Currently, I am pondering the state of boredom. Why am I bored? I usually never am. In fact, what is boredom, even? LiveScience has an article on their website that addresses this question, at least partially. The definition of boredom, according to researchers at York University in Ontario, Canada, is "an aversive state of wanting, but being unable, to engage in satisfying activity," and this is due, the researchers explained, to some sort of problem with attention to our internal thoughts/feelings or even exterior stimuli. It is sort of like being unfocused, but aware of the fact, and unable to concentrate even on activities you might otherwise enjoy.
Mike Licktieg offered some strategies for fighting boredom. These include the following:
- Throw some variety into your life; shake up the normal routine. Make a different meal, take a different class, watch a movie you would not normally watch, etc.
- Create and use a bucket list (or 101 things to do in 1001 days); explore new ideas and activities for joining or forming a hobby.
- Express yourself (creative activities such as writing, drawing, pottery, etc.)
- Focus on helping others rather than your boredom or problems.
- Conduct a personal search for meaning in your life, through connection with family, friends, God (in whatever form you subscribe to), public service or charity...in other words, rejoice in making your own purpose.
These ideas are broad but definitely have made me think today. I hope that you find panache for your boredom. I will work toward a more active anti-boredom strategy that involves most or all of these suggestions to some degree. No more whiny teenage angst! (Although I am 40...just have seen this comment inundating teenagers' social networking presence at times)