I’ve been reflecting on my constant boredom with much of my life for some time now. I am not a therapist or have any authority in the field of mental illness, however I am someone who has suffered and is still suffering with anxiety and depression. I think the root of most of our suffering comes from the basic emotion of fear. Fear seems to be the base of these illnesses. For myself, my overwhelming fear overrides my brain into thinking most things are a threat to me. Whenever something or someone makes me feel uncomfortable – if I’m in a new place, revealing myself or being asked a series of questions – my mind goes into defense mode. Instead of fight or flight which most of us have heard of, my brain goes into a third mode that isn’t talked about so much – it is called “freeze.” So my anxiety attacks are accompanied by my whole body just freezing in time, breathless… This amplifies my anxiety and causes me to not want to do anything at all. By me doing nothing, I become bored very easily and frequently. Because of my underlying and subconscious general fear, it prohibits me from doing most activities as a subconscious defense mechanism. And my mind rationalizes my fear by presenting the boredom state of mind by telling myself “I don’t really like those activities anyway so why bother?” So in a sense, my boredom is a reflection of my innermost fears.
Some tactics to help mitigate my symptoms will be shared below:
- Get out and do something, anything!
When we are suffering from intense anxiety and/or depression, our instinct is to seclude and isolate ourself from the outside world. When feeling extreme boredom as a result of anxiety or depression, the best thing to do is get out and get moving. Go exercise, go for a walk in the park, play with your dog. Whatever you do, don’t stay inside by yourself ruminating on your sad thoughts of boredom and worthlessness.
- Be around people.
This may seem counter intuitive for people with social anxieties, but for me just being in a crowded room makes me feel like I am alive instead of stuck in isolation. The noises, sounds, faces all seem to entertain me for a short while at least.
- Listen to some good music.
For me, what gets me out of a funk is listening to the Ace of Base station on Pandora… Random? Maybe. But it works. Give it a try! Or try out whatever music you like, just make sure to skip any sad songs because that can put you into an emotional state remembering the past.
So, remember that no amount of anxiety can change the future, and no amount of worrying can change the past. Accept things as they are and accept you for who you are. Everyone experiences boredom from time to time, but some of us just feel it a little bit more intensely and more frequently. Go on some adventures and try to acknowledge your fears but be sure to overcome those things that scare you. What fears are holding you back from living?