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Thread: A cure for boredom?

  1. #1 A cure for boredom? 
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    Boredom is a negative feeling some of us tend to get, despite the abundance of entertainment nowadays: new electronic gadgets emerging nearly everyday, fast and fun ways of traveling, ever so many horror & romance movies... this 'boring' feeling doesn't go away, once we're alone doing nothing, it comes back.

    Now, there must be some remedy to this, and I believe the solution lies in oneself rather than outside. I would like to discuss my views with you guys, please post your ideas below.


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    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Perhaps one means of alleviating boredom is to do a bit of research on precisely what science actually knows about the state.

    I personally cannot remember the last time that I was 'bored' although I have on occasion been overwhelmed by the sensation of too many things that require attention and a lack of time and energy to accommodate them all, resulting in a state of indecision and reluctance to prioritize. This does not occur very often and when it does, I simply amuse myself instead of 'working' and after I have slept on it, I am able to find an edge and double down on my efforts, lol.

    Boredom is sometimes equated with a sense of 'yearning' but without a clear sense of what we are yearning for...

    According to the website, ScienceDaily, and quoting from the Sep. 26, 2012 issue of the journal:

    "Drawing from research across many areas of psychological science and neuroscience, John Eastwood and colleagues define boredom as 'an aversive state of wanting, but being unable, to engage in satisfying activity,' which arises from failures in one of the brain's attention networks.
    Specifically, we're bored when:
    1. We have difficulty paying attention to the internal information (e.g., thoughts or feelings) or external information (e.g., environmental stimuli) required for participating in satisfying activity
    2. We're aware of the fact that we're having difficulty paying attention
    3. We believe that the environment is responsible for our aversive state such as, "this task is boring," "there is nothing to do.'"
    What Is Boredom? - Depression Resources, Education About Depression and Unipolar Depression


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    Forum Masters Degree LuciDreaming's Avatar
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    Good grief - boredom as an illness that needs treating? What the hell? It must be a peculiarity of "civilised" society - I wonder how many people in poorer nations are bored and think its an illness?

    It is not our inalienable right to be ecstatically happy all the time, neither is every tiny moment of a disaffected state an illness waiting to be cured. Is the answer not blindingly obvious.....if you are bored, do something? Throw away all your worldly goods and go live off the land and discover a life where you are so busy trying to exist that boredom would be a welcome relief.

    And yes - the answer lies inside you. You will be alive for 70 odd years and not every moment will be full of scintillating emotion and excitement. You will be bored sometimes, get over it.
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    "And we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. And we should call every truth false which was not accompanied by at least one laugh" Nietzsche.
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    I think that if you're feeling bored with an activity, it's probably not the activity you want to be doing. I can't imagine it being more complex than that, and if you're bored in your free-time, try doing something else instead. Lately I've found that, for me, watching movies and tv shows is the most boring way I could spend my time. I came to the realisation that I'm finding it boring because I am watchingsomething that somebody else created - when I would much rather create something myself. Now I'm hardly ever bored in my free time, because I am doing more self-actualizing things:

    Writing.

    Making Quill Pens.

    Making Ink.

    Playing with circuit boards.

    -And Most Recently-

    Gluing/Glossing a deck of cards, that have surreal images on them, onto a paperboard - which I will eventually frame.

    Moral of the Story: If you're bored, you probably aren't doing the kinds of things you feel like doing.
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    "Cultivated leisure is the aim of man."
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    And yes - the answer lies inside you. You will be alive for 70 odd years and not every moment will be full of scintillating emotion and excitement. You will be bored sometimes, get over it.
    I hate replying to rude comments, but I believe I should further clarify my purpose of starting this thread. Although we have so much entertainment to grab our attention, most of us are still bored. In fact, when one seeks so much entertainment, it's a symptom that one is bored already. It should be admitted that boredom is a 21st century common illness, and it seems to be spreading in developed country mostly.

    Here's my view on this. The reason we're bored is quite simple: There's TOO many things that take our attention, that we don't have much attention left for anything really. Tell me if you experienced this: After a good sleep, the world feels lively and vigorous, things look new around you. Why? Because you got your energy back, not physical energy, but mental energy. When you give you attention, you're basically using your mental energy, the more you use the more boring things start getting.

