The good news about boredom.
I get bored easily. I have friends who get bored a lot, and it can feel like the bane of our existence.
Not to mention the nagging feeling that it’s our fault. If only we were out living more adventurous and fulfilling lives full of people and activities.
“I don’t have time to be bored, too busy having fun!” taunts the inner voice of imagined instagramable extroverts. “Just get out there and live life!”
So the first bit of good news is that they’re wrong. Taking action to overcome boredom doesn’t work, as you well know. When you are bored everything you touch gets infected by the dissatisfying ennui.
If you’re frequently and strongly bored, then you’re obviously not in a place to embrace sudden inspiration. Ignore those people who make it sound like boredom would no longer be a problem if only you’d love more like them.
So what can you do to relieve boredom?
Well the second bit of good news is that this is the wrong question to be asking. Trying to get rid of boredom doesn’t work because you can’t push things out of your experience by giving them attention.
The right question is this:
How can I feel better about being bored?
The third and biggest bit of good news about boredom is that it’s actually a very high emotional state! It’s the highest you can get while still being negative.
I used to think boredom proved that life was bad, because it was often the best I felt. When nothing bad was going on I just felt bored.
If only I had known how close boredom is to contentment! Boredom is one step away from contentment on the emotional guidance scale. Having lots of boredom, being frequently bored; this is excellent news because it means you are frequently so close to contentment!!!
All it takes to go from boredom to contentment is a little relief. Just knowing that boredom is so close will help. Next time you feel bored, look for relief not in the direction of excitement or inspiration or enthusiasm because that is too big a jump. Instead look for relief in the direction of being content.
All those times I felt bored I was focused on the lack of excitement and enthusiasm and interest and novelty. But if I had instead started appreciating what I already had: lying on the couch with the window streaming sunlight over me, nothing needing my attention, no one hassling me. No effort required, no jobs to be done. Appreciating the stability and security of my home. Appreciating being in my body and relaxing.
Just look for relief that feels like contentment, and when you feel content let that be enough for you.
Turning lead into gold
I think it was Jung who popularised the idea that alchemy was about inner transformation. Turning “base metals” into gold was really about turning boredom and other negative emotions into contentment and other positive ones.
Isn’t it wonderful then to know that all your boredom can become gold? Instead of complaining about how often you feel bored, isn’t it exciting to realise that you are that often on the verge of contentment?
The lead of boredom can become the gold o contentment. All it takes is the practice of finding relief in that direction.
After all, if you are feeling bored it means first and foremost that you have everything you need. And since you create your reality that means you have allowed yourself to receive so much already.
You are right on the tipping point, and now that supposed bane of your experience is the threshold to your happiness.