what I like to do.”

    Guess what? After I went like this for a while I wanted to measure my output. Surprise, surprise: turned out that by doing only what I liked, my throughput (in terms of tasks, goals achievement and so on) was lower than expected. As a matter of fact…it was way, way lower.

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    Did I feel well during that time in which I actually indulged in pleasurable tasks? No doubt about that.

    Did I do more? Nope. Absolutely not.

    So, that was the moment when I learned how to do the motivation trick. Every time I wasn’t at my best, I started to use some motivational stuff. A quote. A quick and easy exercise. A personal mantra. Or a blog post (I even made a list out of them — and it turned out to be quite a popular list). And for a few years, this motivation trick did the job.

    But then something even worse happened.

    I realized that by pumping myself up each time with outside stimuli, I was actually lying to myself. I was no better than a dog in a Pavlovian experiment. I was feeding myself sugar bars, trying to replicate the natural and honest exhilaration responses I would sometimes get. A fast and easy sugar rush to the brain and — boom — my task was done.

    But as with every sugar rush, there’s a huge downturn. After the sugar has left, you end up feeling miserable again. Which will, in turn, trigger another sugar rush reaction just to get rid of that miserable state again.

    Sound familiar? I bet it does, we’ve all done this…

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    So, there was a moment when I had no option but to accept boredom in my life. To reshape my entire vision about beauty and pleasure.

    Because if you really look at it, seldom is beauty built in sudden bursts of exhilaration — in those huge and powerful adrenaline-empowered jumps. More often than not, real beauty is built with small chunks…with small steps…with small (but constantly fulfilled) promises.

    The Boredom Manifesto

    So that was the moment I came up with what I call The Boredom Manifesto. A few sentences that are making me accept and make use of boredom instead of sugar-coating it using motivation tricks. It’s not motivational, as it doesn’t try to embellish the reality or even to make it look different.

    Boredom is boredom. It’s part of life. All of our lives.

    So we’d better make use of it instead of rejecting it.

    For every tiny task I finish when I really don’t want to, I know there will be a reward somewhere. I don’t need it right now, I just know it will be there when I’ll need it.

    For every boring activity I bring to an end, knowing that it’s part of a bigger plan, I’ll have a better picture of my life.

    For every pushing through, there will be more muscles.

    For every unpleasant, yet necessary stuff I finish now, there will be less striving tomorrow.

    I decide to accept and embrace boredom as part of my life, for it’s in its dull, flat and grey moments that all the greatness I’m capable of is built, grey second by grey second, flat minute after flat minute, dull hour after dull hour.

    As long as I keep pushing forward.

    Embrace the boredom…don’t fight it. It’s in those moments of boredom that you’ll find some of the brilliance you’ve been looking for in your life.

    (Photo credit: Bunch of Sad People with Happy Man via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on December 9, 2019

    5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

    5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

    Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

    Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

    Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

    1. Get Rationally Optimistic

    Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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    This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

    In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

    The result: no more mental stress.

    2. Unplug

    Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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    How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

    It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

    Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

    3. Easy on the Caffeine

    Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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    Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

    4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

    That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

    How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

    • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
    • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
    • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

    While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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    5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

    This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

    The result: mental stress will be gone!

    So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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