Written by DiveThru Team
Reviewed by Natalie Asayag MSW, LCSW
Feeling Bored: A Guide To Your Emotions
Published Apr 2nd, 2021 & updated on Dec 7th, 2021
Boredom. is. the. worst. It feels like the hours, minutes, and seconds are dragging on and on… and on and on. You feel kinda frustrated and restless, like you’re itching so badly to do something that will pull you out of this rut. But also like your mind is kinda empty and numb, so you can’t focus. Maybe you’re trying really hard to study, but the reading material is sooo dry it makes your eyes glaze over. Or you might feel so uninterested in the work tasks that you’ve been assigned, you just stare blankly at the computer monitor hoping you’ll suddenly feel motivated. Ever been dragged to an adult function when you were a little kid, with no one else to play with and nothing to do? Yeahhh, feeling bored is almost like that some days. Like you’re trapped in a situation that you have no say in, and you just gotta ride out the complete and utter boredom until it’s FINALLY over.
We all experience boredom now and then. It could be a temporary fix, or a sign that we could use a lil’ change of scenery. Whatever the reason, we’re here for you! So let’s talk about boredom, how it impacts our mental wellness, and ways to overcome this feeling.
A Deeper Look At Feeling Bored
What does it mean to feel bored, exactly? Well, APA Dictionary defines boredom as: “n. a state of weariness or ennui resulting from a lack of engagement with stimuli in the environment.” So yeah, that restless feeling and lack of satisfaction you get now and then? Could be boredom. It happens to the best of us.
We might feel bored for lots of reasons. Boredom can arise when you feel mentally drained or you’re dealing with too many stressors at once. Having too much going on around you can put your brain on autopilot, and then you just feel bored to death. Maybe you’ve taken on too many responsibilities at work, and your personal life has started to suffer. Or your studies have taken up so much of your time that it feels like you never have time for your hobbies, or hanging out with friends (student burnout is a thing!). Your time is consumed by work, but you’re not getting enough opportunities to unwind and have fun. When life feels repetitive and you get too comfortable doing the same thing most days, it can make you feel restless and bored with your schedule. We all deserve some “me” time away from all of the responsibilities we’re juggling!
How Feeling Bored Shows Up Mentally
When you feel bored, there’s nothing you want more than to find something that will stimulate your mind and cure this feeling. Buuut it’s not always easy! Here are a few other mental signs of boredom you might experience:
– Feeling sadness or hopelessness
– Inability to stay interested
– Lack of motivation
Clearly, boredom can have a major effect on your mental wellbeing. Some of these signs can also be symptoms of depression, especially feelings of hopelessness, sadness and avoiding opportunities to make you feel more engaged. If you continue to struggle with boredom despite making an effort to combat this feeling, speak with a mental health professional. They’re equipped to help you work through difficult emotions and find positive solutions, and you don’t have to do this alone.
How Feeling Bored Shows Up Physically
Just like it impacts your mental health, boredom has its ways of affecting your physical health. Feelings of restlessness, discomfort and lack of interest from boredom can look something like this:
– Jiggling legs and feet
– Staring off in the distance
– Moving in your seat restlessly
Again, everyone gets bored sometimes. It’s when we feel constantly bored and unstimulated that it starts to affect our health in negative ways. It’s important to work through these feelings with a professional if boredom is affecting your quality of life.
Getting Rid Of Boredom
Feeling bored could be a sign that you need to make some changes and find ways to relieve stressors in your life. Try some new hobbies, join a fun class with a friend, and find ways to switch up your daily routine. Maybe on your lunch break, you start going for walks. Or you try studying in a different location like a coffee shop instead of the library. You could initiate a new strategy at work with your team, like having a fun brainstorming sesh in the middle of the week to get some fresh ideas. A lot of the time, we just need to try things that are out of the ordinary for us to help stimulate our mind and spark our interest again.
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut. It sucks, we know. But you’re not alone! Boredom doesn’t have to be a default emotion. It takes some trial and error, but it’s so worth it once you find something that works for you and makes you feel excited!
5 Ways To Cope With Feeling Bored
Sooo, you’re bored out of your mind. Now what?! Don’t worry, we’ve got a few coping strategies for your boredom. Try ‘em out for yourself!
1. Engage in something creative
One of the best cures for boredom? Flexing your imagination, channeling your creativity and having a lotta fun doing it! Draw, paint, sculpt or do calligraphy. Write poems, blog posts or stories. Practice an instrument, sing, dance! The possibilities are endless.
2. Reach out for support
When you’re bored, it can help to get a little social interaction. So try reaching out to a friend or family member! Shoot them a text, chat on the phone, or meet up for coffee. It makes you feel less alone when you can open up to someone about how you feel.
3. Find a positive distraction
Pick up that book you’ve been meaning to read. Watch an episode of a show that never fails to make you laugh. Clean out your closet. Listen to a podcast. Do whatever takes your mind off things and sparks a lil’ joy! You deserve it.
4. Move your body
Let’s get physical! Go for a walk, stretch, ride a bike, dance, you name it. Exercise releases endorphins and improves your mood. Plus, it actually boosts your energy and improves focus. It does alllll the things.
5. Visualize your happy place
It could be a cozy bookstore on the snowy mountainside with a crackling fireplace. Or maybe it’s the beaches you sun-bathed on during your last family vacay. Whatever your happy place in your mind is, go there. Picturing something that makes you feel warm and at peace can help lift your mood.
Well, that’s it. No way you’ll be bored after all of the strategies we’ve given you! Go shake things up. Your mental wellness will thank you for it!