    Unfortunately, when people get bored they usually go and do MORE things, they keep themselves busy, busy busy busy, they are unconsciously trying to escape from a moment of nothingness, because that's when they feel their own emptiness. Living in a world where there's so many 'information bombs' (radio, television, internet etc. ), we often fail to realize that our mind is tired, and continue on feeding it more info, more stimulus.
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    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Wise Man, you might enjoy this brief 20 minute presentation by Barry Schwartz on a TED talk, which speaks precisely to the problem of having too many choices.

    Barry Schwartz: The paradox of choice | Video on TED.com

    Barry Schwartz tackles one of the great mysteries of modern life: Why is it that societies of great abundance — where individuals are offered more freedom and choice (personal, professional, material) than ever before — are now witnessing a near-epidemic of depression? Conventional wisdom tells us that greater choice is for the greater good, but Schwartz argues the opposite: He makes a compelling case that the abundance of choice in today's western world is actually making us miserable.
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    Boredom is a result of a lazy, shallow mind.
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    Its the way nature is!
    If you dont like it, go somewhere else....
    To another universe, where the rules are simpler
    Philosophically more pleasing, more psychologically easy
    Prof Richard Feynman (1979) .....

    Das ist nicht nur nicht richtig, es ist nicht einmal falsch!"
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    Boredom is NOT an illness. Boredom is a state of mind.

    There is also no such thing as physical energy AND mental energy. Whether you are thinking or running you are using energy, glucose usually. Please also provide evidence that the more you focus on something the more boring things get - I've never heard such nonsense. That may be your perception but certainly doesn't apply to me and from what I've seen/heard from other people, the more they focus on something the more interesting it gets.

    You have life and the fact that we are able to understand and experience this universe in the way we do is an exceptional privilege - if you are bored you haven't looked hard enough.

    As Louis CK says:

    I’m bored is a useless thing to say. I mean, you live in a great big vast world that you;ve seen none percent of. Even the inside of your own mind is endless; it goes on forever, inwardly, do you understand? The fact that you are alive is amazing, so you don’t get to say, “I’m bored”.
    "And we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. And we should call every truth false which was not accompanied by at least one laugh" Nietzsche.
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    Boredom is NOT an illness. Boredom is a state of mind.
    If such a state dominates one too much, it becomes an illness.

    There is also no such thing as physical energy AND mental energy
    When I say mental energy I only mean the amount of attention one can give. I simply invented a name okay? If you are uncomfortable with it I can use some other word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    Wise Man, you might enjoy this brief 20 minute presentation by Barry Schwartz on a TED talk, which speaks precisely to the problem of having too many choices.

    Barry Schwartz: The paradox of choice | Video on TED.com

    Barry Schwartz tackles one of the great mysteries of modern life: Why is it that societies of great abundance — where individuals are offered more freedom and choice (personal, professional, material) than ever before — are now witnessing a near-epidemic of depression? Conventional wisdom tells us that greater choice is for the greater good, but Schwartz argues the opposite: He makes a compelling case that the abundance of choice in today's western world is actually making us miserable.
    Interesting, thanks, I'll definitely have a look.
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    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexG View Post
    Boredom is a result of a lazy, shallow mind.
    Actually, I disagree, although posting such a statement without some scientific evidence is rather 'shallow' in itself, referring both to your post and my response.

    Boredom, in my observation, can result from a number of causes that make it difficult for an individual to engage, physically or mentally. This can be the result of fatigue, or even over-stimulation. One can be too tired even to listen to another person or program or to read or watch anything. At other times, there is too much information available. When hubby got satellite receivers for both of our work stations, I was not interested in 'channel-surfing' 200 TV channels and so he would sneak down and change the channel at times to programs he thought I might enjoy in an attempt to get me working with this new system.

    He seems not to comprehend that media of all sorts are his interests and hobby while nature, horses and gardening are my pursuits of interest. I'd rather chat up total strangers on a forum than stare at a television save when the occasional good program on nature and science is on. I finally have looked over all the channels available to us and it has not stirred me. I reckon I'm just a jaded old dame, lol...
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    Maybe we need a working definition of boredom because what you are describing Scheherezade doesn't come under anything I would call boredom. Here is a psychological definition: Boredom has been defined by C. D. Fisher in terms of its central psychological processes: “an unpleasant, transient affective state in which the individual feels a pervasive lack of interest in and difficulty concentrating on the current activity.”[

