Life should never be boring! There is a lasting cure for boredom, which is, after all, an awful state of mind. You suddenly lack interest in your surroundings and just cannot concentrate on anything. Boredom usually happens in three typical situations. First, you are prevented from doing something you want to do. Second, you are compelled to do a particular job. And third, you just cannot find anything interesting to do. Your mind recognizes the situation and triggers the boredom emotion.
Emotions program your behavior. In the primeval world, emotion signals mechanically modified the behavior of animals to enable their survival.Anger makes an animal fight and fear causes it to flee. Boredom makes it abandon unprofitable efforts and search for more urgent survival tasks. Emotions generated programmed responses for a primitive world. But now, events move at a slower pace. The immediate demands of life are not so compellingly urgent. Today, being calm and composed is useful and patience is a necessary virtue. But sadly, primitive animal emotions still work their ancient logic. They impose harmful behavioral patterns.
Boredom dumps you into an awful level of consciousness. It creates anxiety about not doing anything. Boredom poses greater risks of developing depression, and drug or alcohol addiction. Bored people display anger, aggressive behavior and exhibit weak interpersonal skills. They do poorly at work and at school. The permanent cure for boredom begins from an awareness that you can be comfortable with longer periods of stillness. Know that boredom is a manipulative action by the primitive part of your mind and self awareness can be used to just switch it off!
Waiting in A Queue
You have joined one of those long tiresome queues. Usually, people bring along something to read, play Nintendo, or watch others, to avoid boredom. But, you don't need such crutches. It is possible to avoid feeling bored altogether. Imagine Buddhist monks, who sit quietly for hours while they meditate. The have found a cure for boredom. In the stillness of RB, your rational brain, there is actually no space for boredom!
A Tiresome Task
Mental fatigue can be caused by the repetitive tasks. Boredom in such a situation is understandable. But, to feel that a task is too hard, or too easy is only an excuse. In the real world, there is no task, which is not substantially repetitive and tiresome. An accountant for a multinational corporation repeats many procedures over the years. A software architect pores over an infinity of details. Even the President of a country sits for hours, listening to monotonous speeches and reports. In every field, there are people, who cope successfully with such situations. If you feel weary about such situations, remember, there is a cure for boredom.
Nothing To Do
There are times, when a news item, or a movie scene grabs your attention and keeps you absorbed. But, have you not kept switching channels on TV, to find nothing interesting? Even the replay of a favorite movie feels boring and uninteresting. It is important to realize that you are being manipulated by your nervous system. The restlessness and lack of interest are the effects of programmed emotional signals. Once you have learned the simple cure for boredom, your mind will find so many interesting things to attend to.
It is Not The Situation, But The Emotion
There are people who enjoy even the most repetitive assembly line work and others, who maintain a steadily depressed attitude to life and complain bitterly of monotony even on the most varied work. It is the attitude and not the work, which makes the difference. The first cure for boredom is the realization that it is not the situation, but an emotion, which is acting up within you.
The Power Of Emotions
An emotion envelops you in its level of consciousness. Your nervous system has succeeded over millions of years by routinely focusing all available resources on a single objective. All the knowledge available is dedicated to achieving that goal. To enable this, your intuition inhibits all “unsuitable data.”
If you are angry, the system excludes all pleasant thoughts about your opponent, so that you can mercilessly crush her. If you are fearful, you fail to remember all the times you succeeded. Fear compels you to escape, without being tempted to stay back and fight. So, also, when you are bored, the system inhibits pleasant memories and colors the situation bleak. The system is manipulating you.
A Cure For Boredom - A Sudden Change Of Viewpoint
In its intuitive decision making process, your mind switches its viewpoints within milliseconds. Such decisions operate within your nervous system, outside your control. As Paul Eckman said, "We become aware a quarter, or half second after the emotion begins. I do not choose to have an emotion, to become afraid, or to become angry. I am suddenly angry. I can usually figure out later what someone did that caused the emotion." In most of the things you do in life, it may only take a moment for you to become bored. Self awareness is the key to stilling boredom, when it overtakes you.
A Cure For Boredom - The Power Of PFR
Your mind contains PFR, a rational prefrontal brain, which views any situation with equanimity. It evaluates the world without emotions. Imagine a computer printout of your boring situation. You are waiting in queue, doing a repetitive task, or trying to find something to do. It is just another thing you do in life. It can be viewed as a situation in life, not a tiresome situation. A neutral view is the view of PFR. The self awareness practiced in mindfulness meditation can activate PFR and your viewpoint will instantly change. You will immediately feel that it is perfectly OK to be doing nothing.
