How to Defeat Boredom

Two Methods:Defeating One Instance of BoredomDefeating Daily Recurrences of Boredom

Everyone has felt boredom at one point or another. Boredom is typically the result of feeling under stimulated or as though your attention is being dedicated to less than worthwhile pursuits.[1] Luckily for you, there is literally an entire world out there that you can take advantage of to eliminate boredom.

Method 1
Defeating One Instance of Boredom

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    Connect with friends or family. As social beings, one of out most fulfilling methods of engagement is socializing with friends and family. When a particularly boring afternoon strikes, ask yourself who else you know who might not be too tied up with work or school and can get together for an hour or two.
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    Partake in one of your hobbies. We all have tons of things that interest each and every one of us. From movies, books, and music to exercise, sports, and dance, the ways in which we spend our free time are a big part of who we are. However, boredom often feels like its own feedback loop where the motivation even to start an activity feels too burdensome under the weight of boredom. Refuse to give in to the excess procrastination and pick up a book or your guitar or put on your running shoes. You’ll usually find that once you get started on one of your hobbies, you don’t know what took you so long to get motivated in the first place.
    • There is an inertia to boredom, and the longer you’re at rest, the harder it is to get moving. In many cases, it’s easier to act at the first pangs of boredom rather than to sink into it.
    • Boredom is also a great source of inspiration for finding new hobbies. If part of your problem is that you’re bored with a current hobby, try out a new one. Consider taking up a new musical instrument, seeing a film you wouldn’t normally see, or even going to a new restaurant for a meal.
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    Add a twist to normal activities. Maybe part of your boredom isn’t that you’re bored with your hobby but simply with your approach to your hobby. In this case, try putting a new spin on the interest.[2] If you’re in the process of writing a novel, and you’re feeling bored with it, for instance, try writing in a different environment or skipping to a different part of the book. If you’re having trouble getting bored with your workout routine, try incorporating different exercises or taking a different path on your daily run or bike ride.[3]
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    Learn meditation. Every once in a while, everyone experiences a particularly restless form of boredom that many people refer to as feeling stir crazy. We can often attribute this feeling to our minds moving too quickly to focus on any one single thing. Meditation is specifically geared at quieting a busy mind and giving you stronger skills with which to focus. By taking up meditation, you can prepare yourself to deal with these specific instances of boredom.
    • If you’re interested in learning more about meditation, you can find it at How to Meditate
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    Explore a part of your city or town you’ve never explored. There are miles upon miles of terrain right out your front door, and you’ve probably seen much less of it than you think you have, especially if you take the same routes to get to the places you typically go. Try picking a street or a block you’ve never truly experienced, and go see what the neighborhood has to offer.[4] People regularly crave a change of scenery, and it might be exactly what you need.
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    Step out of your comfort zone. Boredom can occasionally act as an emotion that invokes courage or spontaneity simply because being bored makes us feel “up for anything.” Take the opportunity to step out of your comfort zone.[5] If you can’t dance, take a dance class. If you’re afraid of roller coasters, go buy the ticket and take the ride.
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    Embrace the boredom. As counterintuitive as it sounds, boredom can actually be the source of intense creativity. most of us turn to electronic devices with our free moments whether we send text messages, play several minutes of a video game, or simply scroll down the feed of a social networking website. These activities can occupy one’s mind but usually without actually presenting anything intellectually challenging or gratifying. In other words, they’re usually more distracting than fulfilling. By embracing the boredom and refusing simply to sidestep it, you may find that you moments of insight that you otherwise would have missed.[6]
    • For instance, you might suddenly realize the best topic for a school assignment, or you might come up with an idea for a story you want to write, or you may realize that you were going about interacting with someone the wrong way.

Method 2
Defeating Daily Recurrences of Boredom

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    Set goals. One of the primary reasons someone feels boredom is because the person doesn’t feel any engagement with a current activity—or possibly with an entire lifestyle in severe cases. Ask yourself what you’re working toward and what you’d like to achieve. If the achievement is something big, then break it down into smaller, manageable pieces and set each one as a goal. With goals ahead of you and a clear path toward how to accomplish them, you’ll feel motivated, and you can’t be bored when you’re motivated.[7]
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    Record your progress. A particularly frustrating brand of boredom comes from feeling as though despite having goals, your time is being ineffectively used to achieve them. More often than not, we do make progress on achieving our goals, but it might be with baby steps or in ways that are otherwise hard to measure. Start recording your daily progress on your achievements to help you realize just how much you have accomplished.[8] Even one small step for several different projects can be fulfilling if you simply take a moment to stop and acknowledge it.
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    Talk to people. Many times, short-term boredom comes in the form of waiting—in lines, for appointments, on buses or trains, etc. One thing you and nearly everyone else waiting have in common is that you’re probably all bored. Find someone else who looks bored to tears and strike up a conversation. These short-term conversations may not venture beyond the weather or the frustrating wait times, but your mind is still being engaged with a higher-quality activity than merely sitting.[9]
    • Make sure the person with whom you strike up a conversation also seems open to talking. If the person has a book or headphones on, etc., then he or she may not be interested in talking.
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    Find interest in your surroundings. Though boredom occasionally feels like a sensory deprivation chamber, we aren’t ever actually being deprived of experiential stimuli. We get bored with routines because the routine often nullifies the surrounding in which it takes place. Challenge yourself to see through the fog of boredom and to find a new interest in your surroundings.[10]
    • You may feel utterly bored with the same mundane walk to work every day, for instance, but how much attention do you actually pay to the streets around you? Take a closer look at a mural you pass, the architecture of an old building, or the sunlight through some trees. Many of the elements of your surroundings can be truly amazing if only you manage to separate them from the monotonous routine of which they are a part.
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    Avoid circumstances that you know will bore you. Obviously, this isn’t always possible simply because we don’t always find our obligations very engaging. However, the less than thrilling aspects of many of our daily obligations are much easier to handle when we feel as though we get the most out of our leisure time simply because it gives us things to look forward to.[11] Examine your free time and the plans you currently have with others, and ask yourself how much of it you truly want to do.[12]
    • Alternatively, you may ask yourself if the people you see regularly are actually boring, or are they simply shy or feeling just as under stimulated by the interactions as you? By reframing some of the friendships, you may end up enjoying the time you spend with the person more than you anticipated.[13]
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    Avoid eating due to boredom. When it comes to daily, recurring bouts of boredom such as at work or between classes, one of the worst things you can do is fill the void with food. This isn’t to say avoid a meal you would regularly have regardless, but don’t turn to snacking simply because eating is an activity to assuage your boredom. This practice can quickly lead to stronger connections between boredom and eating that give you even stronger urges to reach for food whenever you’re bored.[14]
    • Some experts have estimated that nearly 75% of overeating stems from emotional eating due to boredom, anxiety, frustration, etc. rather than from actual hunger.[15]
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    Know when to consider help. Occasion bouts of boredom can be a good thing. Boredom tells us when to make life changes for the better, when it’s time to start a new project, or when we need a creative outlet. However, too much boredom or boredom that feels more akin to an inability to cultivate new interests can be a sign of depression.[16] If you feel as though you’ve been struggling with a long-term sense of boredom or general malaise, then consider making an appointment with a counselor to discuss the ways in which you might make more meaningful, effective changes.


  • Don't do anything dangerous just to defeat boredom

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Categories: Boredom Busters