    Personally I think the key words here are transient state. I don't believe the medicalization of a transient state is appropriate or necessary although it seems to be a profitable line for big pharma over in the States.
    "And we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. And we should call every truth false which was not accompanied by at least one laugh" Nietzsche.
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    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuciDreaming View Post
    Maybe we need a working definition of boredom because what you are describing Scheherezade doesn't come under anything I would call boredom. Here is a psychological definition: Boredom has been defined by C. D. Fisher in terms of its central psychological processes: “an unpleasant, transient affective state in which the individual feels a pervasive lack of interest in and difficulty concentrating on the current activity.”[

    Personally I think the key words here are transient state. I don't believe the medicalization of a transient state is appropriate or necessary although it seems to be a profitable line for big pharma over in the States.
    Thank you for the reply, LuciDreaming. My brain is starting to glaze over, lol, as I have been awake for 16 hours presently after working the graveyard shift at the store. I have just about reached the nearest point to brain freeze at present for mental pursuits, and to alleviate the condition, I usually shift to physical tasks, tending to chores which effectively allows my brain to rest. Here is another bit of reading on the topic of 'boredom'. I'm off to try my hand at a simple recipe for peanut sauce.

    What is boredom?
    Although references to the idea of boredom stretch back to the Greek philosophers, the word did not enter the written English language until 1766. Afterward, literature exploded with musing on it, including works by Kierkegaard, Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy, who called boredom "the desire for desires." [source: Martin et al].
    HowStuffWorks "What is boredom?"
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    Personally I think the key words here are transient state. I don't believe the medicalization of a transient state is appropriate or necessary although it seems to be a profitable line for big pharma over in the States.
    I never said that any medication is needed. Perhaps the word 'cure' in my title is a bit misleading. I only mean cure by a way we can exit such a negative state of emotion, and when so many people are caught in it I believe it to be necessary to discuss its cause and how to diminish it.

    I'm a bit tired today, I'll come back tomorrow and post some of my other thoughts. Meanwhile post your ideas below.

    P.S. Thanks scheherazade for the readings, I've learned some useful information from them.
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    Boredom is a natural state of mind. Like law of diminishing utility our brain also our brian also bores when it does not get input that is enjoyable for it or that does not give feelings that our concsiousess and understaning like.
    "No law of Physics is surprising & can not beat commonsense until it does not give enough explanation logically or I did not understand it rightly or simply it is wrong "
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    Boredom comes from not having anything interesting to talk about other than yourself.
    When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.
    Jimi Hendrix
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    Sometimes we mistake peace for boredom. In the noisy, hectic world we live in, we have become conditioned to constant stimulation. It is okay....to just ....be. Without anywhere to go, nothing to do. Just use the time to meditate. Be with your own thoughts and self.I'm not saying we never get bored, but the tendency to view it as a "negative condition" is where we should change our thinking.Just my two cents.
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    I suspect that "boredom" is a provence of the young, to be replaced by confusion as you age.
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    I think boredom, is not being creative or having the incentive to find something to do, that will engage, either your mind, your body or both to alleviate the condition, even if that activity is one that is rather, mundane.

    I rather equate it with laziness.
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    So when I am sitting in on a conference about hydrology and listening to someone monotonically recite their PowerPoint presentation verbatim and the only thing I can think about is finding a high window out of which to hurl myself to alleviate the boredom, that's because I'm lazy and stupid?

    Boredom is just being in a situation which doesn't interest you. It doesn't have to mean you're just sitting on your couch on a sunny Saturday morning and you can't figure out what to do and it certainly doesn't mean you're not creative or you're stupid.
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
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    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    So when I am sitting in on a conference about hydrology and listening to someone monotonically recite their PowerPoint presentation verbatim and the only thing I can think about is finding a high window out of which to hurl myself to alleviate the boredom, that's because I'm lazy and stupid?

    Boredom is just being in a situation which doesn't interest you. It doesn't have to mean you're just sitting on your couch on a sunny Saturday morning and you can't figure out what to do and it certainly doesn't mean you're not creative or you're stupid.
    I largely agree with what you have said, Flick. In addition to boredom being caused by a lack of interest, it can also be related to a physical lack of energy, being out of synch with one's circadian rhythms etc., in my observation. Although I do not specifically recall the last time I was 'bored', I not uncommonly review a list of physical options available for my undertaking and decide 'Nah', unless something is quite pressing, in which case I am disciplined enough to attend to it regardless of how I 'feel' about it.

