Boredom arises from repetition, so if you want to cure boredom, start by noticing how many new experiences you have on a day to day basis.
Doing, seeing, and engaging with new things creates the space for curiosity and inspiration. As part of the deal you may feel some fear—tempered by excitement—but it will be worth it.
Here are 20 things you can do now or in the near future to cure boredom and reignite your life.
If when you spend a two week holiday travelling, it feels like a month or more, it’s probably because your typical way of life is repetitive. Same routine; same commute; same food. Even benign, healthy activities like yoga and mindfulness can become part of the repetition of your everyday life or week, and repetition shrinks time.
Travel, by its very definition, leads to perpetual new experiences, and each new experience has to be processed by the brain for the first time. Whenever you learn something new, neural circuits communicate through synapses, and the creation of these pathways takes more energy and more time.
That “longer” time is then interpreted as such by the brain, hence you perceive the two weeks of you holiday as significantly longer than a typical two weeks at home.
I understand that it’s a difficult time to travel abroad at the moment amid the pandemic, what you need to do is then to try to fulfill your life with new experiences — explore a little and get out of your comfort zone!
2. Learn a New Language
If you feel bored you must have time on your hands. What better way to spend that time than to enhance your ability to communicate. Remember when you said: “I’d really love to be able to speak Italian”?
There’s nothing more satisfying than being able to converse with a foreigner in their own language. It opens the door to recognize the differences and similarities between cultures while also making a new friend.
The extra bonus is that your new friend really appreciates your effort to speak their language, which is, in itself, an indication of not just your curiosity but your respect for them, their country, and culture.
3. Empower Yourself
You might consider “boredom” as a state, but in essence it is a thought. Consider the thought “I am bored.” It suggests that I am being bored. So who or what is boring me? And why would I allow my conscious state to be altered by external factors?
Take responsibility and ownership of your own life if you really want to learn how to cure boredom.
4. Let Go of Self-Pity
- “I’m bored.”
- “It’s not fair.”
- “Why is this happening to me?”
How useful are these thoughts? How much more useful would it be to let them go and reignite your life with positive affirmations instead?
5. Be Creative
Creativity is what we were born for. Whether it be artistically, musically, or literary, it’s something you can do alone. It may be practical, for example gardening or carpentry, or perhaps building a business plan for your new enterprise, but whatever it is that gets your creative juices flowing will neutralize any feelings of boredom and reignite your life.
6. Learn How to Play a Musical Instrument
The ten thousand hour rule for musical proficiency has lost some of it’s credence of late, which is probably not such a bad thing for aspiring learners.
Rather than being daunted by the idea of learning how to play a musical instrument, focus on the end goal. What is it you really want?
Take the guitar, for instance. Do you want to learn to play classical music like “Tales of the Alhambra” or the riff from “Smoke on the Water”? There are vast differences between the two—not least the amount of time it will take you to learn how.
Do-it-yourself learning is all very well, but when it comes to music, one size definitely doesn’t fit all, so treat yourself to finding a teacher—online if necessary—who can customize your lessons to exactly what you want to achieve. This way you can avoid learning unwanted techniques and complicated scales and concentrate on that particular sound and style that you want to create.
Physical activity produces endorphins, which, by interacting with your brain receptors, create positive feelings. The feeling of boredom cannot coexist with positive feelings, so this is a perfect way to cure it.
Whether it be the effort of bench-pressing your maximum weight, achieving a head-stand, or dancing to your favorite song, you will never be bored when you are enjoying the experience of pushing yourself physically.
8. Take Conscious Breaths
If you are not thinking, then you cannot think that you are bored, and when you are present you cannot conceive of the duality that prompts comparison between your current state and an alternative fantasy.
Conscious breathing reduces stress levels and brings you mind back to the here and now. The best part is that it only takes a few minutes!
9. Accept Reality as It Is
According to Buddhist teachings, all suffering arises from craving, and learning to accept reality as it is liberates us from that craving.
