BORE YOURSELF TO OPTIMISE LIFE
WORDS: Charlotte Jameson, Behavioural Psychologist / Life Coach
Now school is back, it’s fair to say 2018 has official kicked off. As life ramps up, it’s easy to get caught up in the rush and forget to be still. The stillness or boredom afforded to us during holidays, provides us with a fresh outlook on things. We need this fresh outlook to get the best out of our lives. We are constantly needing to problem solve, be creative and integrate our thoughts in everything we do; to excel in our work, to organise our children’s commitments, to plan healthy meals and to fit exercise into our day. As the year rolls on, the trap we can fall into is to keep pushing the envelope in order to achieve these things and deny our brain the boredom it needs to assist us. Not switching off lessons our chance of processing what’s happing in our day and can lead us to wake up at night thinking, leaving us tired for the next day.
Boredom is different to mindfulness. Think sitting on the bus and staring out the window. Or going camping with no internet service, TV or dishwasher. Allowing our brains have the chance to become bored without listening to a podcast or watching TV while we do a task. Boredom ignites our brain’s default mode network which is involved in all sorts of complex and integrative thinking, explains Mary-Helen Immordino-Yang during an interview on Science Friday (sciencefriday.com). She goes on to explain that boredom allows us to daydream about things that don’t exist and merges memories in order to make a story of how our life is going.
How can you allow your brain to be bored?
- Be strategic in using technology, as most of us use it to fill in the pauses in our lives. Examples of these pauses may be add breaks in a show, when a computer is loading or thinking, the commute to work, or the times our dinner date leaves the table to go to the toilet. Decide what you want to use technology for and the time you consciously want to use it.
- Switch off technology when you are eating a meal or putting the washing out or going for a run or walk.
- Embrace boredom. Get gardening, enjoy spacing out in the shower, when you are washing up or putting the washing out.
We can optimise life and what we want to achieve through boring our brains, allowing them the processing time they need. So work out what you want to use technology for and when you want to use it and switch off and embrace those beautiful pauses in life.
Find Charlotte’s work and articles at www.charlottejameson.com