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Still Waters

Why boredom can be good for you

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Still Waters

Being trapped in a tedious job, with no possibility of escape, is a recipe for real boredom. This kind of boredom is unpleasant and definitely bad for us. But a flurry of recent media interest on the subject of boredom suggests that it is a frequent experience that really bothers people and is not limited to the workplace. This must tell us something about contemporary life.

https://theconversation.com/why-boredom-can-be-good-for-you-90429

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Hawkin

I remember as a kid going for country drives with my parents, I always would see farm kids out playing in the yard and their parents would be sitting out in the yard on lawn chairs. Now that cable/satellite tv and iPhones have come into our lives, it's like a dead zone driving through the country. My guess is everyone is inside watching tv, texting or playing Xbox.

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Piney
3 minutes ago, Hawkin said:

I remember as a kid going for country drives with my parents, I always would see farm kids out playing in the yard and their parents would be sitting out in the yard on lawn chairs. Now that cable/satellite tv and iPhones have come into our lives, it's like a dead zone driving through the country. My guess is everyone is inside watching tv, texting or playing Xbox.

My grandfather would drag me around the powwow trail or to all the different historical villages up and down the East Coast. Every weekend we would do something involving the outdoors. Sometimes is was even going "a visitin" to one of his farmer or stockman buddies. I was never bored. 

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XenoFish

Boredom tends to fuel my creativity.

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Lilly

When I'm bored I either go outside for a walk, take a trip to the library, tackle a home project, call a friend and ask if they want to go to lunch/movies....I generally don't stay bored for too long. 

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Piney
11 minutes ago, Lilly said:

When I'm bored I either go outside for a walk, take a trip to the library, tackle a home project, call a friend and ask if they want to go to lunch/movies....I generally don't stay bored for too long. 

I'm never bored. Usually I'm doing the same thing but walking in the woods along the Cohansey or Maurice River.

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rashore

There's a saying.. "Only boring people get bored.". Heh. And a notion of being comfortable being alone with yourself. I also have the gift of self-amusement, not everyone does. So I'm not often bored myself- There's always something to do, things to think. I don't need digital time killers, I've always been able to embrace the time gaps just by being still and thinking bout stuff. And looking at things- an amazing amount of time killing and enjoyment can be had simply by really looking around you instead of being buried in a device for entertainment.

That's not to say I don't find things boring. I do get rather bored with repetitious tedious things sometimes.

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Piney
11 minutes ago, rashore said:

 I also have the gift of self-amusement,

Legos, woodwork, flintknapping fixing things that work by internal combustion and exploring the woods. When this laptop craps I will probably buy a diagnostic scanner and no longer be online. I have always been happiest alone and able to keep myself occupied.:tu:

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Dark_Grey

This is actually a big deal, the lack of boredom. Psychologists speculate that it could be causing problems for society at large because the human mind depends on "mental down time". So while you may feel bored, your mind is hard at work analyzing your problems, be it relationships or work or personal projects. The advent of smartphones has completely turned this on it's head as now, we're never bored. In those moments we used to sit quietly and contemplate, we're now on social media or playing games. 

I've actually been very aware of this lately. I keep mental notes of times throughout the day where I should be bored and i stop myself from instinctively reaching for my phone. No wonder everyone seems to be more neurotic - we aren't giving ourselves the chance to clear out mental clutter. Do you know why great ideas seem to come to you in the shower?

The shower is one of the rare places you can't take your phone. Imagine that.

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Dark_Grey
43 minutes ago, rashore said:

There's a saying.. "Only boring people get bored.". Heh. And a notion of being comfortable being alone with yourself. I also have the gift of self-amusement, not everyone does. So I'm not often bored myself- There's always something to do, things to think. I don't need digital time killers, I've always been able to embrace the time gaps just by being still and thinking bout stuff. And looking at things- an amazing amount of time killing and enjoyment can be had simply by really looking around you instead of being buried in a device for entertainment.

That's not to say I don't find things boring. I do get rather bored with repetitious tedious things sometimes.

In short, you can "live in the moment". Isn't that a big part of life? 

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rashore
12 minutes ago, Piney said:

Legos, woodwork, flintknapping fixing things that work by internal combustion and exploring the woods. When this laptop craps I will probably buy a diagnostic scanner and no longer be online. I have always been happiest alone and able to keep myself occupied.:tu:

Nah, I meant more like mental self-amusement. Like when you aren't doing stuff and have to just sit and wait. I can just be still, and let the random musings in my head keep me entertained while looking around keeps me entertained. 

I already am doing the things the article suggests doing to take good advantage of boredom. I don't need to always be occupied or engaged with external things like what they are talking about in the article. Especially phone- I just use mine as a phone/text. But everywhere I see people just buried in their phones doing stuff.

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Piney

I think there is a difference between "Mental down time" and boredom. i meditate or even just sit outside drinking tea and not thinking of anything. You think about it when your bored. @Dark_Grey

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Dark_Grey
51 minutes ago, Piney said:

I think there is a difference between "Mental down time" and boredom. i meditate or even just sit outside drinking tea and not thinking of anything. You think about it when your bored. @Dark_Grey

I can only get to the boredom part, the "empty headed" part, after I've worked through the piles of dirty laundry in my subconscious. Depending on how long it's been since I've disconnected from the digital world, this can take about 20 min to a half hour of just mulling over various life problems. Then I'm free and my mind just floats through mental space and I can take in my surroundings.

Now think of all the people that DON'T disconnect, from the moment they wake up until the moment they go to sleep. Not allowing your mind to focus on what's real surely has consequences after months and months of 24/7 distractions.

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Podo

Boredom is super rare for me. When it does happen, I usually just go fishing.

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Piney
6 hours ago, Dark_Grey said:

I can only get to the boredom part, the "empty headed" part, after I've worked through the piles of dirty laundry in my subconscious. Depending on how long it's been since I've disconnected from the digital world, this can take about 20 min to a half hour of just mulling over various life problems. Then I'm free and my mind just floats through mental space and I can take in my surroundings.

Now think of all the people that DON'T disconnect, from the moment they wake up until the moment they go to sleep. Not allowing your mind to focus on what's real surely has consequences after months and months of 24/7 distractions.

In my profession you have to be completely aware of you surroundings. Especially since we only harvest storm damaged, diseased or dangerous trees. Then the fact that the sawmill has been unchanged since 1949 and there is grabby and sharp spinning things all around you. When your paying attention to all this your mind can't wander or think about other things because that's when you get hurt. I literally use my ADD to my advantage and "splatter" my vision. Because of that and because my Uncle Jimmy taught me meditation when I was a preteen is probably why I can just "shut off". 

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