Here’s what boredom is telling us…
Boredom is one of the most meaningful things we can experience to learn to live in inner peace. Yes, when we allow the feeling, it passes through us and we’re much better off. When we’re willing to pay close attention to this “dreaded” feeling it becomes a helpful sign that points us toward the inner peace we all desire.
When was the last time you allowed yourself to be bored? According to a famous experiment, nearly half of the participants in the study preferred an electric shocked to boredom. Yet, the truth is…boredom is good for us.
Even when our bored mind is telling us that…
things aren’t going well & we need to do something more meaningful,
it’s simply not true.
So, let’s take a look at what boredom is and why it should matter to us. Boredom is a universal dreaded feeling; yet it’s only a state of mind. It’s something happening to us, in our mind, but notice, it’s not us. We have thoughts that are telling us the situation isn’t right for us, and we need to get out of there; but instead…we need to get out of the thoughts in our head.
Because boredom represents a struggle between where we are now and where we “think” we should be, we end up deciding we don’t want to be where we are now. Again, notice…this is what our thoughts are saying, not us. We are not our thoughts. Remember, thoughts are little energy entities that come and go.
Scientists who study this emotion say that, for every episode of boredom there’s an opportunity for growth created. This opportunity offers a positive change for our personal and spiritual growth. Instead of reactively…looking for the fastest, easiest escape, we can relax and allow reality to be as it is. The thoughts will pass. Watch them.
“The trouble is that we live in an age in which we never give ourselves the chance to be bored.”
~ Albert Einstein
So, how can we use the state of boredom…to find our state of inner peace? We need more time without distractions. Yes, we need more boredom.
Instead of escaping the discomfort of boredom, we can learn to accept the present moment no matter what. This is how we can ignore the thoughts telling us we’re bored. We can decide to be with things just the way they are, while not judging what we’re experiencing as boring.
Too often we seek comforts to avoid what the mind calls pain or discomfort, while trying to control reality with…such distractions as food, drink, people, smartphones, entertainment, shopping, eating, new relationships, devices, complaints, a better job, and more. And again, we’re creating our own disturbance and we don’t even know it.
Yes, we’re looking to repeat the “dopamine high” we get from the things such as the ones previously mentioned. It’s just a habit. And, even when we get what we “think” is the next best thing we’ve been waiting for, the novelty wears off, and we’re on to chasing something else we think will make us happier. For however long or short, it’s fleeting.
This is what causes our suffering. We attach to what’s fleeting, and we chase what we think will give us what we don’t “think” we have now. Know this for sure, if you allow yourself to experience the feeling of boredom, the uncomfortable feeling will pass and show up less and less from now on. Awareness takes us beyond our habits.
This is how we can stop listening to the thoughts telling us that things aren’t ok the way they are. And the best part of this practice is… learning to take back our authority. Know that manipulating the present moment to avoid discomfort doesn’t work anyway. It’s a short-term solution.
Again, recognize it’s the mind (i.e., ego) that’s bored, not you. The situation is always neutral until we listen and believe the thoughts in our head. Remember, it’s our thoughts that say the situation is boring. So, are you willing to let your mind be bored…to grow? If so, then ignore the inner voice and just watch what it’s up to but don’t engage. Observe what’s going on and simply let it pass.
Try this next time your thoughts tell you you’re bored.
Look for what’s hidden in this moment, right here, right now. Yes, look for what’s beyond the mind. Ride out these ripples in life and in the mind…because they will pass; they’re only a momentary absence of stimulation we’re used to. Remember, it’s just a habit. So, let them pass.
Consider practicing mediation as well. It’s another way to move through the many layers of boredom without distractions. It will end the comparison for something else to fill every moment with that “feel good” feeling. Before you know it…your surrender to the present moment will turn into the inner peace and freedom you’ve been seeking all along.
Be patient with yourself as you grow by allowing yourself to be where you are already. For more insight, consider reading my book (especially Chapter 8 Understanding Thought): “Breaking Free from the Ego: A Course in Finding and Freeing Yourself”. https://amzn.to/3mC7vO9
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About the Author – Trina Carroll-Houk is a spiritual teacher, counselor, and founder of Breaking Free Boundaries, LLC who specializes in self-awareness, mindfulness, and the spiritual dimension of being. Her goal is to help people improve their quality of life so they can experience inner peace, meaningful purpose, and greater fulfillment. Trina represents a movement focused on helping people release what limits them from transforming into awakened beings with a higher sense of spiritual consciousness.
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