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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Are You Feeling As Faded As Your Washed Out Jeans? Part 2 Of A 3 Part Series

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In part 1 of this 3 part series, we examined the 7 basic emotions, and discussed how learning to control some of what we feel will help us defeat the feelings that make us feel lost, bored, and defeated. In parts 2 and 3 of this series, we’ll examine why we feel this way, and discuss how we can defeat boredom, and put some color back into the faded jeans we call life, by breaking out of ruts and taking control of our lives for the better. After all, you only live this life once, so you might as well enjoy it as much as possible, right?

So without further ado, let’s begin our conversation.

What is Boredom?

Some say ‘It’s an emotional state experienced during periods lacking activity, or a time when individuals are uninterested in their surroundings.” It is also “an experience that occurs when the mind is not interested or stimulated, and doesn’t like what the present contains.”

I would say it’s a combination of poor mental stimulation and a poor attitude. A deadly, boring combination if there ever was one. When nothing fascinates you or seems to appeal to you, you lack the enthusiasm you need to push yourself out of your cycle, to break the rut that seems, in those times, to consume your life.

Take for instance, Cable TV, with its 300 or so channels. You turn it on; you sit there flicking through channel after channel, saying to yourself: “This is so boring, there’s nothing good on cable tonight.” But you just keep clicking night after night, hoping something good will come on or something different will happen to you. What’s the Chinese definition of insanity, to do the same thing over and over again and expect different results?

Here’s another one, better yet even, your wardrobe bulges with sufficient enough clothes in the latest styles to dress at least three different women, yet you still cry: “I have nothing to wear; nothing seems to fit or look right.” The fact is, even if you owned every piece of clothing in every style known to man, you’d still feel the same way, because what you are feeling is inside. You aren’t satisfied with yourself and finding something new to watch or new to wear isn’t going to fix that problem. You have to fix that problem, with a Positive Mental Attitude and a willingness to change.

We all get excited whenever we get something new. It becomes an extraordinary moment of emotional joy, that is, until the novelty wears off. This can be applied to all areas of one’s life, whether it is the purchase of a house, a job promotion, the latest features on the new mobile phone, or even being in a new romantic relationship. But when the thrill wears off, when we are no longer excited about what we are doing or what we have, we become depressed and up-tight.

The problem with boredom, or better yet, with under-stimulation, is that it is not only felt at home, but it also follows you into the work place, into relationships, and into any educational institution you’ll ever attend. It will affect your performance, your ability to pay attention, and your ability to enjoy the simplest of things.

Every time, when Christmas season or a birthday comes around, kids ask their parents for things which they desperately want on a whim, simply because their friend has one or they see it on TV. Needless to say, after their wish is granted, the item is soon tossed aside and forgotten, buried somewhere in a pile on the floor or thrown out for another, more interesting toy, despite the humongous crunch the first round of toys and gadgets already put on their parents’ wallet.

Once again, they are left with the same old response: “I’m bored, I’ve nothing to do,” As a pile of desired objects waste away. It is a known fact that over-stimulation and under-stimulation have adverse effects on a person’s mental and physical well-being. Job dissatisfaction may cause inattentiveness, which can be hazardous to the worker and to those around the worker, especially if he or she has to work around machinery. A student who is tired or bored has trouble concentrating. His or her inattentiveness in the classroom can result in low grades, poor morale and absenteeism.

Teachers have a great responsibility, they have to keep the student’s attention focused at all times, and it’s even much more difficult when the student has an attitude problem to start with. Some people go on eating binges to combat boredom. The list of examples, of problems we have that are caused by boredom, is endless. I think, by now you’ve gotten the picture.

Life is not boring, boredom begins in the mind. When we are bored, we are constantly seeking changes in our circumstances, looking for something better that will make our lives more exciting or interesting.

The thing is, if we’re not stimulated on our own and engaged in our own lives, pursuits and goals, we’ll ALWAYS feel bored, no matter WHAT we have in our lives. Did you ever notice that happy people are almost always happy, easily amused and engaged? They have great relationships. The smallest thing like a sporting event outcome or a phone call makes their day. That is because they are happy on the inside, and so everything outside of them offers them joy and amusement, something interesting to pursue.

To be truly happy, this is where we must start, inside of ourselves. In the last part of this 3 part series, we will examine boredom, its symptoms and causes, and we will explore what we can do to defeat boredom once and for all.

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