At this point in my business, it’s become easier to come up with blog posts and classes because the whole point is that you’re trying to solve a problem someone out there might have. As I grow, people send me e-mails and DM’s all the time asking for advice on very specific things, and making resources to answer your questions is not just helpful for you, it’s helpful for me, because I can then direct you to a link instead of rewriting an entire new thing when the information has already been thought out and exists in one spot.

That said, one of the top questions I still get asked/comments I receive is about boredom, so I wanted to talk about that. If I had a dollar for how many people send me a message on Instagram and say, “My life is so boring, I wish I had your life!”, I could buy a fancy new outfit. I’m not bragging. That’s actually the whole point of this post. What I’m here to tell you is your life is not boring, and my life is not extra interesting or at least not more interesting than yours. I know I do a lot of outrageous, colorful things online, but that’s just what I post on the internet. And there’s not much stopping you from doing the same things you’re seeing on my profile and saying you’re jealous of. Let’s break this down, okay?

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What Is Boredom?

First of all, not to get all cliche wedding toast on you, but the definition of bored(om) is being uninterested in the activity you’re currently doing, feeling like you’re not occupied with anything at the moment, and feeling weary/discontented with those facts.

So if that’s what being bored is, what’s the opposite? The opposite of being bored is feeling like you’re invested in the thing you’re currently doing. It’s feeling like you’re not just busy in the moment, but that your life is full of meaning. You feel satisfied with your options and choices. So that’s what we’re shooting for here.

Why Do We Get Bored?

There are many reasons we get bored. I’m not going to quote some Instagram image and tell you that “only uninteresting people get bored” because that’s not true. I used to think that, though. And it’s because I was young, full of non-stop energy, and had a lot of judgments I didn’t realize were instilled in me. I’m an extrovert who, although this has slightly diminished as I’ve gotten older, thrives on social interactions, going out, adrenaline rushes, and risk-taking behaviors. I was a machine designed to always be busy, to have more hobbies and passions than I knew what to do with, and to basically just not have the time or thought of being bored.

But as I’ve gotten older, I not only value alone time much more, but I’ve done so many crazy things that sometimes I think my threshold for what holds my attention has been raised too high. Not unlike when someone purges an addiction and the pleasure center of their brain isn’t functioning right because they’ve been too busy chasing that next high. Because of that, in the past few years, I’ve actually learned what it means to be bored, and if I look at isolated incidents, I can attribute it to other factors (which I’ll talk about more below) that have absolutely nothing with me being a boring person or having a boring life.

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6 Reasons We Feel Bored

1. Comparison – When we compare ourselves to anyone, including people on the internet, you can create these ideas in your head of what your life is supposed to be. When we compare, we might feel jealous, but sometimes we just feel like we’re not measuring up… and that can lead us to feeling listless, like we don’t even want to bother. So we don’t.

2. Lack Of Money – I know this one well. When you’re broke, it can seem like you could fill your days with interesting activities if only you had the money to pay for it all. But guess what you already know that I’m going to tell you anyway? You don’t need money to have fun. Yes, it opens up more doors and creates more freedom. But there are plenty of things you can do without even leaving your house that can fulfill you that cost zero dollars.

3. You Keep Doing Things You Dislike – Sometimes we keep up with a hobby, passion, friend, lifestyle choice, whatever out of a feeling of obligation. We’ve put in this many hours, dollars, whatever, and it would be a “waste” to give it up now. You know what’s a waste? Spending your time on things you don’t enjoy. Chuck the stuff that doesn’t feel good. Remember that being bored is being uninterested, and the goal is to feel fulfilled.

4. You Say No To Everything – Again, we should be saying no to the things that we know we don’t like, but are you someone who says no to everything before you’ve even tried it? What if you started trying things? You didn’t have your favorite movie before you watched it for the first time. You didn’t get to “best friend” status with your favorite person before you agreed to hang out with them for the first time. Doing new things can be scary, but you’ll never find new joys without giving yourself the opportunity to say yes.

5. You Do The Same Thing Every Day – Being in a rut sucks. We’ve pretty much all been there. Some people thrive on routine and structure, and that’s great. But you still need to try to mix it up when you can. Especially if you’re feeling bored. It’s actually also really good for your mind to do things in new, weird ways.

6. You’re Convinced Where You Live Sucks – I live in Baltimore. A city that if people know anything about, will probably reference “The Wire”, murder, rats, and soft shell crabs. That’s what we’re known for. We are not a big city, and to be honest we have a lot of problems. But do you know how many people message me to say that they want to come to Baltimore after seeing my Instagram? That they can’t believe how colorful Baltimore must be? Guess what? I go out and search for that stuff! Also, did you know that someone in a very small town in South Dakota told me that it wasn’t possible for them to make friends as an adult because their town had nothing to offer, and that night I found over 80 options/events (mostly free) that they could go to over the next few weeks? I wrote a whole post about it that I’ll link below. I promise you that I can find something cool to do in your hometown every single week. You just have to be willing to search, try, and actually go.

There are a lot of other reasons we might feel bored. Sometimes we feel a limitation like a mental or chronic illness, which can definitely restrict options at certain times and situations. But ultimately if you’re deciding that your illness, monetary situation, geographical location, or whatever it is has given you a boring life, I’m sorry to tell you that you are wrong. What we have to do is be open, try, and show up whenever we can.

10 Ways To Cure Boredom

I hope this is helpful. I hope you realize you’re not boring and you’re not destined to lead a boring life. If you have any questions, please let me know. I want to make this as helpful of a resource as possible!

Photos: Maura Housley