Since boredom is resistance to what is, the cure is to accept reality.
10. Choose Your Chores
We all have things we have to do from time to time for practical reasons. They may be time consuming, they may be uninspiring, they may seem boring, but they just need doing.
Rather than resist the experience and go into victim mode—poor me—make a different choice. Choose to do what you have to do, and do it to the best of your ability with as much enthusiasm as you can muster. You’ll be amazed at the difference this makes.
Do you really need that fondue set? When did you last wear that double-cuff dress shirt? Are you ever going to use that static bike again? How much lighter would your life feel without this excess baggage?
If you want to learn how to cure boredom, decluttering and aiming for a more minimalist lifestyle can be a great goal to occupy your time and energy.
12. Learn a New Recipe
Cooking programs on TV have never been more popular, and yet we spend more time watching than doing.
If you put your mind to it, you can easily learn how to cook to a decent standard by using free resources available online including recipes and YouTube videos.
13. Free Yourself From Time
Sometimes boredom manifests as a result of simply waiting in a queue, and can lead to stress and anxiety even if you do not have a deadline to meet:
- Why is this taking so long?
- Why didn’t I choose the other line?
- Why is that woman asking so many questions?
- How can they be so inefficient?
You can allow time to be your master, or you can recognize it for what it is—a mental construct created by humans.
14. Be Grateful
Take ten minutes to focus on gratitude. Think of three things to be grateful for in your life and just sit with that intention.
Do this every day to help you learn how to cure boredom. When you feel good about the little things in life, it’s difficult to feel bored or think that you have nothing interesting to do.
Boredom stems from a lack ability to just “be.”
The pace of technological development, from Crompton’s Spinning Mule to the smart phone, has been so fast that it is completely at odds with human evolution. In the “developed” world, the increase in leisure time, plus the more recent trend and hence expectation of instant gratification, has resulted in a craving mentality for the “next” thing.
“I am a human being, not a human doing.” -Kurt Vonnegut
If you want to reignite your life, you must first focus on being instead of constantly doing. Only then can you really focus on what will bring interest back to your life.
“All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” -Blaise Pascal
16. Clear Your Mind
Close your eyes and ask yourself: “I wonder what the next thing I think of is going to be?”
You may be surprised at the results.
17. Don’t Think of Boredom as an Enemy
If you feel boredom looming, don’t be negative and don’t resist it. Recognize it and be curious.
Why do I feel this way? What a blessing to have this space where I can choose to do whatever I like, including nothing.
When you see boredom as an opportunity to analyze what’s going on in your mind, you immediately have a chance to reignite your life through understanding.
18. Give of Yourself
When you have time that you’re not using well, why not go out and help others. You can get to know your neighbors better or find a place to volunteer. Any of these can help you as you learn how to cure boredom.
How might giving to others affect your feelings of self-worth and your commitment to taking your life to the next level?
19. Get Closure
If you’re feeling bored and lost in life, there is likely something holding you back. It may be regret, grief, anger, or disappointment. Engage in self-reflection to discover what’s causing these feelings and find a way to get closure so that you can move forward.
20. Don’t Play It Safe
Boredom is negative, blinkered, dis-empowering and, above all, complacent.
You can engage with it and remain stuck within its known limitations, or you can break through and take a chance on the unknown; the otherness; the excitement—perhaps even the danger—of the new.
Step out of your comfort zone, even just a bit. Pick up a new hobby, read a book you wouldn’t normally read, or go out with friends you haven’t seen in years. Doing something new will help you cure boredom and reignite something in you.
The concept of boredom is, in truth, a doorway to a myriad of possibilities. Remove the veil and choose from a plethora of options to rebuild your passion and interest in life.
Follow these tips and see how consistently enjoying new experiences helps you learn how to cure boredom and reignites your life by expanding your horizons both internally and externally.
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Featured photo credit: Shane via unsplash.com