What Have You Been Avoiding?
Boredom has always received a bad rap. Now more than ever, our internet tribe is talking about the big, bad boredom-monster. We’re taught to avoid boredom at almost any cost, by staying busy, distracting ourselves with tune-out technology, and being “productive.” Maybe this is because slowing down to get to know yourself better can actually be pretty uncomfortable and scary. Understanding yourself better can lead to confronting some things you’ve been avoiding with all that business and distraction.
As an online therapist and life coach, some of my clients, too, are struggling with some long-term issues that have recently been “brought to the light.” I want to encourage you to allow yourself to sit with these feelings. With a little bit of boredom and space, here are a few not-so-comfortable (but important) things you might uncover:
You may know your relationship isn’t perfect (I mean, who’s is?). When focused on the hustle of life, we can put off dealing with relationship concerns and the difficult conversations they demand. But when you slow down and find yourself alone with each other, it gets harder to ignore what isn’t working. This is a good opportunity to notice what’s coming up for you, to understand yourself in the context of your relationship and get curious about what your relationship might need, and consider if you’re ready to start making some gentle repairs.
What You Really Want
Slowing down and giving yourself space to process your wants can lead to impactful benefits for your overall life. With boredom and more time on your hands comes less pressure and obligation. Suddenly, you might find yourself relieved of the unspoken but ever-present expectation to be busy and constantly moving toward worthy goals. What arises from this new space is the question, “If I’m less anxious now, did I actually want these goals for myself or did I just think I should have them?” Boredom and space can help you separate what you really want, enjoy, and value from what others think or want.
Having more time with yourself might cause you to pay a little more attention to your thoughts. Following those thoughts can lead you to your core beliefs. We tend to assume, for example, that our value comes from things like productivity, social engagement, or helping others. But when you limit these things, you can lend space to new, healthier beliefs about intrinsic value from being, rather than doing. Boredom and space means we can sit with beliefs and consider them with curious objectivity. We can question them and change them, if we wish. Opening your mind to these personal growth moments will help you in your journey to understand yourself.
As we slow down and get back to basics, we create room for more things to grab our attention. You may notice more synchronicities, remember more dreams, or be inspirationally struck with new, creative ideas. These are just some of the ways that deeper, unaddressed feelings work their way to the forefront. Slowing down to embrace a little boredom, what feelings come up and what are they trying to tell you?
Challenges create opportunity for solution-finding. Obstacles illicit creative thinking. Through time alone and space, we are called to find new ways to connect, help one another, practice self-care, and maintain our hobbies, responsibilities, and goals. Leaning into boredom and space gives you a chance to surprise yourself, to truly understand yourself.
Is it uncomfortable? Definitely. Scary? Yes. But what if this boredom thing is also an opportunity to slow down and sit with an old friend…yourself? Who knows what you might discover?
Wishing you the best,
Meet Kathleen: an experienced therapist and life coach with a gentle but powerful style. She can help you build your self-esteem, heal after living through hard things, and create strong, meaningful relationships in a non-judgmental, productive space where you will feel safe, comfortable, and understood.
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