What is boredom telling us ?
Today, I would like to tackle the subject of boredom.
“That's not an emotion!” you will say. Well, I categorize it as such in my practice, and I will explain why.
In my opinion, it’s an emotion that conceals other emotions. Boredom demands a change, a challenge, something that makes us grow and evolve. It is beneficial and even necessary, if it is temporary, because it is a motivator for change. But today, we have lost the right and the pleasure of being bored. We are offered a lot of solutions to distract us (phones, tablets, consumer society and other commercial activities) and thus not to face our real needs. It is easier to distract ourselves than to face the anger, sadness and fear that suffocate us and prevent us from initiating the change that would allow us to come out of boredom.
As in the case of sadness, this emotion puts the body into “sleep mode”, which can lead to apathy or even depression. Our schedules may be full, we don't have a minute to ourselves and yet boredom hangs over us. The solution is not to be busy all the time, but to be busy as often as possible with an activity that we really enjoy. It could be playing guitar, painting or running that motivates us, or perhaps cycling, learning computer programming, socializing or cooking. The change doesn't have to be drastic. Everything is a question of balance and you are the sole master and judge of your challenge.
It is important to identify the root cause of the boredom. Take the example of a mother whose children leave the family home. She ends up with more time on her hands. The first impression may be "I'm bored," and a frantic fear of the void that must be filled. Let us dig into this "I'm bored" state:
- “Because I feel alone”
- “Because I am no longer useful to anyone”
- “Because I feel old..."
These statements bring us back to the fear of being abandoned, rejected, dying, etc.
To take another example, boredom at work. The causes can be multiple: it is a repetitive job, we do not find any meaning in it, it has no prospects... we may be aware of it, but we don’t manage to change. Behind this inertia, there may be the fear of inadequacy or failure, and so on. And these fears often find their source in childhood and in the way we think about life.
The solution will vary widely depending on the cause and therefore the need to be satisfied.
In this time of pandemic, we are confronted by boredom more forcibly than usual. We can choose to bypass boredom by multiplying our distractions, or take this period as an opportunity to seek out the fear, anger and sadness that underlie the boredom and turn it into a tool to move forward.
Kinesiology is a precious aid in the search for hidden emotions. Thanks to the muscle test we can find these emotions that the body communicates[L1] to us, understand what boredom and other emotions tell us and where they come from, and thus improve our lives and be more efficient in our professional and personal activities.
Next time, and to complete this series on emotions, I will talk about JOY!
* Illustration Clemence Renault, https://www.instagram.com/clemence.renault/