    Recently, I was researching vitamin D and the new RDI of this vitamin set in Europe in light of the findings that many people are deficient in vitamin D, especially those living at more northerly latitudes. Given that I spend far less time out of doors than I used to and that our ability to form this vitamin from sunlight reduces as we age, I started upon a course of 1000 IU as of 3 weeks ago. Purely subjective observations on my part are that the skin on the back of my hands is less dry and that I have had more energy for tending to my usual tasks and even tackling some of the less user-friendly ones in an equitable frame of mind.

    Which leads me to ponder on whether the observation that many people are lacking in vitamin D may somehow be related to boredom and possibly depression.
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    The are really three types of boredom that can manifest themselves in different ways, though there are main reasons for each type boredom
    can also be a sympton of a more serious psycholigical problem such as depression.

    People can experience boredom from frustration at being stopped from completing a task or activity, this is the first type of boredom.
    The second type of boredom is experienced when people are compelled to do something they don't actually wish to be doing.
    Finally boredom can be experienced from an inability to do something or a particular type of activity, for reasons that are
    as yet not fully understood there are times when people are simply unable to do certain things and this is the third type of boredom.
    Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it. - confucius
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    Well, what usually cures my boredom is doing something that involves science or writing. It engages your brain in such a way that you almost "forget" that feeling of boredom. However, I assume this varies for different individuals. (Also, you just may accomplish something while you're at it!)
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    Melancholy always brings about boredom for me. I have difficulty finding motivation to do things, and often end up being stagnant throughout most of the day.
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  26. #25  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    So when I am sitting in on a conference about hydrology and listening to someone monotonically recite their PowerPoint presentation verbatim and the only thing I can think about is finding a high window out of which to hurl myself to alleviate the boredom, that's because I'm lazy and stupid?

    Boredom is just being in a situation which doesn't interest you. It doesn't have to mean you're just sitting on your couch on a sunny Saturday morning and you can't figure out what to do and it certainly doesn't mean you're not creative or you're stupid.
    lol agreed.
    sometimes boredom means...you have no choice in the matter, and you're stuck having to listen to someone drone on and on.
    although, that might be more akin to agony, than boredom.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    So when I am sitting in on a conference about hydrology and listening to someone monotonically recite their PowerPoint presentation verbatim and the only thing I can think about is finding a high window out of which to hurl myself to alleviate the boredom, that's because I'm lazy and stupid?

    Boredom is just being in a situation which doesn't interest you. It doesn't have to mean you're just sitting on your couch on a sunny Saturday morning and you can't figure out what to do and it certainly doesn't mean you're not creative or you're stupid.
    I stand corrected. Boredom doesn't mean you are stupid or not creative, in many instances.

    When I had to attend CE classes......the subject matter was past dry......it was mealy in your mouth and bored the stuffing out of me. I can relate. However, that makes my mind go elsewhere, which was usually music. Sometimes.....if you took the subject matter and started putting it to music in your head.....never mind....we theatre arts folk are rather different animals.

    I am speaking more, of those who are sitting on their couch, and there are things they can do, and not doing them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    So when I am sitting in on a conference about hydrology and listening to someone monotonically recite their PowerPoint presentation verbatim and the only thing I can think about is finding a high window out of which to hurl myself to alleviate the boredom, that's because I'm lazy and stupid?

    Boredom is just being in a situation which doesn't interest you. It doesn't have to mean you're just sitting on your couch on a sunny Saturday morning and you can't figure out what to do and it certainly doesn't mean you're not creative or you're stupid.
    I largely agree with what you have said, Flick. In addition to boredom being caused by a lack of interest, it can also be related to a physical lack of energy, being out of synch with one's circadian rhythms etc., in my observation. Although I do not specifically recall the last time I was 'bored', I not uncommonly review a list of physical options available for my undertaking and decide 'Nah', unless something is quite pressing, in which case I am disciplined enough to attend to it regardless of how I 'feel' about it.

    Recently, I was researching vitamin D and the new RDI of this vitamin set in Europe in light of the findings that many people are deficient in vitamin D, especially those living at more northerly latitudes. Given that I spend far less time out of doors than I used to and that our ability to form this vitamin from sunlight reduces as we age, I started upon a course of 1000 IU as of 3 weeks ago. Purely subjective observations on my part are that the skin on the back of my hands is less dry and that I have had more energy for tending to my usual tasks and even tackling some of the less user-friendly ones in an equitable frame of mind.

