Dealing With Boredom – How to Stop Being Bored

If you watched the “Crank” movie with Jason Statham, then you remember that according to the plot the main character turns out to be under the deadly poison influence. And the only antidote is the hormone adrenaline, which is produced in the human brain in case of danger. Once the body stops producing the hormone, – it dies.

The main character uses all conceivable and inconceivable sources of thrills, deliberately compromising himself and putting himself in harm’s way to provoke the hormone release.
He runs, fights, shoots, takes part in pursuits, jumps from towering height and has sex in the street.

The movie idea can serve as a good metaphor for modern life. Many people are fully imbued with similar poison. Boredom is the poison name.

Danger of boredom

Boredom makes people convulsively look for any occupation, so that they would not be idle. They are willing to do anything in order not to be on their own: to drink alcohol, to do a meaningless work, to gamble, to spend days and nights on the Internet.

Unfortunately, many people take solitude and quietness as a danger from which they should run, run, run…

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with the person that aims for some activity and does something. The danger appears where this desire becomes a pathological habit, and the desire to spend time becomes a need to kill time.

But, at the same time, there is nothing good in that you get bored once you are on your own and you do nothing. Although, the majority of people think it is a natural and normal phenomenon. In the present post, I plan to demolish this belief, this myth.

In this post I will tell you about how to get rid of the feeling of boredom and how to make sure that it would not arise again. If you want to read about the popular cure for boredom (like TV series and video games), then you will found none of them here.

TV series and other means of killing time are like a cigarette for the smoker: it helps only for a while, but then the desire is back again.

Here, we will talk about how to get rid of boredom as from a bad habit and dependence, not simply eliminating its symptoms.

How do you know whether you are a victim of boredom?

  1. During the holiday you start to get bored, even if all the conditions for a comfortable rest are created. You cannot wait to get back to work.
  2. During the weekends you are always trying to find an intensive occupation for yourself, therefore weekends pass roughly, full of affairs, traveling or booze.
  3. You are rarely on your own; you are always looking for something to do.
  4. You could hardly endure long trips because you get bored.
  5. You like to stay at work and feel uncomfortable when you have a little work to do.
  6. You cannot imagine how you could live without a permanent occupation, for example, your current work.
  7. You often feel the need to change places and social relations.

Why is this bad? Psychology has proven the connection between boredom and depression. Boredom can cause satiety of life; it provokes you to search for any escape of serenity and idleness states causing excessive and unnecessary activity. All this is shown in the following symptoms:

  1. Apathy, depression.
  2. Inability to relax. Inability to enjoy your vacation.
  3. Nervous exhaustion, fatigue.
  4. Bad habits: using drugs, gambling, shopping, sexual expansiveness, intemperance in eating.
  5. Attention Deficit Disorder.

Boredom is like a drug

Boredom is a quite dangerous thing. It makes your life uninteresting in those moments when you’re not at the stage of frenzied motion. Boredom turns quietness into anguish and solitude into torture.

Boredom is like a narcotic desire. When you have some occupation, you feel yourself perfectly fine and passionate about something, but once you are deprived of this occupation, you begin to experience “withdrawal” and a painful desire to puzzle yourselves with something. In this case, work becomes one of the ways to escape from yourself.

I used to work in a company with a girl, who went to work only not to stay at home (she has the financial ability not to work)! Besides, to put it mildly, her work was not the most exciting job in the world. It was just an occupation that helped her taking the mind off things and not staying alone with her own thoughts.

Boredom provokes an escape from yourself

The biggest problem of boredom is that the person can no longer be interested in the value and purpose of his activities. He does not care what to do, so long as he is busy doing something.
(Just the same way as the main character of the “Crank” movie does not care of his doings, whether he shoots, jumps from a plane or fights)

For him it does not matter to what results will his activity lead, whether it will make him happier and freer or not.

That is why many of us are mired in their unloved jobs, only because they do cannot imagine their lives without a permanent employment with short breaks for a sleep and rest.
Therefore, different people start using alcohol and other drugs, start a hopeless hobby of computer games, because their ordinary lives seem boring to them.

The value of life

Life is a valuable gift. You should value every minute you spend! But it looks as if many deliberately seek to ensure that the life time will flow by as quickly as possible at work, while drinking alcohol or watching TV.

Life is not a tedious waiting in the dentist’s waiting-room! Life is given only once and you should be able to enjoy it, not to hide from it in the shadow of the eternal worries.
Boredom leads to unhappiness, to activity deprived of any value and to a fast life. Boredom is a consequence of some deep inner agitation and dissatisfaction. Otherwise, where from does the need to get away from yourself appear?

I had not felt a feeling of boredom for a long time: I feel good when being on my own, I am able to enjoy the moments of relaxation and silence, and I try to get pleasure in every lived moment.

Without boredom the life itself (the fact that you live and breathe) acquires value!

I do not want to say that my life goal is a passive contemplation and monotony. All I want you to know is that your life should contain less pointless activity, “movement for the sake of movement” and more quietness, measured rate and pleasure from the lived moments.

Your life should contain both activity and work. But these things have to be conscious, to have meaning and purpose. Your activity should be guided by your motivation, by your desire to develop and achieve your goals, instead of the desire to escape from boredom and solitude.

Your work and life worries should not take all your time.

Learn to enjoy quietness

I have given you this piece of advice in the post how to increase awareness; I will tell you once again.

When you are busy with something, your mind is focused on some object, and is not left to itself. If you are rarely on your own, then you cogitate a little, because your brain is always busy with something else and it does not have time to think about the goals you set for yourself, about your life and about your relationships.

If you cogitate not much, then you make mistakes, you know less about yourself and other people, you lose the connection with your true desires. Your purpose and meaning of life escape you.

