Beneath what we label as boredom lay dormant diverse emotional states- loneliness, agitation, disappointment, and vulnerability.
Boredom can be a mask for feeling out of control, trapped, powerless. It is a distress signal looking for an escape. Sometimes it is a sign that we are so overwhelmed and in need of a break. A camouflage for isolation and disconnect from self or others.
Do you often reach for a quick snack at home during the middle of the day? It turns out that boredom, not an empty belly, may be to blame.
According to many types of research,
- Boredom is one of the most frequently reported triggers of binge eating.
- It also leads to excessive alcohol or smoking to fill in time. In extreme cases, substance abuse.
- It may indicate a lack of emotional awareness of our needs and goals.
- Feelings of entrapment or “stuck” can lead to a lack of focus, this makes us disengaged.
Once we scratch the surface and stay with this boredom without suppressing, burying it with a mountain of work, numbing it by scrolling feeds, it can give way to emotional awareness and understanding.
So what can one do to not let boredom create self-harming habits?
- Fill in the time– Do you know that according to the Time Perception law, it may seem like a lifetime while you wait to catch a train alone, conversely, time may seem shorter if you are watching a Netflix movie or are engaged in a conversation with a friend. What you do at the moment decides your perception of time. A lot of us are doing more household chores than ever before. Engaging in non-interesting and mundane responsibilities like doing dishes, laundry, cleaning, etc. Put your favorite music on or listen to a podcast to make your time more engaging.
- Engage With Yourself- While being grateful for a slow-paced life, let’s take a mindful pause amid the chores and reflect on the NOW. These are moments of self-reflection and self-awareness. Engage with yourself. Ask questions to yourself. Become your own compassionate friend. Use this time to process information from past and present for a better you tomorrow.
- Shed Your Shoulds– “I have to work right now” “I should be doing dishes”. Delve deeper into the “Whys” of it. How can you make it more interesting? What outcome are you looking for? How is this chore/work going to help you? How can I make it less taxing?
Be curious about your boredom and eventually something new will rise.