    Which leads me to ponder on whether the observation that many people are lacking in vitamin D may somehow be related to boredom and possibly depression.
    Even living 10 months a year in Hawai'i...doctors still told me to take Vitamin D. Now it is checked on your blood workups, where I go.
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    I find that music, listening, playing or singing has helped alleviate many types of stress for me.

    However sometimes throwing a pillow at the couch works also.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    Wise Man, you might enjoy this brief 20 minute presentation by Barry Schwartz on a TED talk, which speaks precisely to the problem of having too many choices.

    Barry Schwartz: The paradox of choice | Video on TED.com

    Barry Schwartz tackles one of the great mysteries of modern life: Why is it that societies of great abundance — where individuals are offered more freedom and choice (personal, professional, material) than ever before — are now witnessing a near-epidemic of depression? Conventional wisdom tells us that greater choice is for the greater good, but Schwartz argues the opposite: He makes a compelling case that the abundance of choice in today's western world is actually making us miserable.
    Yeah, watching TED is the best way to spend your time. You will be entertained and besides you will get some awesome ideas there.
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    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    I have given a bit more thought to this whole concept of 'boredom', which is rather foreign to me as previously mentioned. Sometimes I can be in a state of undecided apathy because of too many options and insufficient time leaving me temporarily stalled, but not 'bored'.

    For me, the solution to this state is motion, either physical or mental, just set something moving and the rest of me will eventually follow. Sometimes I encounter resistance in the form of fatigue but if I once become engaged, that engagement begets it's own energy through interest and the journey of structured and unstructured time continues. We appear to be a species that requires the stimulation of new experience and a lack of new stimulation is perhaps what many refer to as 'boredom'.

    For myself, I recognize that no two experiences are ever exactly the same, even though the parameters may be similar and as I seek to observe the differences, I never lack for 'new' stimulation although this subtle nuance may not be of sufficient interest for many.
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    I don't have TIME to be bored. I don't have enough time to do all the things I need to do! I am committed to cleaning out my late MIL's closets...and the rest of the house this summer. I have put it off for 3 years.....because the first summer she was dying...the second summer I was in surgery/treatment all summer, and last summer we went to see our daughter in Zurich and took a two week trip with her. This summer, I am doing the show, but I am done as of this week, as the performance is tomorrow.

    I need 36 hour days as I suppose many others also do!
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    i will be sleeping when i get bored. usually i'll go out meeting people or just walking around for some minute
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wise Man View Post
    Boredom is a negative feeling some of us tend to get, despite the abundance of entertainment nowadays: new electronic gadgets emerging nearly everyday, fast and fun ways of traveling, ever so many horror & romance movies... this 'boring' feeling doesn't go away, once we're alone doing nothing, it comes back.

    Now, there must be some remedy to this, and I believe the solution lies in oneself rather than outside. I would like to discuss my views with you guys, please post your ideas below.
    I actually think that the solution lies outside, almost entirely. In fact, it's very nearly a one-size-fits-all cute for what ails you:

    GO OUTSIDE.
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  35. #34  
    Malignant Pimple shlunka's Avatar
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    Internet porn and syfy movies.
    "MODERATOR NOTE : We don't entertain trolls here, not even in the trash can. Banned." -Markus Hanke
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  36. #35  
    Malignant Pimple shlunka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    If you get the two confused seek help
    Obviously you haven't watched Space Babes 13: Warp Our Gates Captain Kirk..
    "MODERATOR NOTE : We don't entertain trolls here, not even in the trash can. Banned." -Markus Hanke
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  37. #36  
    Moderator Moderator Cogito Ergo Sum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shlunka View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    If you get the two confused seek help
    Obviously you haven't watched Space Babes 13: Warp Our Gates Captain Kirk..

    I quit after Space Babes 7: The Quest for Uranus.
    shlunka and babe like this.
    "The only safe rule is to dispute only with those of your acquaintance of whom you know that they possess sufficient intelligence and self-respect not to advance absurdities; to appeal to reason and not to authority, and to listen to reason and yield to it; and, finally, to be willing to accept reason even from an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong."

    ~ Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Being Right: 38 Ways to Win an Argument (1831), Stratagem XXXVIII.
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  38. #37  
    Theatre Whore babe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shlunka View Post
    Internet porn and syfy movies.
    I like your humor!!
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