I remember the actor Viggo Mortensen once saying: “There’s no excuse to be bored. Sad, yes. Angry, yes. Depressed, yes. Crazy, yes. But there’s no excuse for boredom, ever.”
For the most part, I have to agree with Aragorn’s sentiment.
The world is an incredibly vast and expansive place, overflowing with adventure and diversity.
The internet alone is absolutely limitless and we have full access to it in our pockets.
Platforms like YouTube, Wikipedia, and many others allow you to learn literally whatever you like, whenever you like, until the end of time.
But I get it, sometimes it can get tough to see the bigger picture. During the Covid lockdowns, for instance, I frequently found myself pretty “bored.”
In hindsight, I simply needed to change my perspective.
In this article, I’ll walk you through common habits bored people tend to have. Once you identify these behaviors, you’ll be in a better position to fix them.
Let’s dive in!
1) Mindless scrolling
As difficult as it is to believe, the social media world still doesn’t accurately represent the real world.
When you give into the modern-day phenomenon of doom-scrolling through reels for hours at a time, all the meaningless stimuli on there can leave you feeling empty, demotivated, and unfulfilled.
These feelings can easily spiral into boredom.
Besides, being exposed to endless posts of people living their best lives might cause us to reflect on how mundane our own circumstances are in comparison–which only reinforces our perceived boredom.
2) Routine overload
I won’t lie, when routine takes control, things can get a little stale and predictable.
Variety is the spice of life; and one-dimensional routine is, well, the opposite.
Having said that, a routine can definitely be good for you, but when it’s too rigid, then perhaps it’s time to rethink things.
If your days primarily consist of waking up, working, getting something to eat, and then going to bed, then try to find stimulating, constructive activities to fill in the blanks.
Meet friends, go to an art gallery, cook an intricate recipe, write, travel, or take an online course.
When you want to break the monotony of life, the possibilities are quite literally infinite.
But you have to make the first move.
When you think about it, being bored is not exactly difficult.
I mean, spending the day twiddling my thumbs is technically an easier pursuit than writing this article, but the former has a far higher likelihood of resulting in negative feelings like boredom.
Procrastination and putting things off can produce the same effect.
Procrastinators get into the habit of doing nothing; indefinitely delaying tasks that are genuinely meaningful.
They become so paralyzed by their own lack of engagement and inactivity that they continue to stay idle, witnessing opportunities pass them by–meaning a self-perpetuating cycle of regret, indolence, and, you guessed it, boredom.
4) Lack of physical exercise
I don’t mean to sound like your high school P.E. teacher here, but exercise really does matter.
Physical activity releases endorphins, which are instant mood boosters.
When you’re in an upbeat mood, you become more motivated to accomplish things.
And when you’re not moving much, you tend to find life a little dull.
As I write this now, I’ve been periodically glancing over at my hyperactive three-year-old beagle, Archie.
When Archie gets plenty of exercise and is stimulated, he is generally more calm around the house, sleeping peacefully and causing minimal ruckus.
But on the occasions he doesn’t get the opportunity to burn his energy, his mischievous nature comes into play.
He might get into the trash, bark and whine excessively, and eat things that aren’t fit for canine consumption.
Now chances are, you aren’t a beagle, but the same basic rules apply: when you’re not getting adequate exercise, you get bored–and when you’re bored and idle, self-destructive behaviors are likely to emerge.
5) Poor nutrition
Another surefire route to boredom-inducing detachment? Not eating properly.
They say “You are what you eat” for good reason.
When you deprive yourself of key nutrients, expect your mood and energy levels to take a hit.
And when you’re constantly feeling blue, feeling that gnawing sense of boredom is all but a certainty.
Consciously start focusing on what you put into your body.
Say goodbye to the weekly Colonel Sanders binges and hello to a more well-balanced diet.
Less Oreo, more organic market.
6) Not setting goals
When you’re just coasting through the days with no real ambition, life can get pretty repetitive and dull.
Having concrete goals will help give you purpose.
You’ll be focused, motivated, and energized by the idea of achieving your goals and the journey getting there.
This enthusiasm will invariably affect various other aspects of your life, like the tendency to get bored.
7) Neglecting passions
Like not having goals, neglecting your passions can also result in an underlying feeling of dullness.
You know those Hollywood movies where the main characters start off as washed-up has-beens only to later rediscover their former glory?
Maybe they were once a celebrated athlete, a pop star, or a superhero. But life happened and they let themselves go, ending up living a mostly depressed, desolate, possibly alcoholic existence.
When you forget your passions, you’re letting the humdrum and tedium of life take control. A part of you curls up into a fetal position and withers away.
Soon enough, you become jaded and lose excitement for the very things that once ignited your soul, paving the way for negative feelings, like boredom, to manifest.
8) Lack of social interaction
No man is an island. As cool as it might sound to be a “lone wolf,” this isn’t a sustainable way of going about life.
As humans, we’re social creatures. Community is such a significant dimension of our collective well-being.
Life can be daunting. Other people can lift us up and inspire us when we’re down.
When we’re alone, we tend to overthink.
Excess overthinking and ruminating can lead to things like apathy, boredom, depression, and a warped sense of reality.
Trust me, I’ve been there.
If you’re a bit of a recluse, consider this a sign to start getting out there and becoming a bit more social.
Remember, boredom is nothing more than a state of mind.
To conquer it, start by changing your habits.
Slowly but surely this transformation will manifest as a renewed purpose in life.
You’ll have an extra spring in your step and start seeing the proverbial glass of water as half full.
But don’t expect drastic changes overnight. Stay dedicated. Celebrate small victories.
Remember, time is your ally.
Soon, boredom will be all but a foreign concept to you. Don’t let up.