Woman's World

“I’m just so bored!”


Our experts come to the rescue with the mental, spiritual and emotional tricks proven to help you dodge the doldrums and reboot your outlook Recharge your brain Go for Goldilocks Boredom lives on two sides of the same coin. “If a task is too hard, we get tired and frustrated; too easy and it becomes monotonous,” says psychologi­st Erin C. Westgate, PH.D. “Like Goldilocks, we want that sweet spot where we’re challenged but not overwhelme­d.” To find it, just take a break from harder tasks. Studies show it promotes mind-wandering, which improves problem solving. And if a task is too easy? Make it more challengin­g by, say, timing yourself. Such tiny tweaks can make things more stimulatin­g. Reframe this way You can’t always change what you’re doing, but you can change how you think about it, says Westgate: “For instance, studies show hospital janitors who frame their job as preventing infection are far less bored than those who describe it as cleaning floors.” Just reflect on the deeper reason you’re doing a task to infuse it with boredombus­ting purpose. Rejuvenate your spirit Expand your horizon “Sometimes when we feel bored, it’s because we’re turned too much in toward ourselves,” says pastor Kristin Skare. It’s so common, in fact, there’s a Latin term for feeling spirituall­y stuck, incurvatus in se, or “curving in.” To broaden your world, look to your community. “Can you volunteer to sit with someone in a nursing home, for example?” Skare asks. “Often, reawakenin­g our spiritual life means looking outside ourselves for connection.” Narrow your prayers “People often tell me they’re not sure what to pray for,” Skare says. And when we don’t know how to focus spiritual energy, our dismay can lead to boredom. One solution: Each week, ask loved ones to share one high and one low that occurred. While you can laud the joys, the setbacks offer something specific to pray for, reenergizi­ng you. Revitalize your emotions Finish this sentence Restlessne­ss can mask other emotions like loneliness, says wellness pro Starla Fitch, M.D. Finish the sentence, I’m bored

because… You may realize the reason you’re antsy isn’t that you have nothing to do, it’s that you miss your friend who moved away. That awareness can spur you to take action, like calling your pal, to ease boredom. Fill your well Instead of, say, scrolling through Facebook when you’re feeling blah, create a “boredom bucket list” of all the creative things you can do when you feel restless, like starting a new craft. Says Dr. Fitch, “These activities make life more fulfilling—and boredom can actually help by steering us toward them.”

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