Boredom is a sign that we’ve become habituated. We’re getting stuck on automatic pilot, and losing touch with actual experience.

We can overcome boredom by freshening up our routine, seeking out new situations and experiences, inviting a different perspective. Try one of these each day for a week and notice what happens:

  1. Take an unfamiliar route to work, or to a regular appointment. Change your mode of transport—if you usually drive, take the bus, or train, or walk.
  1. Follow a recipe for a meal you’ve never tried, with at least one ingredient you’ve not before cooked with.
  1. Start a conversation with someone you’ve never really talked with: the barista at your coffee shop or someone from a different department in your company who you sometimes see in the elevator—ask them how their day is going and be prepared to listen with interest.
  1. Go to the cinema without checking what films are showing. Watch the first one that starts after your arrival.
  1. Read a different newspaper/news site to the one you’re used to—perhaps one that doesn’t confirm your usual political views.
  1. Join a class for a sport, activity, or hobby that you think you won’t enjoy. Keep an open mind and resolve to find out one new thing about this activity from the teacher or other participants. Can you discover what others find engaging about it?
  1. Turn off all Internet connections for one day. Be open to alternative means of finding out information and connecting with others and the world.
For more on overcoming boredom, subscribe to our magazine to read the full article: Is Boredom All Bad? by Ed Halliwell, which appears in our new October 2016 issue of Mindful magazine.
Ed Halliwell

Ed Halliwell is a mindfulness teacher and writer, based in Sussex and London, UK. He is author of three books: Into The Heart of Mindfulness, How To Live Well By Paying Attentionand (as co-author)The Mindful Manifesto and teaches courses and retreats to public groups, in organizations and to individuals, face-to-face and online via Skype. He is also an advisor to The Mindfulness Initiative, which is supporting the Mindfulness All-Party Parliamentary Group to develop mindfulness-based policies for the UK.


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