Just What Is Boredom….

June 16, 2013

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I seem to talk about boredom pretty frequently on this blog but I have never tried to specify just what that means to me. So let’s do a little of that for this post.  As usual we will go to Wikipedia; here are some bits and pieces:

BoredomBoredom is an emotional state experienced when an individual is left without anything in particular to do… The first recorded use of the word boredom is in the novel Bleak House by Charles Dickens, written in 1852

There are three types of boredom, all of which involve problems of engagement of attention. These include times when we are prevented from engaging in some wanted activity, when we are forced to engage in some unwanted activity, or when we are simply unable, for no apparent reason, to maintain engagement in any activity or spectacle. Boredom proneness is a tendency to experience boredom of all types. ….

There is an inherent anxiety in boredom; people will expend considerable effort to prevent or remedy it, yet in many circumstances, it is accepted as suffering to be endured. Common passive ways to escape boredom are to sleep or to think creative thoughts (daydream). Typical active solutions consist in an intentional activity of some sort, often something new, as familiarity and repetition lead to the tedious.

As I have come to learn the supposed causes of boredom are wide and varied among the “professionals” (kind of like religion). I can’t really say my boredom is pinpointed by any of the definitions above.  When “I” say I am frequently bored I tend to mean that the challenges before me are just not very, well, challenging.  I was bored in grade and high school because the teachers, for the most part seemed to be unable to challenge me in any significant way. They would spend hours and hours going over something that I seemed to glean in a matter of minutes. The rest of my time was spent mostly looking out the window and daydreaming. To stave off boredom I started reading books. I went through the Hardy Boys series in less than a year. I became a big fan of Steinbeck and other rebels of the time.

I admit that boredom is a rather frequent companion with me. It is a constant challenge to find stimulating things to do day in and day out.  When I hear people who say they are never bored what they are apparently saying is that they always find life’s circumstances to be challenging.  How can that be?

To close up this post with a nutshell sentence “If I don’t have stimulating things to occupy my time then I am bored.” It seems almost as simple as that. What is the cause of this lack of stimulation? Probably me but that will take at least a dozen post to even begin to understand.

Ok, enough of this boredom talk. The last few days I have been working up a new and hopefully stimulating project to take on.  That should keep me occupied for at least a little while. 😉

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4 responses to Just What Is Boredom….

  1. 

    Thought of meditating? Then you could allow yourself to be ‘unoccupied’ doing nothing but console yourself that yoh were actually ‘busy.’ 🙂

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    • 

      Welcome Jane. I follow some Quaker practices and one of the is “centering down”. That is sitting quietly and listening for God. It is a peaceful period…

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  2. 

    I don’t know that I have to be actively stimulated to avoid feeling boredom-I understand that some people do. I find contentment in simply, say sitting out on the patio and watching the dogs. Not bored, not stimulated. As for the blog portion, I tend to write a variety of things.

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    • 

      THanks for the comment Barb. Yeah I enjoy just sitting on my glider “up on the mountain” and watching nature but that can’t make up my entire day. I need things to do (ha). Yes, you do post on a variety of things and that is one of the things that makes your blog a daily read.

      My main point with all of this is that we bloggers need to assure that people who are not happy all the time or have a completely satisfying retirement and not those weirdoes out there. We all have periods of boredom and/or depression once in a while. That just comes with life….

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