Let your mind go wherever it wants to go
I have a few years under my belt, but I still frequently recall my childhood days of feeling and being carefree. After school and in holidays I’d play outside, regardless of the weather, make camps, climb trees, build go-karts, kick cans, chalk the pavements, jump hedges and throw water bombs until it was time for tea! I rarely remember ever being bored during that time. Life seemed straightforward, exciting and fun.
In contrast was going to school. I never liked conformity, I still don’t, and school days were long, arduous, tiring and extremely boring. It offered me very little excitement, inspiration or fun. It was like being in hand-cuffs or a straight-jacket – I was unable to easily replace the boredom with more exciting, imaginative and creative activities.
If you’re a bored creative thinker, your head will never stop trying to ‘snap out of it’.
Modern day distractions
Today I have an endless stream of stuff that entertains me. I am in a constant state of watching, connecting, socialising and searching – Netflix, Google, Candy Crush, Instagram – there’s no shortage of information and fun in my pockets or on my desk. This isn’t to say I’m not bored. It’s all simply a distraction from my thoughts and reality.
By stepping away from this technological hold that’s upon me, I quickly free my mind and remove the stranglehold they have on my creativity. I soon become comfortable with the lack of noise, the emptiness and the boredom that ensues. It is at these times when my mind wanders, allowing creativity to break through, driving me to imagine, daydream, explore and create.
By shutting stuff out I am left with just my thoughts, and I start to think.
Turn boredom to creativity
I believe there are real benefits to boredom. And unfortunately it’s just being squeezed out of our lives.
When boredom is a rare occurrence in our lives, when it does eventually arrive, it’s viewed as a problem. We not only feel frustrated and lost, it can manifest into restlessness, social anxiety, negative thinking and for some, depression.
To counteract it’s effects, we should introduce it back into our lives more regularly. With our devices and internet switched off, take a bath, go for a walk, listen to your surroundings, meditate.
All of these activities will switch boredom to creativity.
Boredom Creativity Circle
The Boredom Creativity Circle shows the six key stages it typically takes to turn Boredom into Creativity. Each one is an important step to go through. Some you may hang around in for longer than others, but you will eventually complete all stages. Remember to stay relaxed, focus on your breathing and internalise all your thoughts.
Let our minds be still
Maybe we’re all afraid of boredom as we’re scared of what may bubble up into our minds. Do we consciously use our phones to avoid challenging emotions and as a distraction from real-life? Do we have a need to fill every second of our lives as so not to look bored or lazy? Does appearing to be constantly busy make us feel more successful, driven, or exciting? Do we think it’s only boring people that get bored? Probably all of these things.
Stop treating boredom as a personality failure and as a waste of time, life and energy – embrace the freedom, revel in the silence, explore the unexplored. Stop telling yourself that ‘I’m so busy’. Admit when you’ve achieved and done absolutely nothing for two days and that your job is the most boring job in the world.
How long until the eureka moment?
Don’t kid yourself. You can’t just sit down, become bored, and all of a sudden you’ll have a creative epiphany! You can’t control boredom, just like you can’t control creativity. It all happens at the most unexpected of times. However, buy allowing ourselves to become bored and accepting the situation, inspiration and creativity will enter your mind.
So let’s embrace a new life of glorious boredom. Welcome it in and watch your mind wander off to wherever it wants to go – with no help from you!