For those of us that fixate on specific ideas, our issue is rarely that we can’t come up with a new idea or something to be passionate about. Even for the most sensitive to inspiration though, the beast of boredom can still creep up on us. To understand how to combat this monster we should understand a few things about it.
We’ll use this working definition of boredom to get things going and clarify as we go along. It is the state when the mind is absent of desire, and motivation to fulfill it. With this simple definition we can see how quickly it can shift into depression. A superficial distinction from depression would be a sustained period absent of the will to live. So boredom is the little moments in a day or could be a couple days that you don’t really feel like doing anything. Once we get into the weeks and months of this feeling it may be best to look at it another way.
One author, Peter Toohey, argues that boredom is a state of satiety. When the body has been satisfied it lacks motivation. This can be true, but it is also a very complex feeling that one can experience even when they are hungry. It could also described as a reduced sensitivity to stimuli, a sort of numbness.
To combat the numbness we would first think that we should “jumpstart” the senses with an intense stimuli, the same way we would approach waking someone up who had passed out by using smelling salts. Barring a slap in the face it can be hard to stimulate someone who is in a funk as we often call it.
Basics should all be covered of course as far as diet and sugar intake, physical activity, mental activity, and it could also just be that you might need some rest. Psychologist, Meyer Friedman suggests getting into a groove. Moving your body at a mellow pace. This causes agitation and from that agitation a desire can be formed.
The two opinions here seem to align in that immobility is the ally of boredom. Finding your way out of boredom maybe as simple as finding your way off the couch or out into the sunlight. Novelty is the enemy of boredom as is realizing that you have things to do.
Boredom is tricky because it mutes your sense of urgency and keeps you in a sedated state. By starting small, and going slowly you might be able to convince yourself that moving isn’t so bad.
This feeling is not to be confused with being overwhelmed. Feeling defeated can also inspire this sluggish and disinterested mental state, the ever present “woe is me” can stifle your drive and creativity as well but that occurs because of a different set of reasons.
Finding your way back to desire is finding your way back to boredom, and it may not come immediately but you should continue to gradually poke and prod yourself to see if any of that stimulation kicks your system in to an activate state.