Therefore, in some totalitarian countries, the practice of an extended working day is introduced. Surely, this is done not only for the reason of increasing the production. The more people work, the less they think, and the less they think, the more manageable and passive they become.

That’s the whole secret.

The most valuable thoughts come in the moments of long quietness. Certainly, many of you can remember how during the holidays you had sudden insights, which makes it easy to come to some difficult decisions that previously seemed much more difficult.

If you do not have a lot of free time, then use at least the time you have. Do not seek to fill it with some activity. Take a walk, relax, have a rest from people, be on your own, watch what is happening around you, listen to quiet music, give your brain a rest.

If you learn to enjoy the quietness and relaxation, you will not experience the feeling of boredom so acute.

At the beginning, it’s not so easy to do. Boredom will provoke you to break the created quietness and re-create the plunge into a frenzied motion. Do not give in to these impulses, learn to relax, and then, sooner or later, you will succeed in enjoying a relaxing holiday.

Find yourself a useful hobby

Stop killing time aimlessly! Do something useful.

Try, for example, to master the art of photography or martial arts, learn to play chess, practise yoga, ride a bike, read qualitative fiction and non-fiction (popular scientific) literature, develop your intelligence, imagination, strength and endurance, learn to play a musical instrument, or create music by yourself, make a good business idea and start developing your own business.

Choosing a hobby is not as difficult as you might think. At first, many things seem uninteresting and boring, but with the development of skills in something, the interest and enthusiasm increase!

If once you learn how to do something better than the beginners, for example, playing poker or skateboarding, you will get up an appetite for that.

Learn more

Read more books and other useful information sources. Books give you a food for thought, therefore, when you are on your own, you have something to think about (except work and current affairs).

You become more interesting and erudite participant of your inner dialogue. An educated person has always something to think about.

Relax at a measured rate

Try not to turn your vacation into a mad vanity. No matter how silly it might sound, but during vacations you should rest. Stop fussing, running from place to place, drinking alcohol, and seeking an entertainment for yourself.

Relax and learn to enjoy every minute of your vacations.

Get rid of the excessive activity

If you find it difficult sitting in one place for a long time, your hands are constantly busy with something, your body is not relaxed and your mind cannot concentrate on anything – then, probably, you should get rid of the attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Such state can cause your boredom and continuous search of activity. I will soon write an article about how to get rid of it (you will be able to find it on my blog).

What happens when you get rid of boredom?

Pathological boredom greatly determines our behavior. We become restless and always busy, and life brings less joy.

Getting rid of this feeling can change your values. You will begin to appreciate your freedom, peace, cogitativeness, contemplation, rest and fruitful communication with yourself more than you used to.

You will become calmer and self-sufficient. For you, life will no longer be a mad pursuit of confused entertainment and doubtful pleasure. You’ll stop finding joy in alcohol and cigarettes, because your life would be interesting in itself!

In a panic escape from yourself, you lose youself, which can be opened for you only in a state of quietness and freedom from desires and worries.

In those moments when you find your true self, which is usually hidden behind a heap of work, you can understand your deepest desires. And together with these desires, your will discover your aims and goals.

Many people do not know what they want, they run from one activity to another: they change their field of activities, love partners, hobbies, and even the world-view, but they still do not find their happiness and they cannot understand, what are their way and their purpose.

This occurs because the connection with the true personality is broken. Instead of following their true self, people start being guided by the purposes imposed by society, or desires dictated by instincts and momentary impulses.

They spend their lives on a continuous and desolate work, move from place to place, make meaningless purchases, and make themselves liable to unnecessary risk.

Perhaps, we should stop this everlasting run. And we should think about, whether our life is worth to be wasted on pointless work from dawn to dusk until old age or not? Will it bring you happiness? Is this the only way? Maybe your destination and the meaning of your life consist of something else?

12 Comments

  • Excellent Article. All this things are happening with me for long time but I was not able to recognise it nor I was able to explain anyone. Now, I feel that I have achieved it by reading this article. Thanks.

  • I Like that line “Instead of following their true self, people start being guided by the purposes imposed by society, or desires dictated by instincts and momentary impulses” , its very true I do think a certain instinctive desire is my true self and which was not the case earlier and yes always confused about what entertains me , like going to the bar feels good but later at home , I think what a waste of time and money and over critical of things or people (inflated self esteem), excellent article ,thought whats wrong with me , now I know its just boredom

  • I think that is so true, sometimes we want to just fly through life and not really enjoy it. We only have one life to live, and yes we should make it a very good life, and not just idle it away from useless activities. I think this has given me a new perspective on what I’ve been feeling lately. I hope that eventually I will find a stable way to deal with this emotion. Seems like somedays it seems to hit me stronger than others, but I know logically it can be overcomed.

  • I think you mean compulsively look for any occupation. If I were to convulsively look for an occupation I would be seeking stimulation whilst having a fit. Quite a difference I think you will agree ;-)

  • very true. most of my life i was a busy bee, but looking back i feel its quiet true, at some point of time ,we should relish upon our own thoughts and give it a meaningful approach.

    refreshing! thanks.

  • Great insights about boredom – Especially I loved the metaphor relating to Crank movie.

  • It’s an interesting article on psychology. It was like mirroring what I am undergoing now. Foreword given by the author on not to get diverted into meaningless activities to avoid boredom can be life saving in many cases where boredom struck people wanted to indulge in uneccessay things and fortunately were influenced by this article. Let me see if it would affect me and get me rid of this boredom.

  • Good article, perils of boredom, gambling, solution, start playing poker. A lot of it’s quite astute though, I left an ok paid job in a big city in a foreign country, to look after my father and son in a quiet village where nothing happens. really been a tough 3 months, although, This comment has kept be busy for 5 minutes, which is something.

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