A Time For Boredom

by | Mar 10, 2021 | Personal Growth

We live in a busy world.

We’re surrounded by technology; podcasts, phones, iPads, endless entertainment options, and then there’s our calendars, which are full of kids sport, social events, work meetings and family commitments.

So often we’re scheduled within an inch of our lives and many of us begin to feel that if we’re not multitasking, we’re not operating at the level we should be. Not getting enough done and therefore not achieving.

We’re listening to podcasts while we’re cooking dinner, trying to learn French while we garden or trying to speed-read articles while we’re already in a meeting.

The trouble is that without giving ourselves some quiet time, we’re not giving our brains the space we need for creativity and restoration. In fact, downtime, including sleep and meditation, is shown to improve neuroplasticity, which is the secret sauce to both creativity and preventing brain degeneration.

ARE WE SCARED OF JUST BEING?

When I was a kid and complained of being bored my mother used to say, “only boring people get bored”. While I don’t think that’s true, I also think there’s a difference between being bored and being okay with doing nothing.

Just sitting and doing nothing freaks a lot of us out because you just end up sitting in your thoughts. Heaven forbid we might do some self-contemplation, fall asleep or just do nothing.

We also have a million different things demanding our attention at any one time. There’s a membership to something, a podcast, notifications on our phone and something on TV when we’re tired and should probably just go to bed. There’s always something waiting to absorb our awareness.

The end result? Our minds end up unfocused and scattered and we can’t relax. How can we when we’re feeling pressure to do more, while simultaneously having our attention being pulled in multiple directions.

A TIME FOR NOTHING

Many of us, when we do have the space to relax feel an urge to fill that space and we often fill it with stuff that doesn’t need to be done. We don’t really want to watch that movie or do that task, but we feel we have to do it. Or we’re self conscious in doing nothing, so we do something, anything.

When was the last time you just sat quietly with the sun on your face? Or looked at the ocean without a device, music or a friend? When did you last stay in bed without reading or scrolling, hopped in a bath without shaving your legs or watching a show? When was the last time you allowed yourself to do absolutely nothing?

I bet it was a long time ago.

Well, that time is coming around again, because I am going to challenge you to do a little bit of nothing right now. To have a bath without distraction, sit in the sun, by the ocean, or even just to walk the dog without headphones. It’s time to gift yourself with the quiet of nothing.

Giving yourself the time for nothing will create a space that will help your creativity, give you more energy, aid in self-reflection and self-improvement. You will have time to work through your problems and will feel more grateful for the good in your life. You may also come up with some ways to get rid of the crap in your life too. You will come out of it calmer, happier and maybe with creative inspiration.

It will take practice, but with practice we can all just be. And in the stillness of being, we can regain our spark and make our own world just a little better.

It will take practice, but with practice we can all just be. And in the stillness of being, we can regain our spark and make our own world just a little better.

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