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How to bore myself.

Updated on September 2, 2008

"Mom, I'm bored"

A lot of people only know boredom from their youth. Those endless, empty days or the sight of children (who sit upside down on the couch) that drives you crazy. According to pedagogues however, boredom has its use. It's very important that a child knows its own feeling of boredom. It has to learn to find solutions for itself. That way the child learns that it's normal, it's only a temporary feeling and that boredom will disappear as soon as the mind gets occupied by something else. And especially that they can exercise it themselves. That discovery prevents their brains of laziness.

Online CD

Than there is Online Compulsive Disorder. That's for people who get restless when they can't get online. They have a need for information and knowledge like smoking people have the need for nicotine.

It seems that two third of higher educated employees, (mostly managers and directors), always want to be easy to get to. Seven out of ten check their email and get restless when they can't be contacted during their holidays or other days off.

Having stress normally isn't a problem, only when your body has a chance to recover from the stress. When this doesn't happen, stress hormones like adrenaline will stay swimming in your bloodstream and if this happens when you're doing nothing, you just get burned out. Even your brains have to do nothing once in a while. When there are too many stress hormones in your blood for a too longer time, it will damage your Hippocampus. And that part of your brain is important for your memory.

Voluntarily confinement

If we don't work, we try to amuse ourselves like hell. We go biking, dancing, camping with ten thousand other people, try to catch some goldfish, take our newborn on trips to show them the world. Just as long we don't get bored. But just once in a while, just once, we should try just to do nothing. Just nothing and get bored.

There are crazy persons who voluntarily lock themselves up in a cabin in the woods. No TV, no radio, no mobile phone, no laptop, books or company. Only to feel bored, like in their old days when they had a lengthy empty summer holiday?

A crazy person like that is mostly someone who, after a year of busy agenda's starts surfing the Internet 5 days a week to look for a most individual holiday destination and suddenly realizes: "I don't want a survival in the mountains, a cycling holiday in Thailand. I really just want nothing. Just a book, maybe a river or a thought which won't go any further than "remembering to buy toilet paper" and who knows, maybe a brilliant idea."

Being bored consciously

I'm wondering if it's possible to bore yourself consciously. And could three days of just doing nothing have the same effect. I take a chair and just sit in my garden. I would like some coffee now, but why don't I get bored for just an hour first. I'm curious about it, almost excited and at the same time I realize that this is the wrong state of mind

LOG of Boredom: Star date Friday 11.50. "I'm waiting for this feeling of ‘emptiness of boredom' as another Great unique Experience. Exactly this thing I tried to escape." I wrote down after just sitting there in my garden for two hours

We are on schedule

We often got this feeling that we are busy all the time. Even in spare time forty percent of us feel in a rush. (And mostly the better educated, the more pressure they feel).And it's not just a feeling. People are more in a rush. First of all, we work more than we did in the 'old days'. Even though each of us has more spare time than there was in the 60's.

More women entered into the labor market, which meant that the former housewife who normally cleaned and organized her home during the week, had to do this on weekends now. Not just the household but also all the choices she had to make in this multiple choice society. Normally this was the time that the whole family had some days off.

The spare time that's left, isn't going to be used to relax in a hammock. No, it's filled up with ‘new experiences'. We are constantly in a search for new trills and excitement.

LOG OF BOREDOM: Star date Friday 15.45. Number of oak trees in my garden: 15. Number of chestnuts: 5. Passing ants: 54. Flying ducks that make the sounds of a rubber ducky: 2. Airplanes that fly over: one every three minutes.

Giving Meaning to life.

We are responsible for our own meaning of life. And that's hard. We just plan our lives full with activities just to get the feeling that we do exciting things and in that way, we matter. And at the same time, because of all these exciting things, we don't need to think anymore about giving meaning to our life.

Our mobile phones helped to ‘not think'. It made it easier. As soon as we get into a traffic jam or our plain doesn't leave as scheduled, we take our mobile phones to share our feelings of frustration or happiness with someone else before boredom forces us to think.

LOG of BOREDOM: Star date Saturday 12.18. Just some words written down. Ice bear, Italy, dancing farm girl, sad horse.

Words without any meaning. I was just watching the clouds instead of thinking.


Is just doing nothing useful? Sure it can be useful.

When you want to solve a problem or if you want to have an idea, you start to focus on the thing you want to solve. You line up all the ideas you have and try to find a solution. When that isn't working, you'll get frustrated. And that is the beginning of your creativity.

When you think you won't find the answer, the best thing you can do is just not to focus and take a step back. Just do something different. Try meditation for example. When you stop focusing, your sub conscious keeps on thinking about the problem you wanted to solve and suddenly when you least expect it, there will be your new insight. Maybe just the idea"what if I look at it from another angle". It might not be the exact answer yet, but it will help you on your way.

LOG OF BOREDOM: Star date Saturday 17.00. Okay. Let's just try to meditate. Shall I sit under the chestnut three or shall I sit in front of the aquarium and just watch the fish pass by at the other side of the glass

Meditation attempt 1

Is this the same as not focusing on the problem of finding out if it's possible to bore yourself consciously? The first hours of my first days when I tried to do nothing at all; I started counting, thinking, and wondering if counting things is the same thing you would do when you are bored. Or is it because just want to find out if it's possible and I just started thinking after a few hours, like my mind just got carried by the top of the threes.

LOG OF BOREDOM: Star date Saturday 18.45. Too bad there aren't electrodes on my head to measure the activity of my brains.

BOREDOM doesn't show up.

Being exposed to stimulus

Continuously being exposed to stimulus is not conducive to creativity. Companies should force their employees to do nothing once in a while. Just because they could burn out. The possibility that companies will do that isn't likely.

Until now the possibilities to save more time and create more spare time, did accomplish that we have less time. Faster ways to travel lead to longer distances to travel, ways to improve productivity lead to more productivity, more ways to spend your spare time lead to less spare time (and to afford these ways to fill in your spare time, you need more money, so you have to work more).

Who really wants to have more energy left and enjoy their spare time, probably is better off when he or she goes in retreat for a weekend. Not a rat race.

LOG OF BOREDOM: Star date Sunday 16.00. I quit. Boredom doesn't show up. That isn't possible when I'm consciously try to find out if I can bore myself.

Boredom isn't just doing anything, but also the feeling that you can't have passion for anything. But two long long days of doing nothing... It's much easier and just really pleasant. And I really didn't need to start writing about it.


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