A Mindful way out of Boredom
When will it end? How will it end? How much longer can I deal with endless ground hog day existence?
Well, although we don’t have the answers, we can do a lot to help ourselves suffer less in these unusual times. Like get interested in our boredom.
What does it feel like to be bored? No doubt there is a mind full of thoughts- but what are they? Thoughts about the “good old day”? Or thoughts about the future and what ifs- or is it this moment right now you are judging as wrong in some way? Some mental moaning about how what you’ve got is dull.
Great! Now you’re starting to observe the experience. Now I invite you to get closer. How does your body feel- exactly? Is it an angsty feeling in the chest area, a desire to move, does it feel like an itch you can’t quite scratch? Or is it more like a heaviness in the chest or belly area? Is it a slow lumpiness that makes you want to sprawl on the sofa and bemoan what’s the point?
Hmm- interesting. Keep digging. Become a scientist, fascinated with this experience called boredom.
Now let’s change focus and become aware of light in the room. Perhaps there is a window in your room. Look out and notice the colours outside, then the shapes and textures, perhaps as if you were being asked to draw what you see- so with that level of attention. Notice what moves and what stays still. Can you hear anything outside? Try closing your eyes and seeing what you can hear.
Now bring your attention inside the room and become aware of how light plays on the different surfaces in the room. Notice where it is brighter. Notice too the shadows. Perhaps there is another light source on, a lamp or an overhead light. How does that affect the objects? From here you might like to play with how you explore the space. Noticing perhaps just one colour and all the different places you can see it. Or look for one object that you really love and give it your full attention. What is happening in the body? Do you feel any warmth or an openness in the chest area? Think about how this object got here. Did you buy it? Was it a gift? Is there a sense of appreciation for it being here?
What else do you feel grateful for that is right here, right now? Is it the room you are in, your home? Is it all the comforts this house offers? Electricity, water, food in the fridge, clothes in the wardrobe? A place that is safe. And what about you and your body? This body that does so much for you without your bidding- the heart pumping the blood, the digestive system breaking down food for energy, the respiratory system working away even as we sleep. And what about this breath? This one right now? Can you feel appreciation for this breath? Without our breath we would die- and yet something so fundamental gets overlooked most of the time. For a moment just take time to focus of the movement of the breath in and out.
So often the mind tells us our happiness is over there somewhere- in the future when X happens. We post-pone our peace for some other time. With mindful attention we can return to the present moment and become aware of what is already here. And that level of attention does things to us. We become grateful, we become curious and that makes us feel invigorated- alive. Not lacking anything. And that feeling my friends, is happiness.