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Everyone Should Know Why It Seems Hard to Overcome Boredom Sometimes

Everyone Should Know Why It Seems Hard to Overcome Boredom Sometimes

Boredom is a state of mind that occurs when we are no longer able to entertain ourselves or experience any level of enjoyment in our daily activities. For example, often you will hear people complain that there is nothing worth watching on television, when in fact, there are actually many programs worth watching. It’s just that your brain has decided that none of them are worth your time. Or perhaps you experience this with chores around the home, or incomplete paperwork at your place of employment. Regardless of how your experiences with boredom have manifested, the truth of the matter is that boredom is a good thing. So how does one overcome boredom?

boredom

    Boredom and depression share a similar trait.

    As a psychotherapist, the number one group of people who often report feeling bored are depressed clients. This may not surprise a number of people, given that the primary and popular symptom of depression is poor motivation. I am not writing that boredom is exclusive to depressed persons; however, I am drawing a similarity between boredom and depression.

    You see, biological factors aside, a primary cause of depression with any person is the reluctance to accept expectations not being met in life. When people with depression experience significant difficulty with things not going their way, they become angry and take it out on themselves, primarily through depressed mood and poor motivation.

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    Boredom occurs on the same paradigm in which there is a marked difficulty in being able to accept life on life’s terms. Take for example again, the scenario with the television. When the complaint that “there’s nothing on TV,” is made, it simply isn’t true, because there are plenty of programs to watch and enjoy on television.

    Boredom warns us that we are not actively living our lives.

    The reality is that our brain’s are created mostly to respond to diverse experiences and there is a limited amount of idling that our minds can tolerate. This is what makes boredom a good thing; specifically, boredom is good because it is our mind’s way of alerting us that we are not actively living our lives, as evidenced by the brain’s yearning for a fair degree of adversity, diversity and production.

    For instance, if all you do is go to work, perform the same duties, come home to perform the same chores, and have the same type of interactions with people in your lives, with little to no variations, then you find yourself having very little to look forward to the next day. Why would you? Afterall, your lifestyle pretty much guarantees that your days are going to be roughly the same.

    What makes our experiences with boredom difficult, is our interpretation of being bored. So while our brains are telling us that we need to start doing something, some of us tell ourselves that we are not being entertained enough, or that the world around us has little to offer us. The truth is that the world around us has a lot of offer. If you find yourself bored, it’s most likely because you don’t have a well-defined vision of your life, and subsequently, you lack a sense of meaning and purpose.

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    Conquer boredom by pursuing your goals and dreams.

    The most effective way of addressing boredom is to write down what your dreams or goals are, keeping in mind that the goal is to aim as high as you want. So let’s say, for example, that you want to go back to school to earn a teaching degree to teach math. Here are some questions you might want to ask yourself.

    What are the requirements for becoming a math teacher?

    What specific demographic of students, do you plan teaching math to?

    What school will you attend to earn your teaching degree?

    How much will it cost you?

    Where will you get the money for tuition?

    What are the odds of you getting hired to teach math after you graduate?

    Are there other alternative routes to teaching math?

    As you can see with these types of questions, you will quickly realize that you have your work cut out for you. The key to discovering the cause of your boredom and overcoming it lies in your thoughts and feelings to these types of question. Ultimately, people who are able to identify their desired goals, but are resistant in following through on the questions, are unwilling to make sacrifices, specifically sacrifices of personal time. Then again, it you find your days bleeding into one another with little distinction, what do you have to lose?

    Ultimately, the path towards making that paradigm shift towards a more fulfilling life and overcoming boredom will involve a trade-off.

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    Last Updated on March 13, 2019

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

    1. Work on the small tasks.

    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

    2. Take a break from your work desk.

    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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    3. Upgrade yourself

    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

    4. Talk to a friend.

    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

    7. Read a book (or blog).

    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

    8. Have a quick nap.

    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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    9. Remember why you are doing this.

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

    10. Find some competition.

    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

    11. Go exercise.

    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

    12. Take a good break.

    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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