I’ve been thinking about boredom lately. I’ve noticed that some of my friends and family, and some of my clients have a rather intense fear of being bored. What is it about being bored? Quick little exercise….imagine yourself not having your phone or a television or any other form of distraction…..how does that feel? Can you imagine it? You might be thinking, “Why would I want to imagine that?” I get that. But try….how does it feel?
Can you set aside all distractions for a bit and see what comes up? That is the nugget that we are looking for. Maybe we are afraid of the feelings and thoughts that would come up if we didn’t have something to distract ourselves….
I tried looking up the definition of boredom. Merrium Webster says, “The state of being weary and restless through lack of interest.” Before looking this up, I wondered if bored classified as an emotion. I struggled saying it was. I can go with weary and restless being emotions….kind of. The definition of weary is “exhausted in strength, endurance, vigor, or freshness.” The definition of restless is “continuously moving.” I still believe we can dig deeper beneath these two words to more accurately identify emotions. Weary sounds like a response to stress. Restless sounds like a response to anxiety.
Maybe you think I am splitting hairs but I seriously want to understand our fear of being bored. And within the definition are some clues. Look at the second part of the definition of boredom: lack of interest. What causes lack of interest? It could be a lot of things, right? I wonder if the distractions we are using to avoid the feelings aren’t working anymore, hence the”lack of interest.”
I am on a quest to figure this fear of boredom out. What are your thoughts about boredom?