Exercises To Put PFR In Charge
Boredom takes control within a few milliseconds. You are in a darkened lecture hall. Before you know it, time seems to hang heavily. You cannot focus on the slides and the drone of voices. You become bored - impatient and restless. Such emotions take control, because you are merely a troubled spectator, watching the habitual thought patterns of your emotional brain. Its inherited circuits apply animal instincts to cope with your life.
Mere words cannot convey to this emotional brain the contentment of a tranquil mind, or the joy of exciting work. Your PFR has to be enabled to appreciate those goals through certain physical exercises and mental routines, which still your negative emotions. The Mind Control Tips in this website suggest several ways of stilling negative emotions.
One such routine, self awareness, activates PFR, which can instantly still boredom. When PFR becomes aware of the physical symptom of engulfing boredom, the emotion itself will get disconnected. It will vanish. When equilibrium comes, PFR, your common sense, will take control. You will reach a stage, where a quiet peace surrounds you. Then you can focus on anything of interest. At a lecture, focus on constructively criticizing the speaker.
Controlling the focus of your mind provides a lasting cure for boredom. Mindfulness courses have improved the performance of novice meditators on tasks of sustained attention and working memory. They were less depressed than those who did not receive such training. The pattern sensing logic of the mind works to still boredom and change attitudes. It does take a little practice to become so self aware. But, imagine the benefits of being free of boredom for the rest of your life!
The Benefits of Being Free of Boredom
Philosophers have written that the very existence of boredom is an indication that nature has not served its purpose of making life worth living. But, they did not realize that boredom is an emotion designed by nature to keep animals focused on profitable efforts. But, with your PFR level of consciousness, you have no need to be so manipulated by your nervous system.
When boredom has been overcome, PFR will also find many ways to keep your mind occupied. Reduced reported levels of boredom were considered reliable indicators of whether treated drug addicts would stay clean. Long distance drivers, who reported little boredom, played mental games, such as counting of passing objects. They were also safer drivers. Just self awareness can set you free. A freed PFR can develop new skills and hobbies. Freed from boredom, your own patterns sensing mechanisms will find joy in the beauty of the world around you.
This page was last updated on 31-Dec-2013
For my peace of mind, I earmarked 20 minutes for meditation on the terrace. With my eyes closed, I sense my hands on the chair and feel the numbness in my feet.
I feel my breath flowing through my nose, my throat, my chest and my stomach. I can hear the chirping of birds, the phut phut of auto rickshaws, the occasional roar of a truck and the insistent hooting of horns.
The wide sky and the treetops come to my attention, when I open my eyes, I see a pale moon over two hundred thousand miles away. I see the nuclear fires, blazing for millions of years in the pale globe of the setting sun. I see a single star millions of miles away in space.
I can see green shoots coming up on a tree, watch the dives and swoops of birds, the great circles of the hawks and flocks of birds flying home for the night.
Diffused light from the sun reflects off a parrot on the tree and enters my eye through a pinhole opening. I sense the bustling mood of the bird, even though it is smaller than a drop of water in my eyes.
All these things are seen and felt by me in a few brief minutes. In the distance, is the head of a man seeming to be no bigger than a pea. Yet, that head too sees and feels such things. Ten million people in this great city see and feel in ten million ways.
My mind wanders to a misty view of postwar London; an exciting glimpse of Disneyland. An awed view of Tiananmen Square. The looming Himalayan ranges. My mind takes me to distant galaxies.
It carries me into the heart of millions of invisible neurons, where electrical charges flash thousands of times a second powering my contemplation. I see the campaigns of Julius Caesar and Alexander. I feel the longings of Jehangir.
Already my mind has taken me to palaces, battlefields and even the stars. If I lost everything, but can just see and feel, in just a few brief minutes, my mind can travel the world, or imagine the cosmos.
While my thoughts wandered far and near, the thought "20 minutes is a long time" also kept floating in. And yet, life has already blessed me with over twenty million waking minutes! I have an infinity of time on my hands. Have I a right to expect more from life?
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Joe Glen USA.
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Andrew Montgomery USA.