Those that know me understand exactly where this post comes from. Once I moved to Lausanne with a project for work, I have to admit I have been strongly challenged on dealing with boredom. So, then I thought why not get up, get out and explore? Life is too short to be bored.
So, here are 7 effective ways that I found to combat boredom:
1 – Discover your talents and gifts. Each and every one of us has talents and gifts that can be put to use for fun, productivity and success. Being productive is better than being busy. One should discover their potential in life. Whether you’re good at drawing, cooking, dancing, singing, writing, acting, taking pictures, driving, painting, playing an instrument, fixing things, building things, being innovative, etc. – the sky is the limit. When you do what you have talent and gifts in, your chances of being bored are almost nonexistent. Instead you gain creativity, ideas and purpose. Boredom is for the less creative. I have a few friends here that started photography. I personally started writing and wakeboarding more. Thus, something productive was born from having more time.
2 – Be irrational and noncomformist. One of the main reasons why boredom has become so pervasive in our culture is that people have become too “rational”. So much planning, thinking, contemplating, debating and overthinking, etc… becomes, well, boring. Make it a goal to act irrationally at least once a week. As long as you are not hurting others with your irrational actions, this exercise can transform your life by leaps and bounds. Remember, boredom is the black hole for excitement and takes away that feeling of “being alive”. Each moment realize that you have the ability to transform boredom into exhilaration. Acting irrationally is a wonderful step in the right direction. Just do, just go, just be, just live.
3 – Alternate your forms of entertainment. A lot of people sleep when they’re bored. Although this is certainly effective, it can also become a compulsive remedy from escaping the real world. Creating the habit of alternating between your forms of entertainment will keep you happy, awake and living. Whether it’s doing your favorite hobby you’re passionate about, or reading, writing, listening to music, watching movies, playing video games, computers and social networking, swimming, playing sports, eating, exercising, etc – whatever it is do what makes you entertained and happy, but alternate!
4 – Learn new things, discover new places, meet new people. Nothing is more exciting than getting out of your comfort zone. Learning something new (I started learning French and cooking for example), discovering a new place to experience (I made a rule to go every weekend somewhere different) and meeting a new person (I developed the capability of being the “Yes” person when something is organized) is so refreshing and considered cures for boredom. Life is full of opportunities and experiences so go out and explore yours. Our time is limited.
5 – Surround yourself with “Do-ers”. Boredom is addictive, and when we surround ourselves with people who are continuously stagnant (boring) we tend to get pulled in. Recognize who you hang out with, and who you are connecting with. Again, there are so many people out there doing fun, productive, meaningful, and beneficial work and things. Surrounding yourself with these doers can become just as addictive.
6 – Reconnect with a old friend or distant family member. There is nothing more inspiring then hearing news of an old friend or distant family member that you have not talked to in some time. The “catching up” conversation is usually lengthy, gets the mind working in a different manner, and rarely boring. This exercise also helps you remember that there exists a very sacred connection between all human beings. Something that is so easily forgotten in times of boredom. Also, you will almost surely get a few boosts of motivation during this conversation and connection and may find that simply being there with someone else can be a transcending experience.
7 – Get in touch with nature. I had to end with this one, as there is absolutely nothing boring about the every day occurrences that transpire in nature. Feeling bored? Go outside and observe a bird in a tree, or pick up a handful of grass and spend a few moments looking at the earth in your hands. I usually like to sit by the lake and look at it…it calms me down. Watch the sea waves roar (if you are near one) and enjoy the view. How can we possible be bored when there is so much natural beauty around us? We talk a lot about nature, and claim to have an understanding of it, but I think most of us still take it for granted. Nothing will ever replace the experience of the planet that exists all around us, all the time.