The cure for feeling bored

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Creativity / Idea Generation / Personal Development / Productivity

It’s like I’m uninspired.

I’m not particularly angry. I just have this urge not to be here. Or there, for that matter.

It’s a kind of malaise.

Brush teeth, work, eat, brush same teeth, sleep, repeat.

With all that is available to do and see in this fascinating world, I can’t figure out why it’s there.

Where did it come from?

Am I a spoiled brat for complaining?

I just feel so…how can I say it…?


. . .

We all feel bored sometimes. I feel it plenty.

For some, it’s too often to be normal.

In reality, boredom is a friendlier mask worn by it’s more domineering form: Fear.

We’re surrounded by seemingly endless cures to this discomfort. Films, games, social media hits, stimulations of all shapes, tastes, and varieties.

Often, because we can’t bear the sensation for even a few minutes, we do things that feel good fleetingly, but once we’re done, we’re back to that feeling.

We feel the same lethargy when we’re back in the ‘real’ world. We feel it with an added dash of shame at the energy we lost to time.

Drinking, partying, eating pastries, smoking, binge TV.

A little indulgent entertainment and a few vices in moderation sure feel good. They help add some spice to life.

But they won’t put an end to that silent thread of bored frustration in the wider picture.

Beyond covering your bases of rest, eating enough, and having your minimum social-interaction needs met, the cure for boredom, and in fact, most of our malaise, is play.

If you’re bored, you aren’t playing.

What do we mean by ‘play’ here?

Play is exploring things without expecting, grasping or wishing for anything.

It is moving; taking action without being crystal clear on where you’re going next.

It is being ok with doing things differently, and having the courage to continue moving through what feels odd; frightening; precarious.

Setting yourself a timed-challenge is a form of play because it forces you to act without planning or overthinking.

Play is letting go.

Most importantly, it is what gives rise to self-expression.

You feel bored because you haven’t allowed for enough self-expression. That’s why it’s such a pain.

We need to express our real selves (without drugs or alcohol) because to do anything else is to deny ourselves as humans. It is a kind of self-abuse.

To block it is to restrict our growth. And when we don’t grow, we can’t be happy.

. . .

How to play more?

So if the boredom is there, figure out what you need to do to bring playful behaviour back into the picture so that you are free to express yourself without the fear of ‘repercussions.’

Go on a walking adventure in your city with no plan.

Write for thirty minutes to see what words appear.

Explore your mind in a similar way through drawing, woodcraft, or photography.

Play with your children. Play like a child would.

Play a sport. Play in the gym.

Write a book in a month. A week.

See life as the exhilarating game it is. Talk to people and be generous without expecting anything back. Even if it makes you fearful. That’s part of it. That is play.

Play, with the attitude that doing things poorly, is part of the process that will see you through to doing things beautifully.

Life rewards those who are willing to try things playfully, and risking not looking ‘cool’ while doing it.

When those feelings come up, we don’t need to escape to Fiji. A Netflix show is best left as a reward for what we have already created that day.

When we can bring ourselves to play more often, see what changes.

See how play is the first step to all momentum in life and work.

See how we no longer need to disappear.

We are alive again; right where we are.

The Author

Alex is a project starter, sometimes finisher, writer and illustrator. He started Red Lemon Club in 2009 with the aim of helping talented creative people leave their mark.

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