Boredom, what is it?
By Tina Taylor
Boredom is an emotional state experienced when an individual is left without anything in particular to do, and not interested in their surroundings. The first recorded use of the word boredom is in the novel Bleak House by Charles Dickens, written in 1852, although the expression to be a bore had been used in the sense of "to be tiresome or dull" since 1768.
Most parents will have heard the term “I’m bored” from their children. Its half term at the moment and I’ve my grandsons over for a few days, despite a park just down the street, a mountain of Lego, marble runs, games, paper, pens/pencils, Cable TV, DVDs, Ipads/tablets, computers, Wii’s and Playstations plus games apparently there is nothing to do.
And today this seems to be even more prevalent, with a culture of instant gratification boredom is said to be the cause of prison riots; aren’t people supposed to be bored in prison. Isn’t prison like some huge time out? Boredom is said to cause problems from gambling to nuisance caused by school children.
Just recently in the US boredom was the excuse given by someone sending abusive threatening messages in tweets. She threatened a total stranger in the middle of the night with “something worse than rape”. Her reason she was bored and got drunk.
With the social media we now have “instant access” to people we’ve not been able to contact before. So now we are seeing people convicted of social bullying and sending abusive messages. John Nimmo was convicted of sending abusive messages to the Labour MP Stella Creasy (now I know that some of you will think whats wrong with that) ……. His reason he was bored. In court he was described as a recluse with nothing to do all day.
Does that mean that all this cyber bullying is nothing more than bored people?
In 1964 Isaac Asimov predicted that boredom would become the great disease of our time leading to serious mental, emotional and sociological consequences, so is he right?
Some say boredom is good for kids it teaches them to make their own entertainment …… As a child I was told only boring people are bored………..
It’s responsible for anti social behaviour, binge eating, getting hammered, picking fights, taking risks, having affairs, shopping ……
But what is it?
Boredom isn't just having nothing to do but being deeply dissatisfied with what there is to do, with your own company and with yourself. To be properly bored you need to think you deserve to be happier than this, at least as happy as all those other people seem to be.
Research has concluded that tedium, being bored makes people more hostile to others. When life seems meaningless we may subconsciously pick on certain people, people we perceive to be different from us just to try to liven things up a bit.
Maybe mum was half right: bored people are boring. Right up until the moment they turn nasty.
Of course whilst some people feel bored others seem to deal with tedium much easier.
Isn’t boredom just a frame of mind?
And with the advent of instant Internet access on our phones, tablets and Ipads people seem to be spending much more time on line. You see people on line in cars, trains, and planes, whilst sitting alone in restaurants, pubs etc and what amazes me whilst with people. You see people sitting at a table opposite each other each looking at their phone.
Has all this technology lowered our boredom threshold?
How can we stop feeling bored?
I used to label paperwork as boring, tedious and laborious. Years ago when I first learned NLP I used a swish pattern and it changed the way that I think about it.
Swish pattern ………
- Think of something you want to change, see this in your mind - big and bold and clear. now set it aside for a moment.
- And see a picture of how you want to be in that situation. Make this image totally compelling with a compelling voice that is telling you how much you want to do this. Put this picture in the corner of the image you want to change.
- Count from 1 – 3 and at 3 you will make the image you want to change white out – disappear. Just white it out so its blank and simultaneiously the compelling image becomes big and bright and bold and replaces the other picture. Repeat this very quickly 5 times - remember to open your eyes for a second after each time.
- 1 2 3 WOOSSSSH
- Now again
- and again
- and again
- and again